Few athletes compete in two events at the NJSIAA Track and Field Meet of Champions. Kyaira Wright-Harmon not only did that — she contested them at the same time.
The Franklin High School senior shuttled back and forth between the girls high jump and long jump and earned two medals — a second place in the high jump (5-8) and a fifth place in the long jump (17-10.25).
The high jump result was bittersweet, because Wright-Harmon’s only miss on the way up was a threshold foul at 5-6. Officials ruled that she crossed the plane of the bar even though she never attempted the jump; it appeared to be an iffy call at best.
“I didn’t think I crossed, but if the official said I fouled, then I guess there’s nothing I can do about that,” she said.
The foul eventually led to a first-place jump-off with Trenton Catholic’s Robin Perkins. Both missed at 5-10, then 5-9 before Perkins made 5-8 and Wright-Harmon missed to break the stalemate.
“It was something I never had to deal with, going up and down like that,” Wright-Harmon said of the rare jump-off format. “It would have been better to win, but I’m satisfied with my season.”
The LIU-bound Wright-Harmon, who won the high jump at the indoor Meet of Champions and cleared a top height of 5-9 this season, said she had no regrets about doing both events.
“I like high jump and long jump, so I don’t mind doing the two,” she said. “This is my last meet and I had fun, that’s the biggest thing.”
Silver for Giordano, Sabatino
A third state title was not to be for Dana Giordano, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. The Bernards senior placed second in a blazing-fast girls 3200, lowering her own Somerset County record to 10:20.40 in the process. Mendham sophomore Mackenzie Barry broke the tape in 10:18.24.
“It’s kind of bittersweet, not to be able to defend your title, but if I could lose to anybody it would be Mackenzie,” Giordano said. “I’m happy with the way the race went. I knew Mackenzie would take it out fast. My coach said the last couple of laps were gutsy. I felt horrible but I’m happy to leave it all out there.”
The Dartmouth-bound Giordano, who passed up a better shot at the 1600 gold medal to run the more competitive eight-lapper, ran perfectly even splits after a 5:10 opening mile.
“Last year I took over the race with a big move early, but you don’t do that when you go out in 5:10,” she said. “I wanted to win badly but I gave it all I had.”
Hillsborough sophomore Marlee Sabatino picked up a silver medal in her Meet of Champions debut, taking second in the girls pole vault with a height of 11-6. Southern Regional senior Chelsea Vaughan won at 12-0. Voorhees senior Erin Knabe (third place, 11-6) and Hillsborough senior Emily Shipley (fourth, 11-0), added serious Skyland Conference flavor.
“I wish I could have jumped higher, but I’m happy with how it went,” said Sabatino, who owns a personal best of 12-6. “I’m excited because with two more years I jut hope I can continue to jump higher.”