The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association will investigate a complaint lodged that a track meet involving some of New Jersey’s best schools never happened. According to Bill Bruno, the NJSIAA Assistant Director responsible for the state’s Track and Field Program, the complaint will be brought to the attention of the association’s Executive Director, Larry White, on Tuesday morning.
The Brick City Invitational was listed on the well-known track website NJ MileSplit as having been held on Sunday, May 20 at Schools Stadium in Newark. The meet was listed as having involved six New Jersey schools: East Orange Campus, West Side, Shabazz, Benedictine Academy, Notre Dame and Immaculate Conception of Montclair.
A complaint was lodged by the parent of one of the alleged participants in the meet that Immaculate Conception of Montclair had not been at the meet, and the performances attributed to those athletes were deleted from a revised listing of results sent to MileSplit earlier Monday, Bruno said. The complaint was also relayed to the NJSIAA, prompting Tuesday’s projected action, he said.
The Brick City Invitational meet was listed as being sponsored by the Newark Flames Track Club. Meet results initially posted on the website on May 23 also listed participants Centralville TC and Greater Oaks TC, neither of which appear anywhere else in the MileSplit database.
Some of the performances originally posted included significant personal bests by many of the athletes, marks that would have qualified them for either the championship division or the Emerging Elite division of the New Balance Nationals to be held June 15-17 in Greensboro, N.C.
In many cases, those bests were far superior to what the athletes had done before, including in the Essex County meet held just two days earlier.
East Orange Campus, coached by former all-state star, Lance Wigfall, has been a national powerhouse in recent years and won the North 2, Group 4 sectional for the fourth-straight time Saturday. West Side, coached by Eddie Greene, who is also affiliated with the Newark Flames TC, won its first title since 1988 winning North 2, group 3.
MileSplit is undertaking its own inquiry of not only that meet but also of the initial Brick City Invite, ostensibly held May 22, 2017, at Weequahic High School, which also included results that appear to be unlikely at best, according to NJ MileSplit Editor Robert Kellert.
The 2018 version of the meet was supposedly hand-timed, but the initial results showed the running events timed to hundreths of a second, which normally reflect Fully Automatic Timing. When Kellert questioned the timing, the second version submitted simply dropped the last digit, which is not in keeping with timing rules for hand-timed meets. MileSplit chose to not enter the running results in the database, but the field results were entered until they were removed when the meet’s legitimacy came into question, according to Kellert.