PENNSAUKEN — Austin Hudak added to his sensational track season on Saturday when he threw the javelin on his first attempt and became the state champion.
“He got away from me nicely and kept flying,” Hudak said.
The Hammonton High School senior won the event in the state’s Group III meet at Pennsauken High School. His throw was 194 feet, about 18 feet longer than second place’s throw. Previously this spring, Hudak had won the javelin at the Atlantic County Championships, Woodbury Relays and South Jersey Group III meet.
Group I athletes also competed here on the final day of the two-day national competition.
“It’s amazing,” Hudak said. “It was a great feeling. Coming in, I just wanted to work on my steps and get a good exit. I wanted to get the right angle so he could fly as best he could. Yeah, I was excited (Saturday ). I was ready to go. I knew I was going to make it and I did.”
The top six in each group in each event won a medal. The first two have automatically qualified for the meeting of champions which will be held next Saturday at Franklin High School. Those who placed third through eighth in each group in each event had the opportunity to earn wild card spots for the MOC. The jokers were based on times and distances.
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On Friday, Wildwood standout rookie Macie McCracken and Mainland senior Eva Morrison finished second in their events to automatically qualify for the MOC. McCracken placed second in the Group I women’s 3,200m race (11:31.25), Morrison in the Group III women’s pole vault (10-06.00).
Hudak is excited about the MOC. The following day, he will compete in the 2022 New Balance Outdoor National Championships at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.
“It was a great day,” said Hudak, who thanked his coaches and family. “I’m excited. I’ll try to win everything.
automatic offer to the MOCOn Saturday, Emma Peretti of Hamilton placed second in the Group III women’s discus (121-6) to qualify for the MOC. She also placed fourth in the shot put (36-11.75) on Friday. Her throw was longer than the Group I first-place throw, so she qualified for the MOC.
“It was a really exciting weekend,” said Peretti, who did the MOC in the discus last spring but not the shot put. “(Saturday), I was really looking for the first one (on record). I was kind of in a rut, but my trainer sees a lot of improvement in what I’m doing for (discus). So I’m really excited for next week and hopefully doing very well at the Meet of Champs.
Last season, Peretti placed 16th in the MOC. The 17-year-old junior is looking for the top five next week. That could happen because she was 11th at last spring’s state meet and moved up to second on Saturday. Peretti has also improved in the shot put from last year when she finished 18th.
“That’s a lot of improvement,” Peretti said. “I just wanted to focus on my technique. That’s what I’ve been working on this week. Lots of different things we worked on. I just had to set everything up. »
Other Blue Devils head to MOCConnor Wright didn’t want to foul any of his attempts on Saturday.
The Hammonton eldest placed third in the boys’ Group III long jump. Wright’s jump was 21-10.25. Last spring, Wright placed eighth in the long jump at the national track meet. He also placed sixth on Friday in the triple jump (44-06.25), a leap more than second place in Group I.
The senior will participate in both MOC events.
“It’s awesome,” Wright said. “I just wanted to come out here and give it my all. I struggled in the last two games with fouls, but I finally managed to find my consistency. It’s time to improve next weekend. I also wish the best to everyone. He feels good. Just bring the same intensity I brought (Saturday) and hopefully improve and get a higher grade.
Mainland’s Dirkes qualifies in three MOC eventsMainland’s Camryn Dirkes was second in the javelin throw (125-01) and third in the long jump (17-03.50) in Group III on Friday. Her javelin distance automatically sent her to Somerset next week, and she earned a wild card in the long jump.
On Saturday, Dirkes competed in the triple jump and placed seventh (35-6.75). However, her jump earned her a wild card, so she qualified for the MOC in all three. Dirkes didn’t expect to do well in the long jump, but recently the senior tri-sport star has excelled at the event.
“It’s super cool,” Dirkes said of qualifying for two events at the MOC. “The loop is very complete. Almost like the basketball season (when it led Mainland to the state finals). But I’m super proud of our girls. There are so many more girls this year.
Normally, at the state meet, Mainland would take a smaller bus, Dirkes said. But the Mustangs took a much bigger bus on Saturday because eight girls and five boys qualified for the national competition.
The Mainland Girls had a great year, winning the Atlantic County Championships and the American Division of the Cape-Atlantic League and placing third in the South Jersey Group III meet. The Mustangs also won the Division III title at the George Rowland Relays.
Mainland finished ninth among 40 teams on Saturday with 23 points. Kalla Tocci-Rogers also earned a wild card in the women’s high jump.
“That’s a great turnout for us,” Dirkes said. “It’s super impressive because there are a few subclasses here. It’s a good experience. It’s a lot of fun, especially before my last one at the Meet the Champions.
Styer makes MOC in two eventsOcean City’s Elaina Styer placed eighth in the Group III women’s triple jump but qualified as a wild card to qualify for the MOC. She also got a wild card with her fifth place in the high jump (5-0). Styer did the indoor MOC in the winter and qualified for the event last spring.
“It’s really nice,” said Styer, who wanted to qualify in the long jump but “I didn’t do as well as I should have (Friday). But two out of three isn’t bad, so I’m not complaining.
“All I can do is give my best (next weekend),” added the junior. “I know what I have to do. I just have to.
Other resultsOwen Ritti of Ocean City, who placed fifth in the Group III 800 race (1:57.72) and Linden Wineland of Mainland, who finished fifth in the men’s Group III 3,200 race (9.29.80 ). His time was faster than anyone else in Group I. He also placed sixth on Saturday in the 1,600m race (4:24.19) and was among the top six wildcards.
Contact Patrick Mulranen: 609-272-7217