BRIDGETON — Some of South Jersey’s top high school track and field athletes came together Thursday for the Cape-Atlantic League Championship at Bridgeton’s Jim Hursey Stadium.

For many, it was the second stop of the season’s championship portion. Atlantic, Cumberland and Cape May County all had their championship meets last week.

The day began with the 4x800-meter relay. Oakcrest’s boys team won in 8 minutes, 26.25 seconds. The relay, consisting of Leonard Bustos, Mike Liberty, Marc Rodriguez and Kyle Hartman, won the same event last week at the Atlantic County Championships in Buena Vista Township.

Rodriguez said the win was a big confidence-booster heading into next week’s sectionals.

“We’re feeling great right now as a team,” said Rodruguez, 18, of Mays Landing. “We’re really rolling so far this season.”

According to Rodriguez, the 4x800 relay, which also runs the distance medley relay, first formed last season when the four of them reached the top of the relay lineup. Since then, they’ve had great success in both the indoor and outdoor season.

In the boys 400, Atlantic City senior Isaiah Whaley edged 2018 champion Taz’Mire Burton (Bridgeton) in 49.52.

After missing counties due to injury last week, Whaley said he felt sharp and ready to compete against tougher competition as the season progresses.

“This (win) was very big,” said Whaley, 18, of Mays Landing. “Before this, I hadn’t run a (49-second time) yet this year.”

The senior also hopes this win can be the start of a trend for him.

“I have a lot of second places (from last year),” Whaley added.

Ending the day was the 4x400 relay. Holy Spirit’s boys team dethroned 2018 champion Bridgeton with a 49.50 anchor leg from junior Ahmad Brown.

Brown, 17, of EHT, believes this is only the beginning for 4x400 team.

“Our team is young,” Brown said. “We got a freshman, a sophomore and two juniors.

“We’re going to be returning next year, (and) I’m really excited for this.”

Brown, Jack Cella, Matthew Keidat and Devin Lee finished in 3:23.62. Brown also finished third in the 400 at 50.24.

The girls events included regular names on the podium.

Egg Harbor Township’s Lauren Princz left Bridgeton with gold medals in the 100 (12.98) and 200 (24.66). She joined Gabrielle Germann, Mariah Stephens and Jadyn Laramore to win the 4x100 relay (48.50), and also helped Germann, Lauren Maldonado and Anne Rutledge win the 4x400 (1:01.70). Princz has won the 100 and 200 the last two years at Bridgeton.

Atlantic City senior Claudine Smith continued her championship reign in her final CAL meet. She repeated as champion in the 100 hurdles (14.11) and triple jump (39-04.25). After winning the long jump last year, she finished second behind Millville’s Bryanna Craig (18-01.50). Smith will compete at Rutgers University next season.

Oakcrest’s Brielle Smith, no relation to Claudine, added another javelin gold medal to her collection Thursday. The senior, who earned a full track scholarship to Stanford, had a winning throw of 143 feet, 10 inches.

The next stop for these teams is their respective sectional championships next week. The two-day meets will take place May 24-25. South Jersey Groups I and IV are scheduled to compete at Washington Township, while Groups II and III will meet at Delsea Regional. Non-Public A and B will compete at Donovan Catholic in Toms River.

Other winners

Boys: Mubeen Momodu (EHT) won the triple jump (44-00.75). Luke Barnes (EHT) won the 1600 (4:29.45). Lane Owens (Ocean City) won the javelin throw (168-03). Sincere Rhea (St. Augustine) won the 110 hurdles (14.03). Malachi Melton (Cedar Creek) won the long jump (21-10.25). Mubeen Momodu (EHT) won the high jump (6-02). Quentin Bundy (Pleasantville) won the 400 hurdles (54.88). Francesco Pinque (St. Augustine) won the discus throw (143-11). Jacob Cobb, Jaylen Decoteau, True Robinson and Sincere Rhea (St. Augustine) won the 4x100 (42.96). Malachi Melton (Cedar Creek) won the 100 (10.96). Gabriel Moronta (Pleasantville) won the 800 (1:56.43). Sincere Rhea (St. Augustine) won the 200 (21.56). Owen Ritti (Ocean City) won the 3200 (9:52.43). Shamore Collins (Millville) won the shot put (48-02.75). Joshua Cohen (EHT) won the javelin (13-06).

Girls: Casey McLees (Ocean City) won the 1600 (5:23.73). Tereana Parker (Millville) won the shot put (39-08.50). Diamond McLaughlin (Absegami) won the 400 (58.03). Bryanna Craig (Millville) won the 400 hurdles (1:05.20). Michaela Pomatto, Madison Morgan, Isabella Leak and Kayla Cotrell (EHT) won the 4x800 (10:11.94). Sophia Crozier-Carole (Mainland Reg.) won the pole vault (9-06). Raelynne Miller (Millville) won the 800 (2:20.00). Michaela Pomatto (EHT) won the discus throw (117-09). Angela Bannan (Holy Spirit) won the 3200 (11:38.84). Bryanna Craig (Millville) won the high jump (5-05).

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