The NJSIAA Outdoor Track and Field Meet of Champions has a new home!!
For the first time ever, the Meet of Champions will be held in Camden County as Pennsauken will host NJ's marquee track and field meet this spring and in 2025, NJSIAA Track and Field Tournament Director Al Stumpf said.
Pennsauken will be the eighth different site to host the Meet of Champions, which was first held at Rutgers in 1969 and was contested at Franklin High School the past two years.
"We moved to Pennsauken because we wanted to begin a 2-year rotation of the Meet of Champions between Northern and Southern sites,'' said Stumpf.
Stumpf also announced the dates for the Outdoor State Championship meets. The Sectional Championships are scheduled for May 30 and June 1. The Group Championship will be June 7-8, and the 55th Meet of Champions is slated for Wednesday, June 12. Stumpf said the sites for all the other state meets would be announced as soon as they are all finalized.
Pennsauken's brand new track and field facility debuted in 2021 and was used for the State Groups 1-3 Championships in 2021 and 2022 and the South Jersey, Groups 1-4 Championships this past spring. It's an 8-lane track with two shot circles, 2 pole vault pits, two jumping runways, a big D-Zone (area between end zone and track, which can hold 2 TJ pits), a grass javelin runway, and a huge tent city.
Pennsauken girls coach Phil Zimmerman said it's very exciting to be hosting the biggest meet in the state, and that the Pennsauken community is proud to be home to such a prestigious event.
"I think it's great to be hosting MOC,'' said Zimmerman. "Our track and field programs have been blessed to experience a lot of success over the past few seasons, so it's great to be able to host the final meet of the season at our facility. Our district has given our program a ton of support of the years, and it's great to showcase all of the improvements that we've made to our facility."
"Our entire community has contributed to success of hosting big Group and Sectional meets over the past few seasons - from the teachers who give up their weekends to work and support our athletes, to our amazing grounds crew who takes a ton of pride in showing off our facility and making sure everyone has what they need, from tents at every venue for athletes and officials to stay cool, water stations, and more."
"I think for the town of Pennsauken, the track and field teams have been a point of pride over the past few years. We always have great community turnout at the meets when we host. The most common feedback we've gotten over the past few years hosting state events is just how beautiful our new facility is, and how we'll organized our meets are. The tent city is a great setup, sitting above the stadium and allowing a great viewing angle for the athletes, and relieves some of the congestion you can get inside the stadium.''
Pennsauken AD Billy Snyder said bringing the Meet of Champions to Pennsauken has been a vision for the past six years.
We are humbled and honored,'' said Snyder. "Our Superintendent Dr. (Ronnie) Tarchichi and the Board of Education had a vision 6 years ago when we went out for a Referendum. "They asked us as coaches what we thought. Building a team and facility to host the Meet of Champions was part of that vision. To now have that vision become a reality is simply amazing. We want to not just host the event, we want to have our kids compete at that event. And now both of those things are happening.''
Here's a chart detailing the history of where the Meet of Champions has been held.
|YEARS||MOCs HOST SITE|
|1984-1999||Frank Jost Field, South Plainfield|
|2000-2002||South Brunswick HS, South Brunswick|
|2011-2012||Lombardi Field, Old Bridge|
|2013-2015||Frank Jost Field, South Plainfield|
|2016||Central Regional HS, Bayville|
|2017-2019||Northern Burlington HS, Columbus|
|2020||Not held due to the Covid-19 Pandemic|
|2021||Frank Jost Field, South Plainfield|
|2022-2023||Franklin HS, Franklin Township|
|*2024-2025*||Pennsauken HS, Pennsauken Township|