By TOM WILLIAMS
Senior Gavyn Fox and junior Casey McLees won South Jersey championships in the NJSIAA Group 3 Sectional Meet at Delsea Regional High School in Franklinville.
Their efforts led the Raiders to a third place team finish in the girls competition and fourth in the boys. Deptford (114 points) was the boys Group 3 South Jersey champion, followed by Mainland (67), Hammonton (60) and Ocean City (54). Winslow Township (127) won the girls meet with Timber Creek (75) second and the Raiders (48) tied with Woodrow Wilson for third.
Fox won the 1600 meters in 4 minutes, 26.81 seconds, finishing about 1.5 seconds in front of runner-up Artur Simoes Menezes of Mainland. Ocean City junior Luke Kramer (4:31.34) finished a close fourth in the race.
McLees’ win in the girls 3200 was more comfortable. She ran the race in 11:40.94, more than 11 seconds faster than second place finisher Jade Tricomy of Toms River South. Junior Becca Millar (11:56.77) was sixth and also advanced to the NJSIAA State Group 3 Meet at Central Regional in Bayville this weekend.
A total of nine OCHS boys, including Fox and Kramer, advanced to the state meet. Senior Kevin King finished second in the 110 meter hurdles, the Raiders 4×800 relay team (Fox, Kramer, sophomore Tyler Greene and junior Anthony Conte) was second, junior Lane Owens was second in the javelin, sophomore Mike Rhodes was third in the discus and sixth in the shot put, junior Jaden Tocci-Rogers was fourth in the high jump and freshman Owen Ritti was sixth in the 3200 meters.
McLees also finished second in the 3200, missing a sweep of the distance runs by two seconds. She, Millar and 10 other Ocean City girls qualified for the state meet. The OCHS 4×400 relay team (junior Grace Burke, freshman Maggie Halbruner, senior Megan Gereaghty and sophomore Erin Hanlon) was second, the 4×100 team (Gereaghty, sophomore Aila Troxel, senior Makenzie Matura and Hanlon) was third, the 4×800 team (McLees, senior Brooke Farr, sophomore Kelsey White and Hanlon) was third, senior Sophia Gresham was fourth in the long jump, Matura was fifth in the 100 hurdles, junior Emma Sacco was fifth in the high jump and Hanlon was sixth in the 400 meters.
The girls competed without sophomore distance runner Alexa Palmieri and senior sprinter Tori Rolls, who were both injured.
The top three this weekend in each event will qualify, along with some wild card qualifiers, for the Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington Regional on June 8.