The Ed Grant Award honors the top high school age male and female athlete in New Jersey track and field or cross country and is held in remembrance of longtime track and field journalist and historian Ed Grant, who passed away in May of 2021.
Below you will find the season by season finalists who's individual athletic campaigns stood out as the most elite amongst their talented peers.
These finalists were chosen following each season after long discussions by the selection committee, including Ed Grant Jr.
An overall Ed Grant Award winner for the boys and girls will be announced on July 7th. Both winners will receive a custom plaque as well as feature interviews to discuss their great seasons.
ANNOUNCED: ED GRANT AWARD WINNERS
Finalists & Highlights
All finalists are listed alphabetically and not in ranked order.
Finalist highlights written by Jim Lambert
Taylor Cox, NJ MileSplit's 2023 Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year
Outdoor Track & Field Finalists
Cox was the only high hurdler in the state to break 14.00, and she did it seven times, highlighted by a 13.56 at the Union County Championships, tied for No. 6 in state history.
Cox won the Non-Public A title and was fourth at the New Balance Nationals in the HH, and also ran a NJ No. 3 11.80 in the 100m dash. Cox also ran on UC's 4x100 and 4x200 that ran state-leading times of 46.40 (No. 5 in NJ history) and 1:37.89.
After starring for Padua Academy in Delaware for two years, Curtis took NJ by storm this season, on the track and in the field!
Curtis finished the season undefeated vs. U.S. competitors in the triple jump, highlighted by her victory at the Meet of Champions and her runner-up finish at the Penn Relays when she was the top American with a N.J. No. 1 leap of 40-10.25. Curtis also ran a NJ No. 2 1:00.42 in the 400 hurdles and won the TJ, 400h and the flat 400 at the State Group 3 Championships.
Layla Giordano, NJ MileSplit's 2023 Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year
Giordano completed one of the greatest seasons in NJ history in the circle this past spring by winning both the shot put (43-2.50) and discus (159-7) at the Meet of Champions, and the next day she unloaded a monster bomb of 170-4 to win the discus at the New Balance National Championships.
Giordano was rewarded for her remarkable accomplishments by being named Gatorade's New Jersey Female Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
The 170-4 by Giordano, a PR by nearly 11 feet, places her No. 3 on NJ's all-time list and is No. 6 in the nation this season! Giordano, who threw a NJ No. 2 45-6 in the shot this season, joins the great Alyssa Wilson of Donovan Catholic (Class of 2017) as the only girls in state history to throw beyond 45 in the shot and over 170 in the discus. Wilson is the state record holder in both throws (58-1 and 182-0).
The Texas Tech-bound Howard unloaded a NJ No. 2 all-time and US No. 8 163-1 in the javelin this season and threw 145 or more in 11 meets and over 150 in seven meets. Howard won the Meet of Champions with a throw of 159-4, No. 2 in meet history, and she broke the meet records at the South Jersey Sectional Championships, and at the State Group 4 meet.
Jones owned four of the top 5 times in the state in the 100m dash, highlighted by her NJ No. 1 11.73 to finish first at the Meet of Champions. She also ran a NJ No. 3 24.22, 55.83 in the 400, and anchored Timber Creek to victories in the 4x100 (a NJ No. 2 46.89) and 4x400 (a NJ No. 1 3:46.48) at the Meet of Champions.
Woolfolk cleared 5-8 in the high jump at four different meets this season, including at the State Group 1 Championships and at the Meet of Champions.
The rookie phenom had one of the best freshman seasons in state history. Wynn won the 400 at the Meet of Champions, ran a NJ No. 1 53.97 at the State Group 4 meet, the third fastest quarter by a freshman in the nation this season, and the No. 2 time in state history for a freshman (only Sydney McLaughlin ran faster as a freshman in NJ).
Wynn also won the Group 4 100m dash, and ran a NJ No. 3 24.38 in the 200m, and a NJ No. 4 11.82 in the 100m.
Jessica Oji, NJ MileSplit's 2023 Indoor Field Athlete of the Year
Indoor Track & Field Finalists
At the Meet of Champions, Cox won the 55 hurdles in 7.88, No. 3 in meet history, and split 57.54 on UC's 4x400 that won in a NJ No. 1 3:52.16, the ninth fastest time in the nation for the season. Cox also a NJ No. 4 all-time 8.47 to place fifth in the 55 hurdles at the Nike National Championships, and ran on UC's winning shuttle hurdle squad at the national championships.
DeSousa, who is headed to the University of Virginia, finally got the elusive first Meet of Champions title of her career by stopping the clock at 10:16.20 to win the 3,200. That's the second-best time in meet history and is No. 4 in state history and was No. 5 in the nation for the season.
The University of Virginia-bound Drakeford ran a NJ No. 1 time of 55.19 in the 400 at the New Balance Nationals, where she finished seventh. She also won the 400 at the Meet of Champions, and she won the 400, placed second in the 55 dash, placed fourth in the 55 hurdles, and anchored the runner-up 4x400 to spark Piscataway to its first State Group 4 title
The Rutgers-bound Keating was undefeated vs. NJ competition in the pole vault and cleared a NJ No. 1 12-6. Keating won the vault at the Meet of Champions, the Eastern States Championships, the State Group 4 Championships, and the Passaic County Championships. She also won the 55 hurdles at the county and sectional championships.
The throwing star from Livingston had a monster season in the circle.
At the State Group 4 Championships, Oji sent the 8.8-pound shot put soaring 47-2.25 to finish first. That's No. 2 in state history for a sophomore, No. 6 in US history for a sophomore, No. 12 in NJ history, and was No. 6 in the country for the season.
Alyssa Wilson of Donovan Catholic, the greatest thrower in state history, is the only girl in NJ history who has thrown further indoors as a sophomore than Oji (48-6.50 in 2015).
Oji also won the shot put at the Meet of Champions, the Eastern States Championships, and she placed fourth at the Nike National Championships.
Sianni Wynn, NJ MileSplit's 2023 Indoor Track Athlete of the Year
The amazing freshman set the track on fire with a performance for the ages at the Meet of Champions.
Wynn became the first freshman to win two events at the M of C and her winning times of 7.00 in the 55 dash and 24.48 in the 200 are both state freshman records and were both NJ No. 1. Wynn, who also finished NJ No. 2 in the 400 with a 56.10, capped of her magnificent meet by splitting 57.23 on Pennsauken's 6th-place 4x400 relay team.
Wynn, who was the fastest freshman in the country in the 55 and the No. 2 among freshmen in the US in the 200, broke the state freshman 55 dash record of 7.04 that she shared with Olympic gold medalist English Gardner of Eastern, and the 24.48 broke Wynn's own state freshman mark of 24.81.
Zawatski completed the triple crown (Meet of Champions titles in all three seasons) by winning the 1,600 at the M of C in 4:49.53, No. 3 in meet history. Zawatski won the 1,600 at the 2022 outdoor M of C and captured the M of C XC title last November.
Zawatski also smashed the State Junior Class record by running 4:48.71 at the Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Invitational at Boston University. That's No. 7 in NJ indoor history.
Emma Zawatski, NJ MileSplit's 2022 Athlete of the Year for Cross Country
Cross Country Finalists
The University of Virginia-bound DeSousa won the Monmouth County title (18:36), placed second at the Shore Conference Championships (17:15), won the Non-Public A title (18:42), was 10th at the Meet of Champions, and then ran 18:49 to place third at the Northeast Regional to qualify for the National Championships.
Gordon, who captured six major titles during the XC season, won the Burlington County Open (18:31), finished first at the Burlington County Scholastic League (17:56), won the Central Jersey, Group 3 Championship (18:26), finished first at the State Group 3 title (18:57), and was 7th at the Meet of Champions (19:05)
The Notre Dame-bound Gunsiorowski led UC to its first ever Meet of Champions title by placing 4th at the M of C in 18:57. She also placed fifth at the State Non-Public A Championships, scenes at the Union County Conference (18:01), and placed sixth at the Northeast Regional in 19:09.
Hausman, who is headed to Duke, ran 18:47 to place second at the Meet of Champions, was second at both the Union County Championships (17:49) and State Non-Public A Championships in 18:54, ran 18:33 to win at the Shore Coaches Invitational, and was 14th at the Champs Northeast Regional in 19:02.
After placing third at the Skyland Conference Championships and second at the Somerset County Championships, Murray won the State Prep A title in 18:59, placed fourth at the State Non-Public A Championships (19:08), third at the Meet of Champions in 18:50, and placed 11th at the Champs Northeast Regional Championships, and finished 31st at the Champs National Championships.
After winning the Season Opener, Six Flags Invitational and the Big North title, Uhlhorn captured the North Jersey, Section 1 Group 2 title (19:04), the State Group 2 Championship (19:01), and was sixth at the Meet of Champions in 19:03. Uhlhorn will be attending NYU this fall.
After winning the 1,600 at the outdoor Meet of Champions as a sophomore, Zawatski became the state's best cross-country runner last fall.
Zawatski won five major titles on the trails, culminated by her triumph in 18:38 at the Meet of Champions. She also scored wins at the Shore Coaches Invitational (18:37), the Shore Conference Championships (17:09), the Central Jersey, Group 4 meet (18:26), and at the State Group Championships (18:44).
Zawatski finished her season by placing 10th at the Champs Northeast Regional, and 23rd at the Champs National Championships.
Fabian Gonzalez, NJ MileSplit's 2023 Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year
Boys Outdoor Track & Field Finalists
Boler, who is headed to Princeton University, solidified his place as one of the greatest distance runners in NJ history with a season for the ages. Boler ran 8:47.85 in the 3,200 at Arcadia, which is No. 4 in state history. He also ran under 4:07 in the mile three times, including a 4:06.01 (No. 7 in state history) to place seventh at the Nike Nationals, and he won the State Non-Public A 800 in 1:51.74.
The Princeton University-bound sprint sensation capped off a remarkable career by burning up the track this past season.
Donaldson won four gold medals at the one-day State Non-Public A Championships. He captured the 100 in 10.74, the 200 in a NJ No. 1 21.25, the 400 in 48.43, and split 46.78 to bring Seton Hall Prep's 4x400 across first in a NJ No. 1 and meet record time of 3:13.97.
Donaldson, who finished the season ranked No. 1 in the state in the 200 (21.25), the 400 (47.13) and No. 7 in 100 (10.65), also ran a 21.1 200 leg when Seton Hall Prep ran a state record 1:30.02 in the 800 SMR at the HCTCA Relays in Kearny.
The Stanford-bound Gonzalez had a record-breaking season in the circle this past spring.
The day after the Stanford-bound Gonzalez won the discus at the Meet of Champions with a 193-7, he sent the saucer sailing 193-5 on his fifth throw to capture the New Balance National title on June 16 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.
Gonzalez also earned All American honors in the shot put by placing third at NB Nationals with a 63-6.25. Gonzalez was also second overall and first among Americans in the discus at the Penn Relays with a throw of 203- 2.5 inches, which is No. 7 in NJ history, ranked No. 5 in the nation for the season, and is an Ocean County record . He also unloaded a PR and US No. 9 throw of 65-9 to break the Ocean County record in the shot put at the Woodbury Relays.
Gonzalez was one of just four high school athletes in the country who threw over 65 in the shot and over 200 in the discus this season!
The Rutgers-bound pole vault star cleared 16-0 or more in three meets during the season, including a 16-6.50, No. 2 in NJ indoor history, at the Skyland Conference Championships. He also made 15-6 to win the Meet of Champions title.
The Clemson-bound star, who ran the 10 fastest times in the state this season (all 13.75 or faster) in the 110 hurdles, blasted a meet record a NJ No. 2 all-time 13.42 in the trials at the Meet of Champions. He ran 13.48 to win the final at the M of C and went 13.69 to place third at the New Balance Nationals.
Stafford torched the track with one of the fastest 100-meter dash times in state history when he finished first at the Grand Prix meet in June in New York.
Stafford burned a wind-legal 10.45 (+1.0 wind) in the Boys' Under-20 Division, which is tied for No. 8 in state history for all conditions and tied for the No. 2 all-time wind-legal performance in NJ history. Stafford's previous PR was the 10.56 he ran to win the 100m at the Meet of Champions earlier this month.
Bryce Tucker, NJ MileSplit's 2023 Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year
The Rutgers-bound Tucker became the first boy to win three straight Meet of Champions titles in the 400 hurdles, ran 50.96 to win that third straight title. That's No. 5 in NJ history and was the fastest time in the nation this season.
Tucker also placed second in the 400 hurdles at the New Balance National Championships in 51.49, and split 47.8 on the winning 800-meter sprint medley that ran a meet record 1:30.31, No. 3 in NJ history, at the New Balance Nationals.
Collin Boler, NJ MileSplit's 2023 Co-Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year
Boys Indoor Track & Field Finalists
Boler had an epic indoor season in the distance races.
The Princeton-bound standout won the 800 at the Meet of Champions in a meet record 1;50.90, and ran a 4:04.05 mile, No. 2 in state history, at the Last Chance Qualifier at Boston University, won the mile at the Millrose Games, and split 4:03.80 to anchor Delbarton's DMR to a runner-up finish at the New Balance Nationals in 10:02.81. No. 3 in NJ history.
Xavier Donaldson, NJ MileSplit's 2023 Indoor Track Athlete of the Year
The Princeton University-bound Donaldson had one of the best indoor seasons for a sprinter in NJ history.
Donaldson led the state in the 200 with a 21.07, which is No. 3 in state history and placed him fifth at the New Balance Nationals. He finished with a NJ No. 1 time of 47.35 in the 400, No. 5 in state history, and ran a NJ No. 4 time of 6.44 in the 55 dash.
He was also his usual sensational self for the Pirates when he won the 400, won the 55 dash, and led off the winning 4x400 relay to lead Seton Hall Prep to its first State Non-Public A title since 1980.
Donaldson won the 400 at the Meet of Champions when he knocked nearly a full second off the meet record when he burned a 47.35, and he dropped a 47.84 anchor carry to bring Seton Hall Prep across first in the 4x400 in a NJ record 3:14.53 at the New Balance National Championships.
The 3:14.53 was the fastest time in the nation for the season and is No. 4 in U.S. indoor history.
Huisman captured his first Meet of Champions title in the shot put with an indoor PR of 62-0.75. Huisman, whose previous indoor PR of 60-10.75 was at the Monmouth County Championships on Jan. 20, had throws of 60-11, 60-3.50, 61-7, 61-8.50, and then the 62-0.75, which places him No. 6 in the country this season.
The Rutgers-bound pole vault star cleared 16-0 or more in four meets during the season, including a 16-6.25, No. 3 in NJ indoor history, at the Skyland Conference Championships. He also made 16-6 at the State Group 4 Relays and was 7th at the Nike Nationals.
At the Meet of Champions, Potts won the long jump on a tiebreaker after he and Noah Cooper of Union Catholic each soared 23-0.50, and he repeated as high jump champion when he cleared 6-6 to win on misses.
Potts, who won the HJ at the Eastern States Championships with a state-leading 6-7, also finished No. 2 in the state with hos 23-2 in the long jump.
One of the most versatile athletes in recent NJ history, the Rhode Island-bound Scouloukas pulled off one of the most unique and remarkable doubles you will ever see at the Meet of Champions.
He cleared 15-0 to win the pole vault, and also soared a personal best 46-0 to win the triple jump! He's the only athlete in meet history to pull off that double.
Scouloukas finished the season as the state leader in the TJ (46-0) and long jump (23-2.25), and his 15-0 in the pole vault was No. 2 in NJ for the season.
Wischusen came back from an injury that cut his XC season short and had a sensational indoor campaign, highlighted by his victory in the 3,200 at the Meet of Champions in 9:05.80.
Wischusen also ran a leg on UC's 4xmile relay squad that finished first at the New Balance National Championships, and he won the 1,600 and 3,200 at the State Non-Public B Championships.
Micah Lawson, NJ MileSplit's 2023 Cross Country Athlete of the Year
Boys Cross Country Finalists
Andrus, who will be running at Villanova, shattered the course record at DREAM Park when he RAN 14:58 to win the South Jersey, Group 2 title. He also won the State Group 2 Championship in 15:41,placed third at the Meet of Champions in 15:41, and finished 15th in 16:20 at the Northeast Regional Championships.
Barrett dropped a 14:59 to win the Shore Conference Championship, ran 15:43 to win the State Non-Public A title, finished seventh at the Meet of Champions in 15:45, and was 11th at the Northeast Regional Championships in 16:12.
The Princeton-bound Boler smashed the course record at Greystone when he won the Morris County title in 15:03, ran 15:28 to place third at the Shore Coaches Invitational, placed second at the State Non-Public A Championships, and was sixth at the Meet of Champions.
Ditmars finished second at the Meet of Champions in 15:39, third at the State Group 4 Championships, second at the South Jersey, Group 4 meet, and placed 10th at the Northeast Regional Championships.
Kuenkel had five major wins on the season, including the South Jersey, Group 4 title when he ran 15:22. He also placed fourth at the Meet of Champions in 15:41, fifth at the Group 4 meet in 16:08, and he was 24th at the Northeast Regional Championships.
The Rutgers-bound star won the Meet of Champions title by running 15:33. He also won championships at the State Group 3 meet (15:45), the North Jersey, Section 2 meet (15:19) and at the Union County Conference Championships (16:01).
Sullivan, who is headed to Villanova, placed third at the Shore Conference Championships in 15:13, ran 15:53 to place third at the State Non-Public A Championships, was fifth at the Meet of Champions in 15:44, and placed 8th in 16:04 at the Northeast Regional.