He might not have an entire team to train and compete with, but Josiah Hanko has something that a lot of other track and field athletes don’t have — a state championship.
Make that a meet record state championship to boot.
Hanko, the Montville resident who attends tiny Trinity Christian in Montville, won the NJSIAA Non-Public B state title in the 1,600-meter run Friday at the Bennett Center in Toms River.
Hanko crossed the line in 4:22.61, breaking the old mark of 4:26.02, set by Mike Sheehan of Holy Cross in 2008.
Hanko gave it his all to try to win two events, but he came up a little short in the 3,200-meter run, falling to rival Liam Mullet of Pingry. Mullet was first in 9:30.27, with Hanko second in 9:33.31. To Hanko’s credit, he competed in both distance races, where Mullet only ran in the 3,200. Hanko is one of only two track competitors from his school.
Delbarton also crowned a state champion, when Jules Hislop captured the gold medal in the 55-meter hurdles in Non-Public A. Hislop crossed the line in 7.60 seconds, setting a new meet record in the process. Hislop has been a consistent scorer all season for the Green Wave and one of the best all-around performers in the county.
Teammate Chris D’Aliso finished sixth in the event, punching his ticket to next Saturday’s Meet of Champions, also at the Bennett Center.
D’Aliso also finished fourth in the high jump, clearing 5-10, so he will get to compete in two events next Saturday if he chooses to.
Delbarton’s Mike Benz and Nick Palmer both earned medals in the pole vault, with Benz finishing second at 13-0 and Palmer fourth at 12-0. They also will compete in the Meet of Champions next weekend.
In Non-Public B girls, Emile Cowan of St. Elizabeth held off Grace Penders of Villa Walsh to win the 400-meter run. Cowan crossed the line in 1:00.33, with Penders three seconds behind.
Taylor Medd of Villa Walsh won the 55-meter dash in 7.60 seconds. Villa Walsh was coming off an impressive victory in the Prep B state championships earlier in the week.
Grace Henderson of Villa Walsh won the 800-meter run in 2:41.85, giving the Vikings another state champion.
Alana Harrington of Villa Walsh finished third in the 55-meter hurdles. Teammate Monica Benz was third in the high jump. It was a solid outing for the Vikings, who have enjoyed a solid all-around indoor track season.
Marissa Evans, a former standout at Morris Catholic, won the 400-meter run in Non-Public A for Pope John.