SOUTH PLAINFIELD – The boy 800-meter run at the outdoor track and field Meet of Champions featured on the fastest fields in the meet’s 45-year history.
Twins Isaac and Jacob Clark weren’t nervous before the race, however.
They had each other to rely on.
Isaac won the 800 in 1 minute, 50.12 seconds. Jacob chased his brother to the finish line, finishing second in 1:.50.73. Isaac broke his own local record of 1:50.27, which he set at last month’s Cape-Atlantic League championships.
“This is the high school graduation of my high school career,” Isaac said. “I did what I had to do. I thank my brother for running with me. All the guys did great. They’re all championships.”
The MOC featured the state’s top track and field athletes. The meet was held South Plainfield’s Frank Jost Field in perfect conditions – sunny skies with no winds and temperatures in the mid-70s.
The 800 was one of the most anticipated races of the meet. Several runners in Wednesday’s race had run faster than 1:52, including the twins.
The twins might not have been nervous about the race, but Pleasantville coach Alan Laws was.
“I knew it was going to be a tight race,” Laws said. “The field was hot.”
The field ran as pack through the first 400 in 54.3 seconds. Isaac to the lead on the backstretch. Dylan Capwell of Hopatcong (third in 1:51.66) challenged Isaac with 300 meters left.
Isaac held off Capwell. Jacob passed Capwell but never threaten Isaac down the stretch. Leaquann James Jr. of Vineland ran 1:52.21 to finish fifth. Ishmael Muhammad of Oakcrest finished seventh in 1:52.71.
The twins will both attend South Plainfield College, a junior college track and field power in Texas.
The Clarks performance Wednesday capped an outdoor season that saw them both establish themselves as two of the nation’s best scholastic distance runners.
They won South Jersey and state titles and led the Greyhounds 4x800 relay team to victory at The Penn Relays Carnival.