RECAP: Foster's LJ Title Caps Big Nationals Weekend For NJ

Greg Foster did it again!!!!

With the fourth national title of his legendary career already sewn up, the star from Lawrenceville soared 25-6.25 on his final attempt in the long jump on Sunday to climb all the way up to No. 2 in NJ history and put an exclamation point on his second victory at the New Balance National Championships on Sunday at historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

Foster's 25-6.25 is the best jump by a NJ high school athlete since the great Carl Lewis of Willingboro leaped 26-8.25 at the 1979 Pan American Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

It was Foster's second national title in two days, and once again he saved is best for last like he's done some many times over his entire career. 

On Saturday, the University of Princeton-bound Foster soared 51-0.25 on his final attempt to win the triple jump title and smash the NJ state record.   

In Sunday's LJ competition, Foster was in second-place behind Alexander Smith of Darby High in Ohio, who hit his PR of 25-3.50 in the fourth round. But Foster, who improved n every jump, quickly took the lead with a 25-4.75 on his fifth attempt before his monster final jump.       

Foster also won the LJ (a NJ No. 2 all-time indoors of 25-4.50) and TJ (a state indoor record 49.9.25 )at the Nike National Indoor Championships this past March 

Foster will be back in action next weekend when he competes in the long jump on Friday and the triple jump on Saturday at the USATF Under-20 Championships at Hayward Field in Oregon.    

Foster's completion of the horizonal sweep gave NJ a total of seven national champions in the three national meets combined. The five other titles were won by the Union Catholic boys in the 4xmile at the NB Nationals, the Ridge boys in the DMR at the Nike Nationals in Oregon, Angelina Perez of Lakeland won the 2-mile at the NB Nationals, the Union Catholic girls won the 4x800 at the NB Nationals, and Ryan Allen of Kingsway won the racewalk in Oregon.    

There were several other sensational performances turned in by NJ athletes and teams as the Garden State once again displayed its remarkable firepower with many eye-popping performances at the various national championship meets around the country.

Let's take a look at some of the other big NJ highlights.


NJ crowned 5 national champs at this meet!!!

Story on Foster's state record TJ is here

Story on UC's victory in the boys 4xmile is here 

Story on UC's victory in the girls 4x800 is here

Story on Angelina Perez's 2-mile victory and Jimmy Wischusen's state soph. 2-mle record is



Fitzroy Ledgister of St. Peter's Prep equaled the fastest 100 dash time ever run in state history when he ran 10.30 to finish fourth, but the time was winded-aided (5.4 meters per second). Ledgister, headed to Rutgers to play football and run track, is now tied with Danny Johnson of Rahway (wind-aided 10.30 in 2001) for the fastest time in NJ history. Jamar Ervin of Camden has the fastest wind-legal 100 time in state history with the 10.35 he ran to win the 2001 100 at the Meet of Champions when he was a freshman.  

Ledgister also finished sixth in the 200 in 21.41 (21.38 in the trials), and anchored St. Peter's Prep's 4x100 that ran 42.59 to place fifth.

Shamali Whittle of Nottingham, who won 200 at the NB Nationals Indoors and win the 100 and 200 at the 2021 Meet of Champions, had to scratch from the meet because of a sore hip that has been nagging him all season.  

Celine-Jada Brown of Plainfield, who won her second straight LJ title at the Meet of Champions on Saturday, soared a wind-legal 20-4.25 to place third and move into the No. 4 spot on the state's all-time list. Only Carol Lewis of Willingboro (21- in 1981), Keturah Orji of Mount Olive (20-11.75) and Claire Connor of Rahway (20-9 in 1984) have jumped further than the Rutgers-bound Brown.

Seton Hall Prep, the New Balance National Indoor champs in the 4x400, finished second in the 4x400 in 3:16.45. Junior Xavier Donaldson anchored for Seton Hall in 47.01. Westfield was sixth in 3:19.07, and Union, the M of C  4x400 winner, placed 10th in 3:20.62.

Also in the boys 4x400, senior Evan Corcoran split 47.91 as the anchor for Kingsway. Corcoran placed third in the 100 the day before at the Meet of Champions. 

In addition to its 6th place in the 4x400, Westfield also finished fourth in the 4x800 in 7:50.57, 7th in the DMR in 10.14.05, and senior Charles Stock ran 1;51.44 to finish fifth in the 800. 

The Union Catholic boys finished second in the sprint medley relay in 3:23.51, No. 6 in state history, and the UC girls were fifth in the SMR in 4:10.19.        

Niki Woods of Demarest, the day after her won the M of C javelin, unloaded a personal best of 151-6, which is No. 9 in state history. 

Julia Jackson of Scotch Plains-Fanwood, one of the greatest 400 runners in state history, placed third in the 400 on Saturday in 53.83, and on Sunday she dropped a 52.72 anchor leg to bring the Raiders across the line fourth in 3:49.77. Union Catholic was fifth in the 4x400 in 3:50.53.

Arianna Sharpe of Clayton was fourth in the 400 in 54.36, and her sister Amirah was seventh in 54.55. The Sharpe sisters also ran on the 4x400 that finished third in 3:46.37. 

In the boys javelin, Robert Paneque of Jackson, the M of C winner, placed fourth with a 199-6, Tyler Zawatski of Freehold Township was fifth with a 198-7, and Austin Hudak of Hammonton finished sixth with a 194-4.

Freshman Taylor Cox of Union Catholic finished fifth in the girls 100 hurdles in 13.93, and ran on the third-place 4x200 (1:38.72).

Benjamin Shue of Bergen Catholic, the national freshman record holder in the discus, finished second in the discus with a 193-10, and he eighth in the shot put with a 60-1.25.

In Friday's girls discus, Jada Mia Puryear of Union Catholic placed sixth with a 149-4. The next day she won the discus at the M of C with a 155-7.

In the boys mile, senior Seth Clevenger of Haddonfield, the M of C 3,200 winner, finished sixth in 4:08.67, Jimmy Wischusen of Union Catholic was ninth in 4:09.90, the second fastest time in state history for a sophomore, junior Collin Boler of Delbarton finished 10th in 4:09.95, Colin Riley of Dayton was 12th in 4:11.09, Shane Brosnan of Union Catholic was 13th in  4:11.55, Myles Plummer of Union Catholic was 18th in 4:13.54, and Marco Langon of Bridgewater-Raritan finished 25th in 4:13.54. Kyle Rakitis of Kingsway, who won his second straight 1,600 at the M of C, scratched.

Sophomore Christina Allen of River Dell, who who the M of C 800, placed eighth in the mile in 4:49.87. Andie Murray of the Garden State Track was 11th in the mile 4:53.69, Emma Zawatski of Freehold Township, who the 1,600 at the M of C, ws 14th in 4:53.77, and Cate DeSousa of Red Bank Catholic finished 15th in 4:54.81.  

Jason Nwosu of Delsea, second at the M of C in the shot put, finished third in the shot with a 63-0, Joe Licata of Gill St. Bernard's, the M of C winner, was sixth with a 62-6.

In the girls 4xmile on Thursday night, Cherokee finished second in 20:42.80, which is No. 6 in state history, and Haddonfield was fourth in 21:10.42.

CBA placed second in the 4xmile in 17:33.68.  

In the boys shuttle hurdles,  Scotch Plains-Fanwood finished third in 63.73, and Ridgewood was fifth in 64.82. 

In the girls 800, Peyton Hollis finished eighth in 2:09.04, and Camryn Wennersten of the Garden State Track Club was ninth in 2:09.20.  

The Pennsauken boys placed 8th in the 4x200 in 1:28.28.

In the boys 400 hurdles, Chris Serrao finished third in 52.87 and Bryce Tucker of Pennsauken was fourth in 53.01. 

Elizabeth finished 4th in the boys Swedish Relays in 1:57.19, and Hudson Catholic placed fifth in 1:57.66. 


The big NJ news in Oregon was the ridiculous double by the Ridge boys. 

On Friday, Andrew McCabe, Patrick Doran, Patrick Doran, and Jackson Barna combine to run 9:56.53 to win the DMR, and move into No. 3 all-time in state history and No. 12 in US history. Then on Saturday, the same four guys nearly won the 4x800 and almost broke the NJ record when they finished second in 7:32.79. The Dale Track Club of Illinois won the race in 7:32.14.

The only NJ team to run faster than Ridge is Morris Hills, who ran 7:31.60. to place second at the 2009 Penn Relays.  

Ridge's splits in the 4x800 were 1:57.06 for Doran, 1:54.08 for McCabe, 1:51.63 for Barna, and 1:50.04 for Kisker.

Ryan Allen of Kingsway won the 3K racewalk in 13:45.62.

Connor Munson of Westwood tied for second in the decathlon with 6,741 points, the second most in state history. Vince Reilly of St. Joseph (Met.) set the state record of 6,924 points in 1979   


Faith Bethea of Snyder finished first third in the girls triple jump with a 39-7.50.