Toms River – Metuchen High School’s Rachel Suss was one of the people glad that the Group I and Group IV championships was postponed to Sunday. It gave here an opportunity to get to the Meet of Champions and she capitalized on it.
Suss placed first in the girls Group I 3200 meter with a time of 11:10.52 at the Group I and Group IV championships at the Bennett Center in Toms River on Sunday.
Suss was able to find success on the heels of an appearance in the Millrose Games on Saturday, placing ninth in the mile with a time of 5:03.32. The schedule change went perfectly for Suss, who couldn’t hide her excitement.
“The Millrose Games was an amazing experience and I was really happy to be able to go,” said Suss. “When I found out the meet got moved, I was so excited. I couldn’t stop smiling.”
Suss added, “It was just an amazing experience and I knew I had to run at the group meet because I couldn’t give up my chance to run at the Meet of Champions. I knew what I had to do and I got it done.”
The junior started off in the middle of the pack before making her move about halfway into the run. For Suss, it was all about getting into a seeded heat.
“I knew that today it was important to run a pretty fast time because I wanted to get into the seeded heat,” said Suss. “The plan was to run around that time because I knew that would get me in. At the half I was around 5:365 and I told myself to keep that.”
Suss is now just looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunity to run at the Meet of Champions.
“I’m excited. Meet of Champions is always a great race and I’m excited to run with some of the amazing girls in our state,” said Suss.
The boys 4×400 team of Sam Nihal, Joe Choi, Kieran Brenneman and Danny Briggs will also represent Metuchen as they placed sixth with a time of 4:18.26. Trevor Firgau will join them as he placed fourth in the Group I high jump with a height of 6-00.
For Old Bridge, Hazem Miawad will take place in three events at the Meet of Champions. Miawad placed third in the Group IV 400 with a time of 50.71. He also placed second in the 800 at 1:57.87 and anchored a winning 4×400 that ran 3:28.25.
The senior actually won his heat in the 800 with a great kick coming into the final turn, but his time did not top Rancocas Valley’s Isaiah Curbelo, who ran 1:56.38 in the unseeded heat. It’s hard to catch a runner who isn’t running with you.
“Before the race, my coaches told me and Rey (Rivera) that the unseeded heat was fast. That’s all they said,” said Miawad. “I saw the clock with 57 and I thought I won, but later on I realized the kid beat me by a second.”
Old Bridge placed third in Group IV with 24 points. Miawad was also unhappy with the 4×400 time. He explained that they want to take the event at the Meet of Champions and this time wasn’t good enough.
“That’s not what we want to run. Next week we will be better. We’re going there to win, which is why we wanted to run fast today to have a good lane. We want to do well at the state level and hopefully the national level,” said Miawad.
Spotswood’s Katherine Wasserman had success in both the girls Group I 1600 and 800 meters with times of 5:09.33 and 2:22.73, good for second and third in both events. Her teammate Alexandra Coghlan placed third in the 1600 with a time of 5:12.97 and both will head to the Meet of Champions.
Elijah Suggs, Dhruv Banerjee, and Nicholas Botett will all head to the Meet of Champions for South Brunswick. Suggs took second in the Group IV 55 meter dash with a time of 6.60. Banerjee placed fifth in the 55 meter hurdles with a time of 7.95 and Botett will advance in the shot put with a fourth place finish of 52-03.00.
The South Brunswick girls also had some strong performances. Aspen McMillan took second in the Group IV 55 meter hurdles with a time of 8.34 and will also be a part of the 4×400 team with Desirae Osley, Rochell McDonald and Brianna Araque. The girls placed third in the race with a time of 4:03.81.
Ayman Saleh placed first in the Group IV pole vault for East Brunswick with a height of 13-00.00 and Aaron John placed sixth in the Group IV 800 meter for J.P. Stevens.
Piscataway’s boys 4×400 team of George Eley, Adrian Anderson, Nate Bush and Eric Bethea placed third with a time of 3:29.04 and will advance to the Meet of Champions.
Staff Writer Matt Silva: firstname.lastname@example.org