Morgan Harvey waited a year to get another crack at a state title in the 400 hurdles. When the opportunity came Friday, she made the most of it.
The North Hunterdon High School junior won the Group IV girls race in a Hunterdon County-record time of 1:01.12. Last spring she fell at the sectionals and never got a chance to contest her best event at the state level. She went on to win the 100 hurdles instead — a title she will defend today.
“I love this race more than the highs, but don’t tell my coaches that,” she said with a laugh. “I love this race and, so to be able to win it means a lot.”
Passaic Tech junior Breasha Morton placed second in 1:01.91 and Franklin junior Danielle Delgado crossed third in 1:02.49. But the top-seeded Harvey commanded this one all the way.
“I was nervous in the beginning,” said Harvey, who later placed fifth in the open 400 in 57.00. “I just had to concentrate on getting over the hurdles, that and running my hardest.”
The top six finishers in each event, plus wild cards, advance to Wednesday’s Meet of Champions at South Plainfield.
Gill St. Bernard’s grabbed two tickets, along with gold and silver medals, in the Non-Public B 1600 as junior Dana Klein broke the tape in 5:07.16 and senior Emily Quinn followed in 5:15.56.
“That’s awesome,” Klein said. “We train together every day, so it’s great that we got to go 1-2.”
Both were a bit disappointed in their times. The 90-degree heat played a part, as did the lack of competition from other schools.
“It wasn’t exactly what we were planning on doing,m but we had to see how the race went out, and it was just the two of us,” Klein said.
Added Quinn, “The first two laps we had each other so that helps. It’s exciting for us and our team. We wanted to get the points.”
In other local highlights, South Hunterdon freshman Kelly Shaffer won the Group I girls 1600 in 5:14.25, Hillsborough junior Marlena Sabatino won the Group IV girls pole vault with an 11-0 clearance and Pingry’s Adidiere Fakorede won the Non-Public B boys discus with a 138-0 toss. Pingry’s boys also won the Non-Public B 4×800 in 8:20.98 as junior Liam Mullett split 2:01.
Piscataway senior Tyrell Judson placed second in the Group IV boys triple jump with a school-record leap of 48-2, just four inches shy of champ Jonathan Pitt of South Brunswick. That marked a three-inch personal best.
In the Group IV girls shot put, Franklin junior Christina Abiola fired off an area-best 40-10.75 to place third. Teammates Maya Gibson and Ashley Berry placed fourth and fifth in 38-9.75 and 38-6.5, respectively.