Several NJ Stars Advance At U.S. Olympic Trials

There were several New Jersey stars in action when the U.S. Olympic Trials kicked off on Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.  

Here's a look at the NJ high school graduates who advanced to either the finals or semifinals.

Two-time Olympian Keturah Orji, the American record holder in the triple jump who graduated from Mount Olive High in 2014, jumped 45-1.50 to advance to the women's triple jump final on Saturday at 9:20 p.m. Orji is bidding to win her seventh U.S. outdoor title.

Athing Mu (Trenton, Class of 2002), Ajee' Wilson (Neptune, Class of 2012) and Olivia Baker (Columbia, Class of 2014)) all ran their way into the semifinals of the women's 800, scheduled for Sunday at 9:11 p.m.

Mu, the American outdoor record holder in the 800 and the reigning Olympic champion, ran 2:01.73 in her season debut. Wilson, a two-time Olympian, ran 2:00.96, and Baker went 2:01.99. Allie Wilson, a Monmouth University graduate, led all qualifiers with a 1:59.57.  

Curtis Thompson (Florence High, Class of 2014), a 3-time U.S. champ in the javelin, unloaded a 261-3, the top mark of the qualifying round, to move on to Sunday's final at 9:40 p.m. Thompson is seeking to make his second Olympic team. 

Josh Awotunde (Delsea High, Class of 2013) threw 68-8 and Jordan West (Rahway High, Class of 2017) had a mark of 65-4.75 in the men's shot put as both earned a spot in the final on Saturday night at 9:40 p.m. Awotunde was 5th at the 2021 Olympic Trials and third at the 2002 World Championships. West is bidding to make his first Olympic team. 

Olympic gold medalist English Gardner (Eastern, Class of 2010) ran 11.17 in the women's 100 dash to advance to the semifinal round, scheduled for Saturday at 9:00 p.m. Gardner ran on the U.S. 4x100 squad at the 2016 Olympics in  

Katie Wasserman (Spotswood High/Class of 2016) and Josette Andrews (Tenafly, Class of 2014)) moved on to the final of the women's 5,000, scheduled for  Monday at 10:09 p.m. Wasserman qualified by running 15:35.57 and Andrews clocked a 16:10.23. Andrews is also entered in the 1,500, which is scheduled to begin with the first round on Thursday.   

Liam Murphy of Villanova (Allentown High, Class of 2020) closed in 39.35 for the last 300 to finish his 1,500 heat in fourth place in 3:38.70. Murphy will run in Saturday's semifinals at 9:56.p.m.   


CJ Licata (Gill St. Bernard's, Class of 2018), who threw at Princeton University as a undergraduate and at South Carolina as grad student, finished 13th in the qualifying round of the men's shot put with a throw of 64-3.75, missing the final by just one place and seven and half inches. Licata was sitting in the 12th and final qualifying spot until Nikolas Curtiss launched  a 64-11.25 on his third and final threw to move from 14th to 12th place. 

Travis Mahoney (Old Bridge, Class of 2008), finished 17th in the 8:30.22 in the men's 3K steeplechase, missing a spot in the final by less than three seconds. The 14th and final qualifier was Derek Johnson, who  ran 8:27.64. Mahoney will be back on the track for the first round of the men's 5K on Thursday at 11:03 p.m. 

Bradley Jelmert of Arkansas State (Watchung Hills, Class of 2020) cleared 17-8.50 in the men's pole vault, but failed to advance.

Elisia Lancaster (Delsea, Class of 2016) finished 15th in the qualifying round of the women's hammer throw, missing a spot in the final by just five inches.


Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone (Union Catholic High, Class of 2017), the world record holder in the women's 400 hurdles and reigning Olympic and World Champion in that event, will begin her quest to make her third Olympic team when she competes in the first round of the 400 hurdles on Thursday at 9:49 p.m.  

Also competing in the women's 400 hurdles is 
Aliya Garozzo (Paul VI, Class of 2020).

Jenna Rogers (Rutherford High, Class of 2020), will compete in the first round of the women's high jump on Saturday (June 22)  at 8 p.m.

Dana Klein (Gill St. Bernard's, Class of 2014) is scheduled to compete in the first round of the women's 3K steeplechase on Monday at 8:59 p.m.  

Sam Mattis (East Brunswick High, Class of 2012) will compete in the qualifying round of the men's discus on Thursday a 9:45 p.m. Mattis, a 2021 Olympian, is a 2-time U.S. champ in the discus. 

Tionna Tobias (Winslow Twp., Class of 2019) and A'liyah Thomas (Union Catholic, Class of 2021) are scheduled to compete in the women's long jump on Thursday at 9:18 p.m.

Sean Dolan (Hopewell Valley, Class of 2019) and Georgetown's Tim McInerney (CBA, Class of 2019) will compete in the first round of the men's 800 on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Dolan, a recent graduate of Villanova, just signed this week to compete for the Atlanta Track Club.  

UPenn's Ryan Matulonis (Seton Hall Prep, Class of 2023) and Jameson Woodell (Hunterdon Central, Class of 2018) will run in the opening round of the men's 400 hurdles on Thursday at 9:20 p.m.

Nia Ali (Pleasantville, Class of 2006) is scheduled to run in the opening round of the women's 100 hurdles on Friday at 8:23 p.m. Ali won the World Championship in the 100 hurdles in 2019 and won the silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Jessica Woodard (Cherokee, Class of 2010) and Monique Riddick (St. Thomas Aquinas, Class of 2007) will compete in the opening round of the women's shot put on Friday at 10:15 p.m.

Johnnie Jackson (Cherry Hill East, Class of 2012),will compete in the men's hammer throw on Friday at 9:30 p.m. 

Erika Kemp (Rancocas Valley, Class of 2013) is scheduled to race in the women's 10-K on Saturday at 9:09 p.m.