Haddonfield's Matt Nussbaum, Ben Potts and Colin Baker set a goal in the 1,600-meter race Friday at the sectional track and field championships at Buena.
They set their sights on finishing 1-2-3, respectively, in the Group 2 race and they did, with a time of 4 minutes, 21.48 seconds, 4:21.85 and 4:22.48.
After the first day of boys' and girls' action in Groups 2 and 3 and Non-Public B, leading the boys were Timber Creek in Group 3, Delsea in Group 2, and Pingry in Non-Public B. For the girls, it was Seneca in Group 3, Haddonfield in Group 2, and Benedictine Academy in Non-Public B.
"We were ready to go 1-2-3," Nussbaum said. "We knew that Brady Deckert would give us a good race, but . . ."
Deckert, of Delsea, finished fourth in 4:22.95.
Nussbaum, a junior, said the Bulldogs had a trio last year that swept the top three places in the 1,600 at the state meet, so they figured that it could be done again.
Missing from the lineup was Jon "Boo" Vitez, who is scheduled to run the 3,200 on Saturday.
Seneca middle-distance runner Michelle Brown, who usually doesn't run the 100, did so for the team and came up a winner in 12.73.
"The 100 is not my best event," the senior said. "I was looking for a win to help the team.
"We're off to a good start. We hope to defend our team title from last year."
Helping the cause was Mary Bohi, who won the 400-meter low hurdles in 1:03.66. Bohi said her personal best time is 1:01.4.
"I took over the lead at the eighth hurdle," said Bohi, who fell behind early in the race. "I was confident at the eighth hurdle. The Clearview girl [Cassandra Lenkowski] went out really fast."
Haddonfield's Marielle Hall wanted to race her fastest in the 1,600, so she ran against the clock and won the Group 2 race in 4:51.04. Delsea's Felicia O'Donnell was second in 5:07.27.
"I was aiming to push myself against the clock," Hall said. "I wanted to get out strong and see how long I could hold."
The senior led from the beginning. Even though she was aiming to clock 4:50, she wasn't displeased with the 4:51.04 with which she won.
Kingsway senior Liz Locke said the 800 is her event; however, she is starting to like the 1,600.
Locke on Friday won the Group 3 1,600 in 5:06.12. She said she set a goal of 5:04 because she is not used to running the mile and had no strategy other than to get out first and stay there. And that's just what she did.
"I did it for the first time in the winter and I did a 5:11," Locke said. "My coaches said they had to put me in the mile more often. I like it a lot now. I'm getting used to it."