BRIDGETON — Bo Melton celebrated his birthday Thursday by running faster than he ever had.

The Cedar Creek High School senior ran personal bests to win the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the Cape-Atlantic League Individual Track and Field Championships.

“It was extra motivation,” said Melton, 18. “I thought I couldn’t lose on my birthday.”

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Melton was one of the four athletes who won two individual events apiece. Najeaya Singleton of Vineland finished first in the shot put and discus. Tyreck Newman of Millville won the 110 and 400 hurdles, while Alyssa Aldridge of Mainland Regional finished first in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.

The meet was held at Bridgeton in sunny and steamy conditions. For many athletes, it served as the final preparation for next weekend’s South Jersey championships.

Melton, who will attend Rutgers University on an NCAA Division I football scholarship, first won the 100 dash in 10.7 seconds.

The 200 was one of the meet’s most anticipated events. In addition to Melton, it featured Egg Harbor Township’s Amir Brock, who beat Melton in the 200 at last week’s Atlantic County championships, and Cumberland County champion Revell Williams of Bridgeton.

The race lived up to its hype. Melton, Brock and Williams hit the finish line together. Melton leaned at the right time and won in 21.71 seconds. Williams (21.74) finished second, while Brock ran 21.77 to finish third.(tncms-asset)416a4d5a-3c3c-11e7-8ddf-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)

“Having such good competition, it means a lot to win,” Melton said. “I finished strong. In football, we always talk about finishing strong. That’s what I pushed myself to do.”

Singleton sizzles

Some fans might think intense heat only affects distance runners.

Many throwers aren’t fans either.

“I don’t like hot,” Singleton said. “It takes a toll on your body – zero energy.”

The junior still managed to win the shot put and discus with a put of 42 feet, 2 inches and a throw of 131-5 in the discus.

Singleton had plenty of motivation. She won the shot put at the last week’s Cumberland County championship but finished second in the discus.

“One of the Millville girls beat me (at the county meet), and that never happened before,” Singleton said. “I want to better. I want to be the best.”

A breakthrough

Newman also had plenty of motivation. He won both hurdles at the Cumberland County championships but had finished second in hurdles races at major meets earlier this spring.

“I didn’t want to settle for anything less (than winning),” he said. “I’ve been coming in second all season. I’ve been working hard in practice. I hit the weight room after every practice.”

Newman won the 400 hurdles in 56.16 seconds and then set a personal best of 14.53 seconds in the high hurdles.

“This means I can make some noise (in the South Jersey and state championship meets),” he said. “I’m going to keep working hard and not let up.”

Newman had an easy answer when asked what his toughest race was Thursday.

“The 400 hurdles,” he said with a laugh. “Running that 400 and jumping eight times (over hurdles). It took the wind out of me.”

‘A really fun meet’

Aldridge continued to show she’s in the best track and field shape of her stellar career.

The junior won the 1,600 in 5:11.02 and the 3,200 in 11:03.24.

“It was great competition and a really fun meet,” Aldridge said.

The 1,600 was run while the sun was strong. The 3,200 was run in cooler conditions while the sun was setting.

“I don’t even know how hot it was for the 1,600, but I think it’s 75 right now,” she said after the 3,200. “That might be hot for normal standards, but right now it feels like 50.”

Aldridge won the cross country Meet of Champions as a sophomore and junior. Her performances this season have given her reason to be optimistic about this spring’s championship meets.

“I feel like in my workouts I’m just dropping so much time,” she said. “I’m feeling strong. It’s exciting to come out here and see the hard work pay off.”

PARTICIPATING TEAMS

Bridgeton — B, Egg Harbor Township — EH, Ocean City — OC, Oakcrest — O, St. Augustine Prep — SA, Absegami — A, Holy Spirit — HS, Millville — M, Buena Regional — BR, Vineland — V, Mainland Regional — MR, Lower Cape May Regional — L, Atlantic City — AC, Pleasantville — P

BOYS RESULTS

100—1. Bo Melton CC 10.70; 2. Revell Williams B 10.83; 3, Amir Brock EH 10.84. 200—1. B. Melton CC 21.71; 2. R. Williams B 21.74; 3. Amir Brock EH 21.77. 400—1. Tarence Walker P 49.70; 2. Hunter Barbieri EH 50.08; 3. Matthew Zelinski OC 50.58. 800—1. Alex Dessoye EH 1:54.72; 2. Eric Barnes EH 1:55.65; 3. Quentin Bundy P 1:56.59. 1,600—1. Jacob Davis OC 4:25.16; 2. Will Berger L 4:36.41; 3. Daniel Do A 4:37.18; 3,200—1. D. Do A 9:58.60; 2. Jesse Schmeizer OC 10:05.00; 3. Christian McClam BR 10:13.40. 100 hurdles—1. Tyreck Newman M 14.52; 2. Jonathan Nguyen A 15.11; 3. Kamid Williams-Moody AC 15.25; 400 hurdles—1. T. Newman M 56.16; 2. H. Barbieri EH 56.38; 3. Matthew Zelinski OC 57.52. 4x100 relay—1. EH (Alex Dessoye, Shaquille Boyd, Devon Covington, Amir Brock) 43.15; 2. O 43.80; 3. P 43.86. 4x400 relay—1. M (Kyseme Smith, Robert Williams, Daniel Fenton, Chris Worthington) 3:26.86; 2. HS 3:29.81; 3. O 3:31.54. 4x800 relay—1. EH (Justin Winkler, Jordan Callahan, Gobi Thurairajah, Donald Vineyard) 8:33.29; 2. SA 8:36.80; 3. O 8:45.88. high jump—1. Alvin Taliaferro EH 6-02; 2. Za’Quan Singleton M 6-00; 3. Joseph Del Conte EH 5-10. long jump—1. Basil Williams B 21-04.25; 2. Luciano Lubrano OC 21-02.75; 3. Marques Miller O 21-00.5. triple jump—1. Z. Singleton M 44-00.5; 2. L. Lubrano OC 43-07; 3. T. Newman M 43-03.25. shot put1. Cade Antonucci HS 51-07.75; 2. Brandon Truong EH 51-00; 3. Alejandro Valdez B 47-07. javelin—1. Steven Jernee OC 189-08; 2. C. Antonucci HS 184-00; 3. Aaron White BR 156-06. discus—1. Tyler Anzisi EH 156-00; 2. C. Antonucci HS 152-02; Jonathan Moreno M 139-10. pole vault—1. Deejay Banggad EH 12-09; 2. Joshua Cohen EH 12-06; 3. Nick Mansi MR J12-06.

GIRLS RESULTS

100—1. Neyshka Garcia Perez A 12.38; 2. Kierston Johnson O 12.46; 3. Yvette Assongba MR 12.51.200—1. Y. Assongba MR 25.81; 2. Claire Pedrick MR 25.82; 3. Ajae Alvarez EH 25.91. 400—1. A. Alvarez EH 58.75; 2. Ariyana Wilkes HS 59.79; 3. Caroline Gallagher MT 59.92. 800—1. Michaela Baker OC 2:22.60; 2. Angela Bannan HS 2:24.45; 3. Paige Sofield HS 2:24.98. 1,600—1. Alyssa Aldridge MR 5:11.02; 2. Alexa Weber OC 5:20.03; 3. Casey McLees OC 5:39.37. 3,200—1. A. Aldridge MR 11:03.24; 2. A. Weber Oc 11:23.97; 3. Emily Dirkes MR 11:28.18. 100 hurdles—1. Joshonda Johnson A 14.27; 2. Claudine Smith AC 14.89; 3. Y. Assongba MR 15.01. 400 hurdles—1. Cyann Moyer A 1:06.09; 2. Malea Broome V 1:08.54; 3. Raelynn Miller M 1:08.73. 4x100 relay—1. MR (Y. Assongba, Ava Broux, Nicole Lombardo, Alyssa Nguyen) 50.14) 2. EH 51.13; 3. HS 51.89. 4x400 relay—1. M (Serena Townsend, Hailey Holmes, Zaniah Bowman, Jahnaya Farnville) 4:06.52; 2. HS 4:10.03; 3. MR 4:11.04. 4x800 relay—1. EH (Lauren Ebner, Alyssa Eggly, Isabella Leak, Alina Roell) 10:32.83; 2. A 10:56.56; 3. MT 11:04.17. high jump—1. Rachel Wright OC 5-02; 2. Nicole Lombardo MR 5-00; 3. Natalyn Velez V J5-00;long jump—1. C. Smith AC 17-10; 2. J. Johnson A 17-09.25; 3. Kierston Johnson O 16-10 triple jump—1. Alyse Miller EH 36-06; 2. Tori Rolls OC 35-06; 3. Kyla Edwards O 35-02; shot put1. Najeaya Singleton V 42-02; 2. Natasia Sam V 32-03.25; 3. Alexis Harrison M 36-11; javelin—1. Brielle Smith O 134-01; 2. Mya Pomatto EH 107-05; 3. Cassandra Poveromo EH 104-02. discus—1. N. Singleton V 131-05; 2. A. Harrison M 113-00; 3. Francesca Mosentoff BR 108-01. pole vault1. Sydney Couval OC 8-06; 2. Abri Bostard MT J8-06; 3. Kelly Glenn MR 8-00.

Contact:

609-272-7185 MMcGarry@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressMcGarry

I've covered high school sports and variety of other events and teams - including the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Phillies - since 1993.

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