NJ Rocks Easterns, Drops Ten State Leading Performances


New Jersey's best made a huge statement with several electrifying performances at the 86th annual Eastern States Championships at the New Balance Track and Field Center in New York.

How awesome was NJ at this meet?

Ten NJ#1 performances were recorded, two by Mariah Fede of Paramus Catholic, Floyd Whitaker took over the NJ lead in the TJ and was a double winner, the DMR's shook up the top of the NJ and national leaderboards, and Bradley Jelmert of Watchung Hills flirted with the state record in the pole vault.

There is a lot to dig in to. 

Let's get started with the red hot DMR's!!!

In the boys race, Mendham's Sam Marran (3:10.85), Robert Smith (50.71), Ryan Kear (a PR of 2:03.42), and Jack Jennings (4:12.89) all PR'd as they combined to stop the clock at 10:17.85!!! That's US#2 right behind the 10:17.63 that CBA ran last week at the Varsity Classic.

Iona Prep was second in a US#3 10:18.14, Bridgewater-Raritan, with a 4:16.27 anchor from Marco Langon,  was third in 10:24.48, and West Morris was fourth in 10:25.67. 

The girls DMR also produced lots of smoke with Colts Neck leading the NJ charge with a NJ#1/US#3 11:58.89!!! Cornwall of NY won in a US#2 11:55.48, and Lawrenceville was third in a US#7 12:04.49. Egg Harbor was fourth in an Atlantic County record 12:11.47.

Colts Neck's splits were 3:38.9 for Natalie Shapiro, 61.4 for Sarah Lerner, 2:20.9 for Arianna Sakoutis, and Lilly Shapiro anchored in 4:57. That was the first time under five for Shapiro, and Sakoutis also PR'd.   

How about what Lawrenceville sophomore Charlotte  Bednar did!!! She anchored her team in the DMR with a 4:56.12, and came back later to win the two-mile in 10:29.86! BOOM!!!!

Speaking of smoke, the Nottingham boys blew up the track in the 4x200, lowering its NJ#1 time by blasting a US#2 1:27.89, which is NJ#5 all-time, to finish first. Nottingham will get one more crack at the state record of 1:26.90, which was set by Camden at the 2004 Easterns, at the New Balance Nationals next month.    

Individually, there were several NJ athletes who shined.

Whitaker, who won the Meet of Champions in the triple jump as a sophomore at Highland Reg. last spring, made history by becomig the first boy to ever both the long jump and triple jump at the same meet. Whitaker, NJ's only double individual winner, leaped 22-8 to win the long jump, and then coming back later to soar a NJ#1 46-10 3/4 to win the triple jump. That's an indoor PR for Whitaker, who went a state soph record 50-2 1/2 last June.

Jelmert of Watchung Hills took three shots at the state pole vault record (17-0 by Bill Lange of Bridgewater East in 1980), but couldn't quite get over 17-0 1/4. Jelmert, who has made a US#4 16-10 this season, still broke the meet record by making 16-6 1/4.

Jenna Rogers of Rutherford, the state outdoor record holder at 6-0 3/4, cleared a NJ#1 5-9 to win the girls high jump.

Four NJ#1 times were thrown down on the track. 

Fede burned two NJ#1 times!!! She won the 55m HH in a NJ#1/US#11 8.02, and placed second in the 200 in 24.82. Her time of 24.74 in the trials is NJ#1 this season.  

Egg Harbor's Lauren Princz broke the Atlantic County record and took over the state lead in the girls 55 dash by placing second in 7.05. That broke the county mark of 7.09 set by Angela Clyburn in 1991.  

, and she was also third in the 200 in 25.26. Princz ran faster in the 200 trials, a NJ#3 25.0.1 

In the boys 400, Jakob Kunzer of Lawrenceville became NJ's first to go sub 49, placing third in a NJ#1 48.84.    


  • In a battle between the state's top two throwers, Patrick Passalacqua of Old Tappan, the state leader in the shot a 60-8, unloaded a 60-6 1/4 to finish first. John Purvis of Winslow, NJ#2 at 60-0, was second with a 59-11 3/4.
  • Denae Hill of West Orange won the girls shot put for the second straight year with a PR and NJ#2 45-0 1/2.
  • Nicole Vanasse of Pingry won the girls mile in a NJ#3 4:57.04.
  • Caroline Dannenbaum of Pingry improved her NJ#1 mark to 12-8 as she placed second in the pole vault.  
  • Jamier Wright-Collins of Paterson Kennedy matched his NJ#1 leap of 6-9 to repeat as the boys high jump champ.
  • The Millville girls improved its NJ#1 time to 1:42.21, which placed them second in the 4x200 relay 
  • Chinedu Okeke of Peddie took first in the boys 55 dash in a NJ#3 6.42. Miekel House of Rancocas Valley was third in the 55 dash in a NJ#4 6.45. 
  • Ridgewood, with soph. Camryn Wennersten anchoring in 2:12.73, finished second in the girls 4x800 in an NJ#5 9:30.13. 
  • Anthony Vazquez of Egg Harbor ran a school record and NJ#6 7.45 to win the boys 55 hurdles.  
  • Julianne Kopec of RBC won the girls 800 in 2:13.08. She has 
  • Liam O'Hara broke two CBA school records by running a NJ#7 22.19 in the trials of the 200 (he didn't run in the final) and going a NJ2 49.21 to place fourth in the 400.
  • Gavin Richards split 1:53.32 to bring North Hunterdon across the line seventh in the boys 4x800 in 8:02.95.
  • Morris Hills won the boys 4x400 in a NJ#6 3:23.82 
  • Jalen Ridgeway of Toms River North finished second in the boys 800 in 1:56.57
  •  Felicia Quainoo of Union Catholic placed second in the girls triple jump with a 37-3. Quainoo is NJ#2 with a 38-0 3/4.
  • Tess Darnell of RBC ran a NJ#6 57.41 to finish fifth in the girls 400