WILDWOOD — India McClendon won the girls marbles tournament in the Wildwood School District Tuesday, meaning the fifth-grader will represent the city at this year’s National Marbles Tournament.

McClendon beat fellow 11-year-old Griselda Bautista and earned the right to play at the nationals held each year in Wildwood.

This year’s nationals will take place June 17-20 at Ringer Stadium at Wildwood Avenue and the beach.

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No New Jersey player has ever won the title king or queen of marbles, but McClendon and the Wildwood boys champ, 11-year-old William Portalatin, are hoping to change that.

“I’m excited, but at the same time I’m scared,” Portalatin said after winning the boys games Monday.

McClendon said Monday she looked forward to making history by representing the district.

The last time any New Jersey player competed at the national competition was in 2001.

Coach Betty Harshaw, who played at nationals in 1968, said she was excited to bring a Wildwood team to the ring. The city has hosted the tournament since 1960.

“I hope that this will really take off next year,” she said.

Contact Trudi Gilfillian:


Worked as a reporter for various weekly newspapers in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties before joining The Press many moons (and editors) ago as a business copy editor. Passionate about journalism, averse to serial commas.

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