Noel And White, Montclair's Dynamic Duo, Leap Into History

Ashley Noel and Kennedy White soared into NJ history when the dynamic jumping duo from Montclair produced a stunning horizontal air show at Saturday's Super Essex Conference Championships at Schools Stadium in Newark.

Competing in the American Division, Noel, a senior, and White, a junior, exploded down the runway and bounded into the sand as both delivered huge lifetime best performances with identical marks of 39-1!! White, who PR'd by more than two feet, finished first on the tiebreaker, 39-0.25 to 38-0.25 on their second best jumps. Noel, who PR'd by more than one foot, finished second.

With their 39-1 marks, Noel and White became the first pair of girls from the same team to triple jump 39-plus feet at the same meet in state history. They are also just the second set of teammates to hit 39 in the same season in NJ history. The other tandem is Bryanna Grant and Regine Hunter of Cranford, who pulled it off in 2013 when Hunter recorded her high school PR of 39-5 at the Penn Relays, and Grant's went 39-4.50 at the New Balance Nationals.

There has never been a pair of teammates to hit 40 in the same season, something Noel and White will be aiming to do.

The 39-1's by Noel and White place them tied for No. 2 in the state this season, and tied for No. 4 in Essex County history. Sophia Curtis of Ocean City is ranked No. 1 in the state this season with the 40-5 she hit last month.

That's not all.

Noel, who won the long jump at the Indoor Meet of Champions this past March with a PR of 18-8, also won the long jump on Saturday with a leap of 18-4, and finished fourth in the 100 dash in 12.67 (PR of 12.51 in the trials). Meanwhile, White came up with another big PR when she placed third in the long jump with a 17-7.50.

The 38 combined points by Noel and White helped ignite Montclair to the American Division team title, 131-121 over runner-up Livingston.

Austin Willis, Montclair's horizontal coach, said an adjustment on their approach and a tireless work ethic combined to give Noel and White their biggest jumps ever.     

"This was their first meet of the season that I moved them back to their full approach and all their hard work came together,'' said Willis. "It's definitely a big confidence booster heading into the championship season."