Jackson Barna of Ridge and Marco Langon of Bridgewater-Raritan produced the greatest two distance races in meet history, the Westfield boys and Metuchen girls ended long droughts, the Willingboro boys smashed a meet record, and the Ridgewood girls won a thriller at the NJSIAA Groups 1-4 Championships on Saturday at the Bennett Center in Toms River.
CLASH OF TITANS
Barna and Langon did it again!!!
A week after they pushed each other to the fastest 1,600 and 3,200 performances in sectional history, Barna and Langon they cranked it up even more as they combined to smash the overall meet records (all groups combined) in the 1,600 and 3,200 with two of the fastest times in state history.
The Georgetown-bound Barna, like he did last week at the NJ. Sec. 2 meet, won the first matchup when they two distance running studs clashed in the Group 4 1,600. Barna ran away from Langon on the final lap and stopped the clock at 4:06.27, which is No. 3 in state history, No. 7 in the US this season, and a new meet record. Langon was second in 4:12.11. Barna took down the meet record of 4:10.48 set by Pat Schellberg of Delbarton in 2010.
And just like he did a week, the Villanova-bound Langon avenged that defeat in the 3,200 when he came back to win in a meet record 9:02.60 with Barna second in 9:07.33. Langon's 9:02.60 broke the meet record of 9:02.61 set in 2008 by Brian Leung of West Windsor-Plainsboro South, is No. 8 in the nation this season and No. 15 in state history.
CLUTCH WIN IN 4X400 IGNITES BLUE DEVILS
The Westfield boys, who received a PR's from all their scorers, clinched its first title in 35 years when the Blue Devils won the meet-concluding 4x400 relay in 3:26.93 to secure a 32-26 victory over runner-up East Brunswick.
Westfield, which captured its last title in 1987, was led by senior Charles Stock, who won the 800 with the No. 1 time in the state this season and school record of 1:53.50, and anchored the relay with a 50.6 carry.
The Blue Devils trailed East Brunswick by four points before Justin Colby, Charlie Garretson, Joey Pierro and Stock came up with the clutch victory in the 4x400. Stock's 1:53.50 smashed the school record of 1:54.50 that All-Time NJ great Matt Elmuccio set in 1997.
The Blue Devils also picked up a huge 10 points in the 3,200 from sophomore Avery Keith (third with a school record 9:19.81), and Conor Daly (fourth with a PR of 9:25.78). Keith's 9:19.81 broke the school record of 9:22.25 set in 2006 by Jeff Perrella, who ran that time to place second at the Meet of Champions.
The Willingboro boys won its fourth straight title in historic fashion with a 68-34 victory over Asbury Park to increase its state title total to 15, tied for the second most in state history.
Willingboro, now tied for the second most titles with Asbury Park behind the 25 won by Christian Brothers Academy, broke the record for the most points ever scored by a public school team (boys or girls). The former record of 66 was set when the Haddonfield boys won the 2010 Group 1 championship.
Willingboro was led by double winner Anaias Hughes. The senior ran a PR of 7.79 to win the hurdles, and cleared 6-0 to capture the high jump 6-0.
The remaining 28 points for Willingboro came from Allen, second in the hurdles in 6.60, and fifth in the 400, Young, (sixth in the 400), Jackson Murry, second in the pole vault with a PR of 12-0), Byron Gary (fifth in the pole vault), and Kedaar Wilson, third in the hurdles with a PR of 7.99.
RIDGEWOOD WINS A THRILLER
The Group 4 girls title wasn't decided until the meet-concluding 4x400 when Ridgewood finished third in 4:03.85 to hold off Cherokee, 38-36, for its third title in the past seven years and its fifth overall.
Cherokee, which needed to win the relay to earned a share of the title, placed second in 4:01.77, just behind Rancocas Valley, first in 4:01.38.
Ridgewood received a big day from senior Lucia Rabolli, who won the 800 in 2:17-01 and was third in a red hot 1,600 in 4:58.74. Junior Talia Hutchinson picked up a victory for Ridgewood by clearing 11-0 to win the pole vault. Ridgewood's other six points came in the 3,200 from AnnaMarie Tretola (fourth in 11:06.46), and Olivia Shattuck (fifth with a PR of 11:09.05).
Nicole Clifford had a sensational meet to help keep Cherokee in contention for the team title. The University of Oklahoma-bound Clifford won the 1,600 in 4:53.85, finished first in the 3,200 in 11:00.36, and anchored the runner-up relay.
SCHLEIF STARS FOR METUCHEN
The Metuchen girls, fueled by senior distance distance star Caroline Schleif, returned to the winners circle for the first time since 1996 by outscoring Mountain Lakes, 44-33.
Schleif racked up 28 points by winning the 1,600 in 5:04.48, finishing first in the 3,200 (11:34.98), and placing second in the 800 in 2:17.95