Girls NJSIAA Meet of Champions Preview

Nicole Vanasse won the 3200m in 2018, she looks to bring the title back again.

The 2020 Indoor NJSIAA Meet of Champions will be streamed LIVE on MileSplit. As races finish you can watch replays here

Here we cover some of the big names heading into each event this Sunday at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions. This should be a great meet and we're all excited to see what kind of performances can be thrown down at the Ocean Breeze facility. Expect plenty of meet records to be in danger between the boys and girls meets. 

Girls Meet of Champions Preview

4x800 Meter Relay Showcase - State Rankings

Meet Record: Ridge - 9:14.47 (2017)

The 4x800 meter showcase first joined the indoor Meet of Champions in 2017. With a winning tradition Ridge's 4x800m extraordinaire teams are the only ones to win the indoor MOCs events on the girls side taking home three straight, and when looking outdoors you can add five more in a row. Last year the boys and girls swept both indoor and outdoor! 

Same as last year heading into the meet the defending champs aren't ranked #1 in the state. While Ridge has posted a fast time of 9:21.33 for NJ#2 US#14 from February 14th the state leader role falls on the Union Catholic girls who posted a 9:20.86 at the Millrose Games for NJ#1 US#13. 

Also running hot this season is Haddonfield NJ#3 at 9:22.18, Kingsway 9:26.65, and a handful of other teams looking to dip under the 9:30 mark such as Ridgewood, Red Bank Catholic, Westfield, Southern Reg, Rumson Fair-Haven, Washington Twp, and Colts Neck. 

It'll be interesting to see which teams focus their talent on the event if they are competing elsewhere in the meet but it there is a lot to look for here, along with the Ridge streak that meet record of 9:14.47 is in a very solid time but the move to Ocean Breeze and potential field helps the chances of breaking it. We'd probably need to see teams battle out front to push for it. 

Winner Last Three Years

  • 2019 - Ridge, 9:18.64
  • 2018 - Ridge, 9:17.78
  • 2017 - Ridge, 9:14.47

55 Meter Hurdles - State Rankings

Meet Record:
F.A.T. - Charmaine Walker, Plainfield, 7.86 (1997)
HT - Wendy Vereen, Trenton, 7.8 (1984)

Last year's winner in the 55m dash is now one of the top seeds in the 55m hurdles, Jailya Ash of Eastern Regional has had a great season and posted a NJ#2 PR time of 8.08 to win the Group 4 State title just last weekend. She is one of just two girls in New Jersey to run under 8.10 this indoor. 

Another major contender is state leader and US#11 ranked Mariah Fede of Paramus Catholic. She won Eastern States with a PR run of 8.02 in mid-February and took the Non-Public A title with a 7.26 last Friday.  She is undefeated in 55H finals in 2020 with five wins on the season!

With this competition could we see a possible sub-8.0 run this Sunday? 

They also lead the likes of Aliya Rae Garozzo of Paul VI, she is the only returner from last year's final competing this weekend and ranks NJ#4 on the season at 8.17. Unless she is focused elsewhere NJ#3 ranked Jewel Ash could look to made a podium run with her sister here. Kirstyn Schechter of Hillsborough, Jenna Chan of West Essex, Franklin freshman Ariel Richards, Meredith Updike, and others ready to take a shot at the title. 

Winner Last Three Years

  • 2019 - Claudine Smith, Atlantic City, 8.03
  • 2018 - Grace O'Shea, Ramapo, 8.08
  • 2017 - Lenaami Morton, Camden, 7.94

55 Meter Dash - State Rankings

Meet Record:
F.A.T. - Dominique Booker, Immaculate Montclair, 6.92 (2009)
HT - Wendy Vereen, Trenton, 6.7 (1984)

This is one awesome field. Of course we have the state leader and US#15 ranked Lauren Princz of Egg Harbor Twp. She posted a PR of 7.05 at Eastern States and won her second straight Group 4 title last weekend running 7.12. She was second in this event in 2018 as a freshman. 

We also saw a small preview of final contenders in the Non-Public A where Chidumga Nkulume of Union Catholic ran 7.16 ahead of Kent Place sophomore Christiana Nwachuku 7.17. They'll both be up there competing for gold. 

Union junior Joy Enaohwo ranked NJ#3 at 7.16, Mariah Fede NJ#5, Nakaja Weaver NJ#5, Jada Ellis, Janeya Hammond, Sydney Rose and others also competing for top spots. 

Winner Last Three Years

  • 2019 - Jailya Ash, Eastern Reg, 7.06
  • 2018 - Sydney Hawkins, Phillipsburg, 7.02
  • 2017 - Bria Mack, Williamstown, 6.99

400 Meter Dash - State Rankings

Meet Record: Sydney McLaughlin, Union Catholic, 53.17 (2017)

This is an event that has seen only three winners over the past nine years. Olivia Baker won four straight, Sydney McLaughlin three straight, and most recently Kaira Brown two straight. 

An event with such a strong history and it's time for a new champion with a wide open field.

Leading us out of Group Championships is Jade Pope of Pennsauken with her Group 3 winning NJ#4 ranked 56.98 on the Bubble flat track. Running second in that Group 3 race was Nylah Perry of Winslow who sits NJ#2 on the season at 56.85. Chidumga Nkulume of Union Catholic wasn't a top seed out of Groups but she is definitely a contender at NJ#3 this season with a 56.89 from January. 

Rumson-Fair Haven's Lily Orr, Holmdel's Sydney Goldson, Mariah Fede of Paramus Catholic, Jewel Ash of Eastern Regional, Tess Darnell of RBC, and Janeya Hammond of Winslow are all there as well as strong contenders in the event. This one will be hard to call with a deep starting list. 

Winner Last Three Years

  • 2019 - Kaira Brown, Kent Place, 55.91
  • 2018 - Kaira Brown, Kent Place, 57.00
  • 2017 - Sydney McLaughlin, Union Catholic, 53.17

1600 Meter Run - State Rankings

Meet Record: Jillian Smith, Southern Reg, 4:48.23 (2009)

Another event that you won't want to miss, while there are statistical favorites here this win could come from a number of girls. 

Katie Hamilton of Westfield has shown hot times throughout the season, she had a solid 5:00.86 mile at the Yale Track Classic in early January and then won a talent heavy Group 4 State Title race at 4:56.05 to lead all Groups combined. 

Camryn Wennersten, who is also seeded high in the 3200m, has a converted mile to 1600m time of 4:49.91c from the Millrose Games about a month ago, she ran 4:57.20 at Group 4 to finish second to Hamilton. 

Emma McGill of Voorhees is another strong contender coming into this meet with a season best 4:55.68c. Julianne Kopec of Red Bank Catholic won the NPA and ranks NJ#6 on the season with a 4:56.86 from Shore Conference. Lilly Shapiro has some closing speed you don't want to mess with, the Group 3 champ at 5:01.81. 

Allie Pierontoni, Reese Fahys, Lucy Afanasewicz, Caroline Mehlhorn, Sarah Naticchia, Lily Oliver, Laura Baeyens and more will be fighting for top spots here. Expect a battle. 

Winner Last Three Years

  • 2019 - Jerika Lufrano, Union Catholic, 4:59.26
  • 2018 - Madison Brand, Middletown South, 4:56.96
  • 2017 - Briana Gess, Haddonfield, 4:59.04

800 Meter Run - State Rankings

Meet Record: Victoria Vanriele, Governor Livingston, 2:08.81 (2018)

Victoria Vanriele is looking to become just the fourth individual in the history of the girls Indoor Meet of Champions to win an event four years in a row. At Group Championships last weekend she posted a facility record time of 2:07.83 US#5 as her parting gift to the Toms River Bubble. Now with the fast track at Ocean Breeze her own meet record of 2:08.81 set in 2018 is shaking in it's boots. 

The three girls she would join as having won four straight at the indoor Meet of Champs? Olivia Baker won four straight in the 400m (2011-2014), Melanie Thompson the 3200m (2008-2011), and Nicole Sims the shot put (1990-1993). 

While Vanriele brings an elite presence to the event she isn't the only strong qualifier. Ryan Davi of Pingry, Katie Hamilton of Westfied, Lindsay Colflesh of Haddonfield, Cynthia Boryeskne of Edison, Andrea Dubbels of Clifton, Amanda Mircovich of River Dell, Lilly Shapiro of Colts Neck, Morgan Lyons of Ridge, are among top qualifiers depending on which events they focus on. 

Winner Last Three Years

  • 2019 - Victoria Vanriele, Governor Livingston, 2:09.18
  • 2018 - Victoria Vanriele, Governor Livingston, 2:08.81
  • 2017 - Victoria Vanriele, Governor Livingston, 2:13.63

200 Meter Run Showcase - State Rankings

Meet Record: Aliyah Taylor, Rancocas Valley, 24.94 (2017)

Now this is an event that is definitely going to benefit from the move to Ocean Breeze. That 24.94 meet record from Aliyah Taylor's 2017 run is in severe jeopardy. 

The New Jersey state leader Mariah Fede of Paramus Catholic is top seed at 24.74 the only one entered under 25 seconds, she was third at last winter's MOCs in this event. NJ#3 ranked Lauren Princz of Egg Harbor Twp is also the top returner from last year's race where she ran a 25.05 for second just .02 off the now graduated winner Shauntae Nelson, Princz has gone 25.01 this season. 

Jewel Ash, Chaa-Nah-Yah Brathwaite, Nylah Perry, Kaleia Arrington, Christian Nwachuku, Bryanna Craig, among the loaded field. 

Winner Last Three Years

  • 2019 - Shauntae Nelson, Piscataway, 25.03
  • 2018 - Shauntae Nelson, Piscataway, 25.13
  • 2017 - Aliyah Taylor, Rancocas Valley, 24.94

3200 Meter Run - State Rankings

Meet Record: Dana Giordano, Bernards, 10:24.73 (2012)

This could be a great race.

NJ#2 ranked Nicole Vanasse of Pingry is coming off her Non-Public A state title running 10:52.37, and she has a 10:40.81 converted 2 mile on her stat sheet from her Bishop Loughlin Games victory at the start of the season. Vanasse won the Meet of Champions in 2018 running 10:34.49, was second last year to Julia Trethaway, and while she has a battle ahead she is in a good spot to potentially bring that title back home. 

Angelina Perez of Lakeland Regional is just one barrier Vanasse will have to overcome. Perez opened up this scholastic year with a great first season of cross country and that has poured into the track season. Perez is ranked NJ#3 on the year thanks to her Group 2 winning 10:45.41. The Lakeland star is definitely in the running for the title this Sunday. 

Camryn Wennersten of Ridgewood is another top seed ranked NJ#4 in the 3200m at 10:46.59 off her Group 4 State Title. She also has a good shot at the 1600m so it'll be interesting to see where she focuses her efforts, last year she ran the 1600m indoors to finish second. 

Watchung Hills senior Laura Baeyens, Montgomery's Caroline Mehlhorn, Natalie Shapiro of Colts Neck, Perez' teammate Abigail Horevay, Sarah Naticchia, Kingsway's Allie and Emily Pierontoni, Levonas, Hanifin, Lorsbach and others will also be among the leaders in this pack an could take a shot at the title if there are any missteps out front. 

Winner Last Three Years

  • 2019 - Julia Trethaway, West Morris Central, 10:32.55
  • 2018 - Nicole Vanasse, Pingry, 10:34.49
  • 2017 - Niamh Hayes, Howell, 10:31.98

4x400 Meter Relay - State Rankings

Meet Record: Union Catholic, 3:47.27 (2016)

The US#7 ranked Union Catholic girls are looking for a remarkable SIXTH straight 4x400m indoor Meet of Champions title this Sunday. They have a season best time of 3:52.91 from the Millrose Games in early February and led the combined Groups merge by just under three seconds with their Non-Public A state title run of 3:57.82. 

There are six teams under four minutes this season for NJ, other than UC there is Paul VI at 3:53.81, Rancocas Valley 3:54.62, Winslow Township 3:55.94, Ramapo 3:58.11, and Academy of the Holy Angels 3:59.25.

Winner Last Three Years

  • 2019 - Union Catholic, 3:53.84
  • 2018 - Union Catholic, 3:56.90
  • 2017 - Union Catholic, 3:50.82
  • Streak continues back to 2015. 

High Jump - State Rankings

Meet Record: Tatiana Smolin, Randolph, 5-10.5 (1984)

This is an interesting one since the the top three ranked high jumpers in the state aren't competing, and Jenna Rogers, the state leader at 5-09, who won in 2018 actually advanced to MOCs in the shot put after deciding to manage her amount of jumping competition this season to prep for outdoor. 

But with that said this high jump should lead to an awesome showdown as a new face looks to be crowned champion. 

Carly Tarentino of A. L. Johnson, the Union County Champion at 5-06.5, is the top seed coming in. She won the Group 1 state title at 5-06, finished second outdoors in the MOCs high jump and was sixth last winer. 

Kambi Walker of Paul VI has cleared 5-06 this season as has Bryanna Craig of Millville, and Alexandra Kwasnik of Union Catholic. Jaaliyah Evans of Paul VI, Savanna Marcantonio of Whippany Park, Katelyn Reid of Middletown North, Kirstyn Schechter of Hillsborough, and Suzy Lacombe of Hunterdon Central all clearing 5-04 out of Groups as well will be in the mix. 

Winner Last Three Years

  • 2019 - Tierra Hooker, Timber Creek, 5-08
  • 2018 - Jenna Rogers, Rutherford, 5-10
  • 2017 - Courtney Campbell, South Brunswick, 5-06

Pole Vault - State Rankings

Meet Record: Five-way tie at 12-06 - Jen Holly, Chrissy Finkel, Chelsea Vaughan, Haley Horvath, Caroline Dannenbaum. 

Defending champ Caroline Dannenbaum cleared 12-06.5 last week to win the Non-Public A state title with an All-Group meet record height. She tied the Meet of Champions meet record last winter at 12-06 before launching for a huge PR at New Balance Nationals Indoor vaulting 12-10.25. Is another big end of season run coming?

Keep an eye on that meet record, which has been held in a tie for years now, to be potentially broken this weekend. 

Also vaulting well is Marisa DiGia of Old Tappan, Gretel Jelmert of Watchung Hills, Suzy Lacombe of Hunterdon Central who we may also see in the high jump. Jenna Engels has gone over the 11-08 bar this season as well.  

Winner Last Three Years

  • 2019 - Caroline Dannenbaum, Pingry, 12-06
  • 2018 - Hayley Horvath, Notre Dame, 12-06
  • 2017 - Julia Dannenbaum, Pingry, 12-0

Shot Put - State Rankings

Meet Record: Alyssa Wilson, Donovan Catholic, 55-02.25 (2017)

This event has really opened up late in the season and should be awesome to watch. Early on in the year the hype was all around Bryanna Wilson of Donovan Catholic and Elizabeth Makar of Pinelands Regional trading wins and state leads. But later in the season Denae Hill of West Orange and Jada Sewell of Demarest really opened up their form and made their own cases as contenders for this Meet of Champions title. 

Wilson ranked NJ#1 with her 45-03.75 mark to win Shore Conference. Danae Hill of West Orange NJ#2 thanks to her big 45-0.5 throw to win Eastern States in mid-February. Elizabeth Makar improved her season best to 44-11.75 in mid-February as well, and Jada Sewell led all Groups combined with her Group 2 winning mark of 44-0. 

Brielle Kelly of Hillsborough, Brynn Madonna of Northern Highlands, Rachel Lavigne of Toms River East, Alicia Campbell of Snyder, Melissa Aymil of Mendham all throwing well heading into the meet. 

Winner Last Three Years

  • 2019 - Cydney Thomas, Haddon Heights, 42-04.75
  • 2018 - Shelby Bigsby, Montclair, 47-00
  • 2017 - Alyssa Wilson, Donovan Catholic, 55-02.25

Long Jump - State Rankings

Meet Record: Nakaja Weaver, North Brunswick, 18-07.5

The defending champ is back with North Brunswick's Nakaja Weaver, she enters as the third seed this season based off her 18-06.5 from the Last Chance meet on March 2nd. Union Catholic's A'Liyah Thomas has gone 18-09.5 this indoor, that performance came during her Union County victory and ranks NJ#1 on the year. 

Pope John XXIII's Bridget McNally has marked 18-07.75 which won Eastern States. Gabrielle Germann of Egg Harbor Twp has an 18-04.25 from Easterns, Bryanna Craig ranks NJ#7 from her 18-01.25 in December. 

Winner Last Year

  • 2019 - Nakaja Weaver, North Brunswick, 18-07.5

Triple Jump - State Rankings

Meet Record: The winner of this meet!

The first year this event will be showcased as the indoor Meet of Champions! The winner will be crowned champ and will also hold the meet record.

Felicia Quainoo of Union Catholic is the top seed and the only entrant over 38 feet this season at 38-0.75 from the NJCTC meet in early February. Teja Brown of Pope John XXIII, Dai'jah Wiggins of Elizabeth, Sophia Dongaris of Tenafly, and Kristina Tossas of Rancocas Valley the others over 37 feet.