From dominating performances in the field to two of the top 50 1600m performances in the country, the 2022 Haddonfield Invitational was filled with quality performances all throughout the day.
The invitational, which takes place every year in May, kicked off in the field with the javelin, where Ryan Paris won the men's javelin with a massive PR of 152-0. The Sterling sophomore moved into the New Jersey's top 50 ranked javelin throwers after his performance, and he spoke on his goal going into the meet. "I was actually looking to beat 140-0 today and it came out of nowhere today...".
Paris's teammate, Rob Carter was also a standout in the men's throwing events. Carter placed first in the shot put (45-11), second in the discus (141-4), and third in the javelin (144-2). Sterling added on to their impressive throwing performances with the likes of Jamir Richardson who placed 2nd in the shot put (44-0) and Kayla Franklin coming out on top of the girl's discus (114-6) and shot put (36-4.75). Franklin's javelin victory is now a top 25 throw in New Jersey this season and her shot put ranks among the top 50 throws in New Jersey as well.
Audubon's Aysiah Maldonado would win 1st place in the women's javelin with a throw of 119-9, reaching top 25 among New Jersey girl's javelin performances. Another standout performance in the throwing events during the invitational was Haddonfield's Christopher Clax. Clax would hit a mark of 152-9: nine feet further from his previous personal best. The junior is looking to continue to chip away at his mark in the discus and eventually achieve the school's record of 166-9 set by Joe Duran in 2011.
Sterling's Azir Lee stole the show in the boy's long jump, winning with a big PR of 21-3. Lee is scratching at the surface of a top 50 long jump in the state just as a freshman. Sterling would also look to impress in the girl's high jump, with Jenovia Logan and Isabella Petruno tying for the high jump victory (5-0). Logan also hit the winning mark two separate times in the girl's triple jump (36-0.5).
The invitational would begin their track events with the boys 110M hurdles. Haddon Township's Nathan McAfee and Haddon Heights' Steven Crespo went neck-and-neck until the finish line, where McAfee won by just 9 hundredths of a second (15.35). While Crespo was just a hair short of winning the 110m hurdles, he secured 1st in the 400m hurdles. West Deptford's Emily Hernandez took 1st in the girl's 100m hurdles, with an NJ top 50 time of 16.06. After the 100m hurdles came the 100m dash, where Collingswood's Isaiah Pepe Magro (11.20) would win the boys final and Lilli Santomauro (12.61) in the girl's final, adding on her 2nd victory of the night (won long jump with a mark of 16-10.5). Pepe-Magro and Santamauro would also claim victory in the boys and girls 200m. Santamauro's three-win performance would earn her the Outstanding Female Athlete Trophy at the 2022 Haddonfield Invitational.
The varsity distance events started with the heavily anticipated 1600m. Haddonfield's Seth Clevenger took the 1600-meter crown with a personal best of 4:09.34. Clevenger's performance puts him at 3rd in the state, top 50 in the country and just four fragile hundredths of a second away from a new school record. Despite the school record still standing, the meet record was broken, and the Haddonfield senior's race was rewarded with the Male Outstanding Athlete Trophy. Clevenger's teammate, George Andrus was not far behind him, with a new personal best of 4:10.97. Andrus's time would cement him into the fourth best 1600 right behind Clevenger and also picking up a spot in the US top 50.
Haddonfield went on to make their presence known in the girls 1600m. Sarah Fetter took the win as her teammates, Helene Usher and Ava Thomas would follow in her footsteps to fill the top 3 spots and run under 5:20. Haddonfield would also cover the top 4 spots in the girl's 800m as Audrey Naticchia snatched 1st place running 2:19.13. While the girl's team asserted their dominance in the distance events, the boy's team claimed the top 3 spots in the 3200m led by junior Robert DiMedio. West Deptford's Jacob Cobb won the boys 800m by over two seconds with a new PR of 1:57.25 and an NJ top 50 performance.
Every year, the Haddonfield Invitational unites the Colonial Conference with friendly competition that ignites a special fire to give individuals PR's across the entire meet, and this year was no different. There were picturesque performances from the field to the track, catching the eyes of many. When asked about his near record-breaking race, Clevenger briefly mentioned the atmosphere and competitive nature during the race. "...a little upset I was .04 off the school record, but still a great atmosphere, good racing and thanks to my teammate [George Andrus] for pushing me all the way through." While many seniors showed out during the meet, there were a lot of promising performances from young talent, making the Haddonfield Invitational an well-anticipated meet for next year.