One Of The Most Unique NJ Seasons Ever Concludes With A Bang

New Jersey's track and field athletes unleashed a strong finishing kick when one of the most unique seasons in state history came across the finish line this weekend.

But before we dig into all the great highlights, I have to throw out a shoutout to all the coaches, meet directors, AD's and most importantly all the athletes across the state for making this season the best it could be. The creativity and adaptability that went into producing so much quality competition under very difficult circumstances with several pop-up indoor quad meets, and old school polar bear duals etc. was very impressive. Well done, everyone!

Ok, let's get into this NJ rewind as many of NJ's best showed that they are primed for a huge outdoor season with sensational performances this weekend.  

Here we go!!!

National Scholastic Athletic Foundation Meet of Champions, Doug Shaw Stadium, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

In the girls competition, junior Charlotte Bednar of Lawrenceville won the 5K in 16:44.21.

Bryanna Craig, who moved from Millville to Texas last year, racked up 5,117 points to win the heptathlon. That's No. 36 in the world all-time!! Craig, a junior at Coronado High, won the heptathlon at the 2019 New Balance Nationals.

Connor Munson of Westwood turned in remarkable performance in the decathlon, placing second with a Bergen County record and NJ No. 4 all-time 6,197 points. The former county record of 6,069 was set in 2012 by Taylor Cudequest of Pascack Hills.

Union Catholic captured the SMR in a NJ. No. 1 4:13.34 as Alexandra Bonn, A'Liyah Thomas, Asydiah Pray-Brown (59.55), and Morgan Williams NJ (2:20.48) shared the baton.

Junior Angelina Perez of Lakeland dropped a pair of PR's when she took third in the two-mile in a Passaic County record 10:33.86, and was eighth in the Emerging Elite mile in 5:06.30.

Westfield had a strong double, placing third in the 4x800 in a NJ#2 9:29.77, and sixth in the DMR in a NJ#3 12:42.86. Katie Hamilton anchored the 4x800 in 2:16.47 and the DMR with a 5:19.64 carry.

Columbia-bound Tess Darnell of Red Bank Catholic ran a NJ#8 59.13 to place third in the Emerging Elite 400, and was seventh in the EE 200 in a NJ#7 25.97. 

Camryn Wennersten, running for the Garden State Track Club, placed a very impressive sixth in the girls one-mile run in 4:55.47. The race, like many others on Sunday, was run in very strong winds, 

Sophomore Reese Fahys of East Greenwich High in R.I, who ran at Middletown South last year, was seventh in the two-mile in 10:38.88 and won the Emerging Elite mile in 4:59.92. Both times are massive PR's for Fahys. 

Sophomore Ajanae Thompson of Union Catholic ran a huge PR of 14.47 to place second in the Emerging Elite 100m hurdles, and was sixth in the EE 200 in 25.88, also a PR.

On the boys' side, Ridge's 4x800 blasted a 7:49.25 to win the 4x800 on Saturday as Jackson Barna (1:56.16), James Kisker (1:59.39), Will Pinto (1:57.62), and Luke Roberts (1:56.09) combined on the victory. Barna came back on Sunday to place fourth in the mile with a PR of 4:14.22. His previous best was 4:14.49 last week for 1600m.

Ryan Allen of Kingsway crossed first in the racewalk in 15:50.14. 

Junior Myles Plummer of Union Catholic ran 1:56.55 to finish fifth in the 800, and went 4:21.74 to get third in the Emerging Elite mile. Plummer's teammate, junior Shane Brosnan, was second in the EE mile in 4:20.96.  

Shore Coaches Championshisp, Bennett Center in Toms River

Talk about going out with a bang!

On the final throw of his high school indoor career, Cole Tucker of Colts couldn't have scripted it any better, unloading a Monmouth County record, NJ#8 all-time and US #1 65-4 to win the shot put!

CBA senior Chris DeSousa ran a PR and NJ# 4:18.38 to win the boys 1600m, and Rutgers-bound James Bivins of Donovan Catholic clocked a 6.55 in the 55m dash to edge Aaron Stillitano of Middletown South (6.67).

Lily Shapiro of Colts Neck won the girls 1600m with a huge PR and NJ#1 4:49.52, more than a three second PR. Sophomore Cate DeSousa of RBC dipped below 5 for the first time ever with a runner-up finish and NJ No. 5 (including mile conversions) of 4:58.33.

Metuchen Spring Thaw Invitational, Metuchen High School

Juniors Julia Jackson of Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Chris Serrao of East Brunswick stole the show in Bulldog Country.

Jackson, coming off a NJ No. 3 57.15 victory at the Union County Championships, dropped a red hot 56.45 anchor bring her team across first in a NJ#1 and school record 3:59.30 in the 4x400. Jackson also won the 200 in a school record 25.31.

Serrao dropped his PR and NJ#1 time down to 7.56 to to win the 55, hurdles. Sure is so strange seeing the hurdles run at 55m outdoors!

Elizabeth's Antonio Roopchand, Zyeim Lawrence, Greg McQueen, and Wendell Cadet ran the fastest 4x400 time of the season with a winning time of 3:26.06.

Garden State Track Club East Coast Winter Championships, Underhill Field, Maplewood

The biggest NJ high school highlights came in the 800m and from the Sharpe triplets in the dashes.

Nick Medeiros of Old Bridge, the Adidas National Indoor champion in the 1000m, won the boys 800m in a PR of 1:52.60. His previous best of 1:52.87 came when Medeiros was second at the 2020 indoor Meet of Champions.

The girls 800m race featured a rising freshman star from Columbia, Peyton Hollis, who ran a NJ#1 2:14.16 to finish third. Lindsay Colflesh of Haddonfield was fifth in 2:15.33.

As for the Sharpe triplets, Amirah, Arianna, and Ariel from Paulsboro, the senior trio went a perfect 6-for-6 on PR's as they finished 1-2-6 in the 200m dash and 2-3-4 in the 100 dash as they went a perfect six-for-six on PR's!!

Amirah Sharpe won the 200 in 24.65 and was third in the 100 (12.84). Arianna was second in the 100 (12.70) and second in the 200 (24.66), and Ariel was fourth in the 100 (13.30) and sixth in the 200 (26.38).

Junior Caroline Mehlhorn of Montgomery finished third in the 3,000m in 10:36.52.

In the boys mile, Conor Murphy, who starred at Allentown and Rutgers, ran 4:14.35 to place second, and Rey Rivera, the former star at Old Bridge and Georgetown, was fifth in 4:20.17. It's great to see Rivera racing again!

New Balance Dash for Doobie, Ronald Reagan High School,  Winston-Salem, N.C. 

Collingswood senior Josh Forrest dropped a big PR of 9:21.22 to place sixth in the 3,200m at the His previous best was 9:25.32 for two miles. Forrest also PR's in the 1600m last week when he ran 4:20.74.