We Are The Champions: A Look At Each Group Championship Team


Results & Coverage Hub

Congrats to the 12 teams that were crowned State Group Champions on Saturday, including eight first time champs. There was also a historic sweep, and two teams extended winning streaks.

As we do each year at NJ MileSplit, we put together recaps for each winning team with their team photos. We have secured photos of each winning team except the Montclair-Kimberley girls, so if you have a photo of the MKA girls team, please send it to us so we can add it to this story.

GET YOUR NJ STATE GROUP CHAMPS ON!

GROUP 4

TEAM CHAMPIONS

BOYS: Southern (First ever)

GIRLS: Egg Harbor (First ever)


BOYS TEAM RECAP

Southern, led by the great Jackson Braddock and some huge field event performances, defeated East Brunswick, 54-46, for its first ever state championship.

Jackson Braddock smashed the All-Groups record in the 3,200 with a NJ#5 All-Time 8:48.64, and came back later from that epic performance to rally for second-place in the 800 to give his team a much needed eight points. And then with Southern locked in a tight battle with East Brunswick and Ridge, the throwers took over.

Southern picked up wins from junior Jaiden Brown in the shot put (55-4.50), and sophomore star Fabian Gonzalez in the discus with a state leading 183-0. That helped Southern take a 48-36 lead heading into the meet-concluding pole vault. Angel Santiago put the finishing touches on the team title for Southern by clearing 14-0 to place third in the PV to give Southern its winning total of 54 points. McSweeney won the PV for East Brunswick to give his team a second-place total of 46. Ridge finished third with 45.


GIRLS TEAM RECAP

Lauren Princz was her usual sizzling self for Egg Harbor. The Penn State-bound Princz won the 100 in 11.92, the 200 in a NJ#1 24.23, and anchored the winning relay that ran a NJ#1 47.79 to help lead her team to a 56-41 victory over runner-up Scotch Plains-Fanwood.

It's the first state Group Championship for the Eagles.

Princz, who has won two Meet of Champions titles in her career (55 dash in 2020 and 200 outdoor in 2018), has now captured nine State Group championships in the sprints. She will be favored to win the 100 and 200 at the Meet of Champions on Saturday. 

Egg Harbor, second in SJ Group 4 behind Rancocas Valley, also received big points from Mariah Stephens, who won the triple jump, and Michaela Pomatto, second in the discus.


GROUP 3

TEAM CHAMPIONS

BOYS: Pennsauken (First title since 2016 and second ever)

GIRLS: Colts Neck (First ever)


BOYS TEAM RECAP

Pennsauken's young guns, led by sophomore sensation Bryce Tucker, sparked the Indians to a 61-48 victory over Morris Hills on its new home track. It's the first time ever a State Group Championships meet  was held at Pennsauken.

Of its 61 points all but one was registered by either a freshman or a sophomore as Pennsauken win its first title since 2016 and its second overall.

Tucker, who scored 24 points, capped off Pennsauken's victory when he threw down a blazing 47.14 anchor leg to bring his team across first in the 4x400 in a state-leading 3:18.36, rallying to catch Deptford, second in 3:18.50, tied for No. 2 in the state.

Tucker also won the 400 hurdles in a NJ#1 and  U.S. #5 52.68, placed second in the 400 with a PR of 48.64, and was third in the 800 in 1:56.31.

Also for Pennsauken, freshman Elijah Jennings was third in the 100, sophomore Ejani Shakir placed fourth in the 200,  sophomore Premier Wynn was third in the 400 IH, and the 4x100 squad placed second.


GIRLS TEAM RECAP

Colts Neck, behind the amazing Lilly Shapiro, captured its first title ever by winning the 4x400 in 3:58.20 to edge Northern Highlands, 58-50.

Shapiro, a junior, was her usual sensational self, winning four gold medals for the Cougars.

On Friday, Shapiro won the 1,600 in 4:55.56 and anchored the winning 4x800 with a 2:13.84 carry. The next day she won the 800 in 2:09.83 and split 57.71 to bring the 4x400 across the line first to clinch the championship!

Colts Neck, which scored in 10 events, also picked up vital points from Kavita Shah (third) and Ava Wilmot (sixth) in the 3,200, Grace Suhocki, fourth in the 400 hurdles, Ashley Cataneo, sixth in the javelin, and Julianna Gibson, fifth in the discus

GROUP 2

TEAM CHAMPIONS

BOYS: Rumson (First ever)

GIRLS: Haddonfield (First since 2015/8th overall) 


BOYS TEAM RECAP

The situation was simple for Rumson. It had to win the 4x400 to win the title. Anything less and the Bulldogs would leave the meet without the team trophy.

Sitting in third-place in the standings behind both Delsea and Madison, Rumson's foursome of Jaden Lanfrank (52.47), Laef Golden (50.40), Joe Aglione (51.07), and Sam Coughlin (49.15) delivered a clutch victory in 3:23.13 to give the Bulldogs its first state title ever.

Rumson won with 41 points with Delsea and Madison tied for second with 40, and Newark Tech was fourth with 38 as Sincere Robinson scored every point for the Terriers.

Two months ago, Coughlin said he and his teammates were going to put Rumson on the state's track and field map. Mission accomplished!!!


GIRLS TEAM RECAP

Demarest was clinging to a three-point lead over Haddonfield heading into the 4x400. so Haddonfield had to finish at least two places ahead of Demarest to rally for its first title since 2015.

The Dawgs responded to the challenge as senior Olivia Stoner (1:00.98), senior Lindsay Colflesh (59.17), freshman Ava Peifer (1:00.40), and senior Allison Colflesh (59.81) combined to win the 4x400 in 4:00.38. Demarest was third in the same heat and fourth overall giving Haddonfield a heart-pounding 70-67 victory over a very strong Demarest squad.

It's the eighth state title for Haddonfield, which has now won six titles in Group 2 and two in Group 1.

In the 1,600 on Friday, Sarah Naticchia (4:54.25) and Allison Colflesh (4:54.76) ran PR'to finish 1-2. 

Then on Saturday, Naticchia placed second in the 3, 200 in10:42.67, and then Allison Colflesh, Lindsay Colflesh and Stoner went 2-3-4 in the 800.

Haddonfield also picked up eight points for placing second in the 4x800, and received some unexpected points from sophomore Grace Malcarney, who dropped a big PR to place third in the 400 hurdles in 1:05.92.

Haddonfield's distance crew led the charge for the Dawgs, racking up 54 points in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 combined.

GROUP 1

TEAM CHAMPIONS: Clayton Sweeps  

TEAM RECAP

(Special thanks to South Jersey track and field historian Reuben Frank for the historical stats you see in this capsule) 

Clayton, led by seniors TerMeir Hill and Amirah Sharpe, became the first program in state history to sweep State Group  titles while both the boys and girls were each earning their first titles in school history.

Clayton is the first Gloucester County school to sweep both Group 1titles since Woodbury accomplished the feat in Group 1 in 1977.

Hill, who won 4 golds at the sectional meet last week, scored 21 points for the Clayton boys, which defeated Willingboro 59-44. The  Clayton girls scored all of their points on the track en route to an 89-48 victory over Shore Regional.

On the boys side, Hill soared 22-11 to win the long jump, placed second in the 100, fifth in the 200, and was sixth in the TJ.

Clayton also won the 4x100, and was third in the 4x400, and received points from nine different athletes.

In the girls competition, the Sharpe triplets (Amirah, Ariel, and Arianna), who led Paulsboro to the 2019 Group 1 title, added to their impressive resumes by combining for 71 of Clayton's 89 points.

Amirah Sharpe won 4 gold medals for the second straight week to lead the charge for the Clippers. She won the the 200 in 25.31, the 400 in 55.99, the 400 intermediates in 1:02.22, and anchored the winning 4x400 relay (3:56.67).

Arianna finished first in the 100, second in the 200 and 400, and ran on the victorious 4x400. Ariel took fourth in the 400, sixth in the 200 in 26.81 and ran on the winning 4x400.

NON-PUBLIC A

TEAM CHAMPIONS

BOYS:  Christian Brothers (Five straight/state record 24th overall)

GIRLS: Union Catholic (Six in a row)


BOYS TEAM RECAP

In the much anticipated clash of titans between Christian Brothers Academy and St. Peter's Prep, the Colts came out on top in an epic battle, 136/50-124 over St. Peter's Prep.

It's the fifth straight title for CBA and extends its state record to 24th overall state championships.

CBA knew that in order to keep its streak alive it had to receive huge performances from its field event athletes, an area that presented CBA's biggest advantage over St. Peter's.

And CBA got exactly what it needed from its throwers and jumpers as the Shore Conference juggernaut won five of seven events in the field and amazingly scored 64 points in the throws!!!! The most you can score in the three throws is 72, and CBA got 64!!! That was the difference in the meet!

In the shot put, CBA went 1-2-3 with senior Christian Ricci (57-1.25), junior Robert Manse III (53-4) and senior Andrew Krall (50-7.50) In the discus, Manse was first (167-9), senior Tyler Mayerhoff second (162-0) and Ricci fifth (137-3).

CBA also went 1-2 in the javelin with senior Liam Miksic first (181-0) and senior Andrew Terrone second. In the jumps, Miksic won the pole vault at 13-0, and junior Chris Brown cleared 6-2 to win the high jump (6-2).

On the track, senior Chris DeSousa finished third in the 3200 (9:26) and fifth in the 1600 (4:16.56). Senior Peter Jaworski was second in the 400 hurdles (56.22) and fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.01), and ran on the third-place 4x400.


GIRLS TEAM RECAP

Union Catholic solidified its status as the top program in the state by extending the state's longest winning streak to six in a row by rolling up an All-Groups record 189 points, more than triple the amount scored by runner-up Paramus Catholic.

The Vikings won nine of the 18 events and scored in every event on the way to breaking its own All Groups point total record (All Groups combined) of 179 that UC scored in 2019. To give you an idea  just how dominant and impressive the performance was by UC, the maximum number of points that can be scored in the 18 events is 390. That means the Vikings scored 48.5 percent of all the possible points.

How did they do it?

Union Catholic swept all three relays, senior Aliyah Thomas won the high jump (5-0) and long jump (18-5.75), sophomore Ajanae Thomson led a 1-2-3 finish in the high hurdles by winning in 14.32, Asydiah Pray-Brown won the 400 hurdles (1:06.24), junior Jada Mia Puryear captured the shot put (40-5.50), and sophomore Alexandra Bonn (36-7) won the triple jump.

NON-PUBLIC B

TEAM CHAMPIONS

BOYS:  Immaculata (First ever)

GIRLS: Montclair Kimberley (First ever)


BOYS TEAM RECAP

James Ptack was a tripled in the distances, and Matt Martin, Mike Harkins, and Brandon Primus added huge points to lead Immaculata claim its first championship, 71-59 over runner-up St. Rosa.

Ptack, a senior, won the 1,600 on Friday in 4:18.34, and on Saturday he added the 800 with a PR of 1:57.80, and the 3,200 title in 9:35.31 to score 30 points for his team.

Martin, a junior, was second in the 400 hurdles and third in the TJ, Harkins was second in the 3,200 and fourth in the 1600, and Primus finished fourth in the high hurdles and fifth in the 200.

GIRLS TEAM RECAP

Odelia Akaho, Kelsey Freeman, Rebecca Herrick and Sarah Hobbs teamed up to win the 4x400 in 4:15.86 to clinch the first-ever state title for Montclair-Kimberley., 71-67 over Trinity Hall.

MKA was leading Trinity Hall, 61-59, heading into the relay, so it had to finish ahead of Trinity Hall to secure the victory. Trinity Hall was second in the 4x400 in 4:16.20.

Hobbs, Freeman, and Maggie Horn all came up big for MKA.

Horn, a freshman, won the 800 and was second in the 400 hurdles. Freeman placed second in the 100 hurdles and third in the 400 hurdles, and Hobbs placed second in the 800,  third in the triple jump, and fifth in the 400.   

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