Slew Of NJ Leading Times Thrown Down At Ocean Breeze Invite

Hot times were the order of the day as several NJ No. 1 performances were thrown down at Saturday's Ocean Breeze Elite Invitational on Staten Island.

The top individual performer of the meet was UConn-bound Jailya Ash of Eastern. Ash, a two-time Meet of Champions winner (55 dash and hurdles), turned in a sensational double. First, Ash won the girls 55m dash in a NJ No. 1 7.22, and just a few minutes later she captured the 55m hurdles in 8.21. Ash is the state leader in the hurdles with an 8.09.

There were a total of 12 NJ No. 1 performances turned in at the meet, and two of them came in the 4x800 relays.

In the girls 4x800, Haddonfield hammered out a NJ No. 1 / US No. 3 9:12.91 to finish first.

Haddonfield's all senior lineup consisted of Lindsay Colflesh (2:18.62), Payton Weiner (2:19.06), Olivia Stoner (2:20.13), and Allison Colflesh, who blew open a close race with a 2:15.11 anchor carry, the top split of the race.

On the boys side, the Union Catholic Track Club received four PR's when they ripped a NJ No. 1/US No. 9 7:58.89 to place third in the 4x800. Junior Nick Givan, running his first ever 800, split 2:04.71. Junior Myles Plummer followed with a big 1:54.88 carry. Senior Matt Granizo then split 2:02.51, and junior Shane Brosnan finished it off with a 1:56.80 anchor carry.

The East Brunswick boys lit up the track and the field 

East Brunswick junior Jayden Phillip won the boys 300m in a NJ No. 1 35.27, and his teammates went 1-2 in the hurdles as junior Chris Serrao blasted a a huge PR and NJ No. 1 7.58 to win, and senior Ali Soherwardy (7.91) took second. Serrao's previous best was 7.72 when he placed third at the 2020 GMC Championships.

UC Girls Make Presence Felt  

The Union Catholic girls Track Club had a big day, highlighted by a victories in the 4x200 and 4x400. 

Ajanae ThompsonSydney McDonald, Alexandra Bonn, and A'Liyah Thomas teamed up for a winning time of 1:43.93 in the 4x200. Thompson also ran a NJ No. 2 8.59 to get second to Ash in the 55m hurdles, and Thomas (8.63) was third.

Union Catholic's 4x400m team ran to a second-place finish with a NJ No. 1 4:09.31. UC's team consisted of Maameyaa Nyinah, Aniyah Charles Leilani Gibson, and Jenna Keith.

Union Catholic teammates Morgan Williams (1:37.59) and Asydiah Pray-Brown (1:38.09) ran the two fastest times in the state this season when they finished 2-3 in the girls 600m.

Fair In The Air

A pair of Middlesex County pole vaulters came up with NJ No. 1 performances.

East Brunswick senior Brian McSweeney cleared a NJ No. 1 15-6 to place second on misses in the boys pole vault. McSweeney's PR is 15-9, which he cleared at the Vault Factory's Fourth of July Bash last summer.

In the girls PVC, Piscataway senior Jenna Engels made 11-6, the No. 1 mark in the state this season, to place third. Engels also set her PR of 12-3 at the Vault Factory's Fourth of July Bash.

Going The Distance
  • Kingsway junior Kyle Rakitis ran a huge PR and NJ No. 1 time of 4:17.39 to take second in the 1600m. That's more than four seconds faster than his previous best of 4:21.91 that Rakitis ran to place fourth at the 2020 Group 4 indoor championships. 
  • NC State-bound Matt Bogdan of Colts Neck ran a huge PR and NJ No. 1 time of 9:08.22 to place third and James Ptack of Immaculata dropped a big PR and NJ No. 2 of 9:09.02 to finish fifth in the boys 3200m. Bogdan's previous PR was 9:16.60 for two miles when he placed 12th at the Adidas Nationals last month, and Ptack's previous best was 9:17.13 for two miles when he was 14th at the Adidas Nationals.
  • Kingsway's Aubrey Pierontoni ran 4:47.40 to finish third in the girls 1500m. 
  • Knasir Alston of Asbury Park finished fourth in the 55m dash running 6.68. His teammate Cameron Scott fourth in the 55H as well 8.12.