Five From South Jersey Win NJSIAA Indoor Track MOC Titles

by Marc Narducci | Mar 1, 2019
Five From South Jersey Win NJSIAA Indoor Track MOC Titles
Athletes from the seven-country South Jersey area won five titles at last week’s NJSIAA indoor track Meet of Champions.
 
Indoor track is one of the most difficult winter sports simply because if there is inclement weather, the participants might have to work out in school.
 
Many coaches try to have their teams train outdoors unless there is just too much snow and/or ice.
 
In addition, it is probably the sport that gets the least attention, but the athletes do earn needed recognition during the state championships and MOC.
 
It’s interesting too because since the athletes are competing indoors, there are some races run at a shorter distance than outdoor. For instance, in outdoor track there are the 100 and 400-meter hurdles. Indoor track has 55-meter hurdles, where athletes from the seven-county South Jersey area excelled.
 
The lone boys’ indoor champ from the seven-county South Jersey area was St. Augustine senior Sincere Rhea, who accomplished the difficult feat of defending his title in the 55-meter hurdles.
 
His winning time in this year’s race was 7.22 seconds. Last year in winning the title, he ran a then-personal best 7.35.
 
Rhea was a cornerback and wide receiver in football, but he will concentrate in track at the next level, having earned a scholarship to Penn State.
 
Atlantic City senior Claudine Smith won the 55-meter hurdles and was one of the four female champions from South Jersey.
 
Smith, who will continue her education and track career at Rutgers, placed fourth in this event in last years’ MOC in a time of 8.21 seconds. She has won three state Group 4 titles.
 
This year’s winning time was a personal best 8.02.
 
The 55 hurdles event was dominated by South Jersey athletes with Millville’s Malea Broome (8.24) and Timber Creek’s Tierra Hooker (8.25).
 
Hooker wouldn’t leave Toms River without a gold medal. The Timber Creek junior won the long jump with a winning leap of 5-08.
 
The two other champions from the seven-county South Jersey area were Eastern sophomore Jailya Ash in the 55-meter dash and Haddon Heights junior Cydney Thomas in the shot put.
 
Ash had to run her best to hold out fellow South Jersey athlete, Woodrow Wilson’s Dennisha Page.
 
Running a personal best of 7.06 seconds, Ash just nipped Page (7.07).
 
Last season Haddon Heights’ Thomas place fourth in the MOC shot put with a toss of 40-7 ½. In winning this year, Thomas threw 42-04.75.

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This was a South Jersey affair with the area earning the top three spots as Sterling’s Alijah Caul was second and Millville’s Tereana Parker third.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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