Former Tenafly star Josette Norris is making her return to the Metropolitan area on Jan. 29 as one of the top runners in the Women’s WHOOP Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games.
But Norris, who finished the 2021 season as the top-ranked American miler and among the top eight in the world, won’t be the only North Jersey athlete participating in the 114th edition of the world’s most famous indoor track meet, now held at the Armory Track Center in upper Manhattan.
Five North Jersey high school athletes and two relay teams will participate in invitational events in the meet,, which gets underway Thursday evening with the weight throw events and the high school boys pole vault.
Pascack Hills star Max Zuckerman is part of a 16-vaulter field with entries from seven states in Thursday’s vault, which begins at 6 p.m. Zuckerman will attempt to break the Bergen County record set by former teammate Liam Landau, now at Northeastern of 15-9 .
Saturday, Fort Lee’s Tyson Lowe hopes to better his personal best long jump of 22-10 1/2, and the Ramapo girls are entered in both the championship 4-x-800 and the Suburban 4-x-400 races.
But the big high school events at the meet are the boys and girls miles, both of which will be in the 2:30-4:30 NBC (Channel 4) television window and North Jersey is well represented in both.
River Dell sophomore Christina Allen leads the state in the girls mile after winning the Millrose Games Trials on Jan. 12 in 4:53.95, the top performance in New Jersey this year. She’ll be joined by Ridgewood resident Camryn Wennersten, in her third Millrose Games mile. Wennersten is no longer a member of the Maroons team. Runners from nine different states are in the field.
Clifton senior Jacob Heredia is the only North Jersey runner in the the boys field which features runners from eight states. Another runner with North Jersey roots is senior Zachary Barry from Scarborough, Maine, the son of former Don Bosco star Brian Barry and the grandson of former Don Bosco and Indian Hills coach Bill Barry.
Full North Jersey schedule below:
Thursday, Jan. 27, 6 p.m.: Boys pole vault: Max Zuckerman, Pascack Hills.
Saturday, Jan. 29, 10:25 a.m.: Girls distance medley: Kelsey Larkin (Ramsey/South Carolina) will run third leg for Garden State Track Club B and Colleen Buckley (IHA/Bucknell) will run anchor for Pacers/GRC New Balance TC.
11:29 a.m: Boys long jump: Tyson Love, Fort Lee.
12:22 p.m.: Girls Suburban 4-x-400: Ramapo.
1:00 p.m.: Girls 4-x-800: Ramapo.
3:18 p.m.: Boys mile: Jacob Heredia, Clifton,
3:29 p.m: Mens 3,000: Jeremy Hernandez (Clifton/Ramapo College), Empire Elite.
3:39 p.m.: Girls mile: Christina Allen, River Dell; Camryn Wennersten, (unattached), Ridgewood.
4:05 p.m.: Women’s Wanamaker mile: Josette Norris (Tenafly/Georgetown), Reebok Boston TC.
Garfield Shot put/high jump #1
Jan. 17 at Garfield H.S
Casey Sullivan dominated the shot put in New Jersey from the first meet of the shortened season to the last, winning the State Meet of Champions and throwing more than three feet further than anyone else in the state last spring.
So it didn’t figure to be much different this winter, even though the NV/Demarest senior was throwing indoors for the first time after three years of playing basketball.
But her first indoor meet was almost a disaster. Sullivan won the Big North National meet last week with a throw of just 33-9 3/4, more than 11 feet behind her 2021 best, having to stand and throw on her final of four attempts after fouling her first three throws,
“I didn’t know how to control my adrenalin,” said Sullivan, who snapped back Monday with a heave of 44-11 to win the first Garfield shot put/high jump meet of the season. “I think I was a little nervous because it was my first indoor meet, and I was getting used to the whole atmosphere of the thing.”
Sullivan’s big throw at Garfield, the best throw in the state this year, and fifth best of the season in the US, is also seventh on the all-time Bergen County list. It’s also the best throw in North Jersey in six years.
“There are so many things to learn about the shot put to get really good at it,” said Sullivan, who has signed to throw at Wake Forest next year. “It was hard to give up basketball, but in order to be the best I could be in the throw, I have to give it all my time and energy, not 50%.”
“We have so much fun as a team, the guys and the girls and we all hang out together,” said Sullivan, reached by phone while watching her first collegiate meet Jan. 22 at Ocean Breeze in Staten Island. “It’s great to watch the throwers get ready for a meet.”
Sullivan, whose best throw of the year is a state leader by more than two feet, is hopeful of adding an indoor SMOC title to her outdoor crown but isn’t ready to cite a potential numeric goal.
“I don’t like to set number goals,” said Sullivan. “I just trust the training and the numbers will come.”
Taniya Giles of Clifton had a personal indoor best of 36-9 for second, followed by Hackensack’s Ciara Brown (35-10). The top six throwers threw 32 feet or better.
Sullivan’s Demarest teammate Dan Mikay won the boys shot with a toss of 47 feet, 6 1/2 inches ahead of Jason Ballen of Midland Park.
Anneke Kuperus of Eastern Christian (5-0) and Connor Munson of Westwood (5-10) won the high jump titles.
Morris County championships
Jan. 18 at Drew University, Madison
Kinnelon took fourth place in the boys meet, scoring 28 points to finish behind team champion Delbarton (64), Chatham (43 1/2) and Randolph (33).
Junior Jack Ahart was second in the 55, in a personal best 6.67 and was second in the 300 in 36.83 seconds, a North Jersey seasonal best. Braeden Carroll added a third in the 3,200 (10:17.31), and Jack Tracy was third in the high jump (5-8).
Jordyn Valentin of Butler was fourth in the girls 55 hurdles (9.35) and Kinnelon’s Ella Corigliano was fifth in the high jump at 4-8.
Armory Frosh/Novice meet (Varsity events)
Jan. 19 at the Armory Track Center
Hackensack was second in the boys distance medley in a North Jersey best 10:53.62, as Amiri Whittle ran a solid 4:27.68 1,600 split.
Nathan Storz of Emerson won the triple jump with a leap of 43 feet, and took second in the long jump at 19-11.
On the girls side, Marissa Schoenberg (34-8 1/4) and Emily Turschmann (34-6 1/2) of River Dell went 1-2 in the triple jump and Essence-Jade Springer of Paramus Catholic jumped 33-8 1/4 for third.
Christina Allen of River Dell ran a speedy 3:35.74 1,200 leg in the girls distance medley as the Golden Hawks ran a North Jersey leading 12:58.80 to finish second behind the Ursuline School of New York.
Fiona Carter of Paramus Catholic was second in the long jump with a leap of 17-4, while Springer had a PR for third at 16-7.
New Balance Games
Jan. 21-22, 2022 at the Armory Track Center
Max Zuckerman of Pascack Hills beat a great field and cleared 15 feet on his first attempt to win the Boys pole vault at the meet. Fort Lee’s Alex Manetovic won the girls high jump with a first jump clearance of 5-2.
Bergen Tech junior Dylan Decambre was second in the club boys 1,000, running 2:38.81, the fastest time by a North Jersey boy this season.
Westwood’s Connor Munson had his usual busy meet, taking fourth in the 55 hurdles in a personal best 7.73 seconds, 17th in Bergen County history, tying for third in the high jump (6-0) and fourth in the pole vault (14-6). Manetovic was also fourth in the triple jump (34-11) and Pascack Valley’s Jessica Ricco was fifth in the long jump at 16-6.
Andrew Kleinman of NV/Demarest was 15th in an invitational 2 mile in a personal best 9:44.51 2 mile.
Paul Schwartz covers high school track and field for NorthJersey.com. For full access to live scores, breaking news and analysis from our Varsity Aces team, subscribe today. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter and download our app.