Bednar Sparks Lawrenceville, Ham. North Boys Win at Mercer


Charlotte Bednar turned in a dazzling distance double to help lead the Lawrenceville girls to its second straight title, Louis Akpadago and Jacquel Jupiter were double winners to spark Hamilton North to the boys title, and Liam Murphy was a triple-winner at the Mercer County Championships on Saturday at the Bennett Center in Toms River.

Bednar, a sophomore in her first year of indoor track, blasted a US#2 10:22.64 to win the 3,200m, which is No. 5 in NJ history. That came an hour after she won the 1,600 in 4:56.72!!! What a double!!! Led by Bednar, an All-American in XC, Lawrenceville outscored Allentown, 106-72.

Bednar's 10:22.64 puts her well within striking distance of the state record of 10:16.75 set in 2007 by the great Ashley Higginson of Colts Neck when she finished first at the National Scholastic Championships at the NY Armory.

Lawrencecville, which scored in all but two events, also picked up a gold from Amy Aririguzoh in the high jum (5-2). Aririguzoh also placed third in the 200 and fourth in the long jump

In the boys competition, Akpadago, the Meet of Champions winner in the 55 dash last winter, burned a NJ#1/US#4 6.33 to win the 55 dash, and captured the 200 in 22.18 to help fuel Hamilton North to a 79-68 victory over runner-up Allentown. 

Jupiter also ahd a big day by bounding out to a 43-11 to win the triple jump and soaring 21-3 to take first in the long jump. Shamali Whittle also had a big day for Hamilton North, winning the 55 hurdles in 7.68, and  placing second in the 200 in 22.38.  

The Villanova-bound Murphy, an All-American in XC, had a remarkable meet for Allentown. He won the 1,600 in 4:22.91, the 3,200 in 9:40.51, and the 800 in 1:57.34.