Every season there are track and field athletes across the state that burst on the scene as freshmen and make an immediate impact.
One of the athletes who fits that description perfectly this spring is Rumson rookie Clemmie Lilley.
Lilley is the complete package.
She eats up the track with long and efficient strides, has a big motor, and possesses the drive and competitive fire to do big things in this sport.
Lilley, the subject of this week's NJ MileSplit "Future Stars'' spotlight series, has gotten her career off to a red hot start by soaring to the very top of the state freshmen leaderboard this spring in both the 400 and 800 meters.
Last month, Lilley dropped a 2:17.92 to finish second in the 800m at the Lion Invitational at Middletown North. And last week she ran 57.08 to place second in the 400m at the Monmouth County Championships. Those are the fastest times in the state so far this season for a freshman. She also ran 26.01 to place second in the 200 at the A Central Division Championships, which is the third fastest time in the state this spring for a freshman, and as run some red hot relay splits.
Lilley, whose twin sister Clara is a talented high jumper for Rumson, hasn't come out of nowhere this season.
Lilley showcased her talent this past winter when she helped lead Rumson to the Central Jersey, Group 2 sectional title, and then ran 58.52 to win the State Group 2 title. She followed that up by dropping her indoor personal best down to 58.42, the fastest time in the state by a freshman during the indoor season, when she placed seventh at the Meet of Champions.
Rumson has had its share of great 400m and 800m runners over the years, led by school record holders Lily Orr (55.93 in the 400 in 2019) and Jaime Carroll (2:13.55 in the 800 in 2009). While it's still very early in her career and impossible to predict, Lilley has certainly shown that she has the potential to be the best of them of all.
She is that talented!