As far as elite performances go, Liam Murphy of Allentown turned in the best sectional performance of the 2020 season -- by far.
The cross-country Meet of Champions winner and Villanova-bound senior led Allentown to its first indoor track sectional team title by sweeping the distance races with exceptional times in each.
Murphy won the 1,600 meters in 4:19.12, improving by a shade on his NJ#3 4:19.22. He won the 3,200 in NJ#4 9:19.89. And Murphy also won the 800 in 1:57.72, just a hair off his NJ#8 1:57.34 performance.
Also in Group 3, Nottingham senior Louis Akpadago won the 55 dash in 6.34, just 0.01 off his NJ#1 time.
Among the Group 3 girls, the elite performances came from the Shapiro sisters of team champion Colts Neck. Senior Natalie won the 3,200 in NJ#4 11:03.88, and her sophomore sister Lily won the 1,600 in NJ#6 5:07.13.
Among the elite performances in Group 2, North Plainfield senior Daniel Duncan won the 55 dash in 6.55, which would rank NJ#11, if Duncan didn't already have a NJ#3 6.49.
The elite performance among Group 2 girls belonged to Cinnaminson senior Meredith Updike, who won the 55 hurdles and tied Union Catholic's Felicia Quainoo for NJ#7 at 8.29.
Central Jersey, Group 3 Boys - Full Results
Led by senior three-time winner Liam Murphy, Allentown won its first team title in the 12-year history of the indoor sectionals, but not before a dramatic conclusion had to settle the matter.
Allentown led Nottingham 62-61 going into the 4x400-meter relay, making the last event on the track a winner-take-all race. Allentown won 3:28.84 to beat Nottingham by .05 seconds, and edged Nottingham for the team trophy, 72-69.
Allentown got a 1-2 finish in the high jump from seniors Cody Mulryne and Dominic Allen, both with jumps of 6-2. Senior Mike Heinz finished third in the 400 (51.46) and 800 (2:00.06). Also scoring for the Redbirds were senior Salvatore D'Adamo, sixth, 55 dash (6.70); senior Jake Bragger,
fifth, 400 (51.86); and senior Nate Somers, sixth, 1,600 (4:31.15).
Eight athletes scored for Nottingham, led by gold medal-winners Louis Akpadago and Shamali Whittle. Akpadago, a senior, won the 55 dash in a blazing 6.34, and Whittle, a sophomore, won the 400 in 50.98. He also placed second in the 55 hurdles (7.69).
Also scoring for Nottingham were senior Dana Ridley, second, 55 dash (6.61); senior Kernley Charles, fourth, 55 hurdles (7.88); senior Jacquel Jupiter, sixth, 55 hurdles (8.14); senior Cory Louis-Jean, second, pole vault (12-0); senior Geordany Alexis, third, shot put (44-1 ½); and sophomore Richad Targbe, fourth, shot put (43-2 ¾).
Central Jersey, Group 3 Girls - Full Results
The Shapiro sisters, Natalie and Lily, dominated the distance races to lead Colts Neck to the team title, 52-42 over runner-up Woodbridge.
Natalie, a senior, won the 3,200 in NJ#4 11:03.88 while Lily, a sophomore, won the 1,600 in NJ#6 5:07.13 and the 800 in 2:18.96.
Five others contributed to the Colts Neck scoring: senior Sasha Lerner, second, 55 dash (7.44); senior Arianna Sakoutis, sixth, 800 (2:25.68); freshman Olivia Petschauer, fifth, 1,600 (5:18.26); freshman Ava Wilmot, fourth, 3200 (11:30.24); and junior Kavita Shah, sixth, 3200 (11:42.96). Colts Neck also placed third in the 4x400 relay (4:11.25).
Senior Trinity Eason was a standout for Woodbridge, winning the 400 in 59.90 and placing second in the 800 (2:19.97).
Central Jersey, Group 2 Boys - Full Results
The two-man attack of senior Austin Gabay and junior Corey Harrell was nearly enough to snag a sectional title for Cinnaminson. Ewing needed every bit of scoring from six different athletes to earn a 48-47 victory and the Central Jersey, Group 2 title.
Ewing senior Dailan Peck won the high jump at 6-2 and the team won the 4x400 relay in 3:33.18. Also scoring for Ewing were: freshman Mekhi Stafford, second, 55 dash (6.67); senior Dahvae' Edward-Chew, second, 400 (51.81); junior Xavier Collazo-Young, fifth, 400 (53.22); senior Arinze Nkemka, second, 55 hurdles (8.11); and senior Maurice Queen, sixth, high jump (5-6).
For Cinnaminson, Gabay won the 3,200 in 9:49.77; he already owns the state's top time with a 9:15.90. He also won the 800 in 1:58.48 and the 1,600 in 4:36.88.
Harrell won the 55 hurdles in 8.03, he placed fourth in the 400 (52.88), and fifth in both the 55 dash (6.81) and high jump (5-6).
Central Jersey, Group 2 Girls - Full Results
Holmdel received points from nine different athletes, including 3,200 winner Emily Levonas, and ran away from Rumson for the Central Jersey, Group 2 trophy, 56-42.
Levonas, a senior, led Holmdel's assault on the distance events -- the Hornets scored 36 points in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 -- with a victory in the 3,200 in 11:22.64. She also placed third in the 1,600 in 5:16.52.
Holmdel went 1-2-4 in the 3,200: senior Claudia Zhang was second (11:30.51) and freshman Ella Jennings was fourth (11:58.07). The Hornets earned a 3-4-6 finish in the mile thanks to Levonas, Zhang (5:17.31) and junior Caitlyn Joyce (5:20.04). Joyce also placed sixth in the 800 (2:25.86).
Also scoring for Holmdel were: junior Sydney Goldson, fifth, 400 (59.59); soph Lexie Wojie, fifth, 55 hurdles (9.25); sophomore Justine Prophete, third, high jump (5-0); senior Sara Donnelly, fifth, pole vault (9-0); and sophomore Aly Stewart, sixth, pole vault (9-0). Holmdel also placed second in the 4x400 relay (4:13.61).