Isaac Clark knew the the 800-meter run was going to be one of the fastest races at the state indoor track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday.
It turned out to be one of the fastest races in the meet's 45-year history.
The Pleasantville High School senior took the lead in the last 50 meters and won in a meet-record 1 minute, 51.72 seconds at the Bennett Center in Toms River.
"I almost waited too long (to kick)," Clark said. "I'm happy. This means a lot. It's my senior year and I went out with a bang."
Braheme Days Jr. of Bridgeton was the only other local winner. He won the shot put for the second straight year with a put of 66 feet, 10 inches.
The 800 was one of the MOC's most anticipated events. The event featured Clark, his twin brother, Jacob, Derrell Manhertz of Kingsway Regional and Ishmael Muhammad of Oakcrest.
"I knew it was going to be a hot heat," Isaac said.
Manhertz took the lead from the start. Jacob ran a close second, while Isaac stayed in third. The field ran the first 400 in 53.9 seconds.
Jacob ran right on Manhertz's shoulder for most of the final 200 lap. Isaac made his move on the final turn. He just out leaned Manhertz at the finish line.
"I don't really know what happened," Isaac said. "I had to go. I had to use that 400 (dash) speed."
Isaac broke the meet record of 1:52.24 set last year by Allen Eke of Union Catholic. Manhertz (second in 1:51.80) and Jacob (third in 1:51.15) also broke the meet record. Muhammad ran 1:53.68 to finish fourth.
Isaac is the first Pleasantville athlete to win an indoor or outdoor MOC title since Nia Ali won the 100 hurdles at the outdoor MOC in 2006. Isaac said the meet record made his victory even more special.
"I'm like the best of the best," Isaac said. "Everybody is going to be shooting for my record."
Days continued to dominate his event with his win Saturday.
"It feels pretty good," Days said.
Kofi Yamoah of Egg Harbor Township finished second with a put of 57-6, while James Plummer of EHT was third with a distance of 57-4.
Days, a senior, is one of the nation's best scholastic shot putters. He won the indoor MOC last year with a put of 67-8. Days' season best put of 69-0 is the best in the country this winter, according to milesplit.com - a website that follows national high school track and field.
Bridgeton coach Warren DeShields said despite Days' impressive accomplishments he does not take any victories for granted.
"It's never really ho-hum," DeShields said of Days' victories. "There are so many technical things that go into throwing well. You don't go into a meet, saying 'put one out there and win.' Anyone can upset you. It's a testament to the hard work that Braheme has put in to become of the best throwers in the country."
Several other local athletes turned in impressive performances at the MOC.
Lola Agabalogun of EHT finished fourth in the shot put with a distance of 39-10. Danielle Leavitt of Lacey Township ran 5:02.74 to finish fourth in 1,600. Louis Corgliano of Hammonton finished sixth in the 3,200 run in 9:17.52.
Chase Toliver of Oakcrest was second in the 55 hurdles in 7.54. Daniel Jefferson of Oakcrest jumped 6-4 to finish fourth in the high jump. Rayshawn Scott of Buena Regional also cleared 6-4 and finished sixth.
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