With the legendary Ajee' Wilson leading the charge with a breathtaking American record breaking performance, New Jersey once again made its presence felt with several red hot performances on one of the biggest stages in the world at Saturday's 113th Millrose Games at the New York Armory.
Wilson, a 2012 graduate of the Academy of Allied Health & Science in NJ's Neptune Township, blasted a 1:58.29 to win the women's 800m, breaking the American record of 1:58.60 that she last year when she finished first at Millrose. Another NJ all-time great, Olivia Baker (Columbia High Class of 2014), finished third in the 800m with an indoor PR of 2:02.86.
The 25 year-old Wilson, a 2016 US Olympian and the bronze medalist at the World Championships last summer, has now captured five Millrose titles in the 800, one away from tying the meet record of six individual tiltes held by another NJ legend, Joetta Clark (Columbia High grad). Clark won six titles in the 800 between 1985-1996.
Wilson seems poised to make a strong run at earning at a medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.
Ali, the World Champion in the 100m hurdles at the World Championships last summer, and the silver medalist in the 100m HH at the Rio Olympics in 2016, ran 7.96 to place second in the 55m hurdles.
Napolitano, who starred at Columbia University, ran 3:56.56 to place third in the men's Wanamaker Mile!!
There were several high school relay teams and athletes from NJ that came up with sparkling performances.
Ridge rocked a US#1 time in the 4x800, Union Catholic smashed two records when they swept the Private School 4x400's, the Nottingham boys sizzled on the way to a win in the 4x200, and the Jackson boys won the Suburban 4x400.
Ridge, which ran a US#2 10:19.39 DMR last Monday, took over as the No. 1 team in the nation in the 4x800 by winning in 7:50.02. Ridge's four runners were Jackson Barna (1:59.07), James Kisker (1:57.90), Will Pinto (1:56.83), and Luke Roberts (1:56.24).
The Union Catholic boys dropped a NJ#1/US#3 and meet record 3:20.70 to win the Private School 4x400. Tyhir Jones (50.27), Connor Cooper (51.49), Myles Plummer (50.37) and Elijah Brown (48.58) shared the baton for UC. CBA, with Liam O'Hara anchoring in a CBA record 48.43, for CBA, the fastest was second on 3:21.39 St. Benedict's Prep third in 3:23.07 and Paul VI fourth in 3:27.08.
The George Mason-bound Brown came back after his 4x400 anchor to place third in the boys 600 in a NJ#1 1:20.89. Gabriel Moronta of Pleasantville, who came into the race leading the state with a 1:20.90, was fifth in 1:21.75, and Domenick Wallace of Morris Hills placed seventh in 1:22.54.
In the girls Private School 4x400, Union Catholic finished first in an NJ#1/US#6 and meet record 3:52.91 as Maameyaa Nyinah (59.54), Avery Jordan (58.56), Asydiah Pray-Brown (58.77) and Chidumga Nkulume (56.05) combined on the victory. Paul VI was second in a NJ#2 3:53.81.
The UC girls had a busy day as the Vikings also placed sixth in the girls 4x800 in a NJ#1 9:20.86, and sixth in the girls 4x200 in an NJ#3 1:43.10. Morgan Williams anchored in 2:17.39 in the 4x800 for UC.
Sprint star Louis Akpadago of Nottinghman had a huge day.
He finished second in the boys 60m dash in 6.86 and had a 55m en route time of 6.38, just off his NJ# 6.33 that he ran at the Mercer County Championships last month. He came back later to run on Nottingham's 4x200 that blasted a US#2 1:28.38 to cross the line first. The 1:28.38 by Nottingham is No. 6 in NJ history.
The state record is 1:26.90 by Camden in 2004. St. Benedict's Prep finished third in the boys 4x200 in 1:30.23.
MORE NJ HIGHLIGHTS
- Sam Allen of Kingsway finished third in the Brooks Mens Mile Racewalk with a time of 6:21.52
- Jackson won the boys Suburban 4x400 in a NJ#3 3:22.62
- Bradley Jelmert of Watchung Hills cleared 16-2 3/4 to place second in the boys pole vault. Jelmert has cleared a NJ#2 all-time 16-10 this season, which ranks him US#3.
- Camryn Wennersten of Ridgewood placed eighth in the girls mile in a NJ#1/US#9 and school record 4:51.60, No. 8 all-time in NJ indoor history. Charlotte Bednar of Lawrenceville was 10th in 4:53.08, and Emma McGill of Voorhees finished 14th in 4:57.40.
- Caroline Dannenbaum of Pingry cleared 12-5 1/2 to finish seventh in the girls pole vault. She leads the state with a 12-6 1/4.
- Chris Hatler (Pope John High grad) was eighth at the bell in the men's mile, but ran a 59.18 last quarter to place fourth in 4:02.76. CBA grad Tim Gorman closed in 60.13 to place sixth in 4:03.91.
- Stone Caraccio of Kingsway ran a Gloucester County record and NJ#1 and US#10 4:15.35 to place fifth in the boys mile. The former Gloucester County record of 4:17.01 was set by Bill Dolan of Clearview at the New Balance National Championships.
- Shaw Powell of CBA was ninth in the boys mile in 4:17.79, and Tristan Amell, who ran at CBA until transferring to Santa Monica High in California after last school year, was 13th in 4:23.08.
- Penn State-bound Victoria Vanriele of Gov. Livingston finished second in the 600 in 1:30.55, just off her PR and NJ#3 all-time 1:30.36.