SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. - There was no MVP award for the NJSIAA state Group 3, Group 2, and Non-Public B girls' track and field championships Saturday.
If there had been, Our Lady of Mercy Academy's Tacquaya Tobias certainly would have been a candidate.
Tobias won the 100-meter dash (12.21 seconds) and the long jump (meet-record 18 feet, 41/2 inches), and placed second in the high jump (5-0) on Friday, and on Saturday won the 200 (25.21).
"Senior year is my year, and I feel good about fulfilling all of the goals I had," Tobias said.
The top six finishers in each event advanced to the Meet of Champions, to be held Thursday at Old Bridge.
Tobias generated 38 points for OLMA; however, it wasn't enough to win a team title. Gill St. Bernard's won with 105 points.
Delsea, the reigning Group 2 champion, is the Group 3 titlist, recording 58 points. And Buena was a surprise winner in Group 2 with 321/2 points in a wildly competitive field in which Bernard's was second with 32, followed by Haddonfield with 311/2.
Buena coach Stephanie Winkler said team depth certainly did not help to win the state trophy.
"We only have four girls here," Winkler said. "So it was just quality performances."
The four were Helena Leyrer, a junior who won the 400-meter hurdles; Ashley Roman, the only senior; Emely Ramirez, a sophomore who won the high jump; and Casey Sturts, another sophomore.
Leyrer anchored Buena's victorious 4x400-meter relay, which was clocked in 3:59.57.
Delsea had several champions. Janiece Rose won the shot put; Brianna Hunt, the high jump; and Jeannie Berry, the javelin. Felicia O'Donnell was third in the 1,600.
Berry broke her own school record with a throw of 131-9.
Kingsway's Jasmine Waddell won the first state title in her high school career when she was clocked in 14.05 in the 100-meter high hurdles. Her personal-best time had been 14.22.
"I tried it without the starting blocks for the first time, and I got a great start," said Waddell, a senior. "I usually catch up in the fourth or fifth hurdle.
"I was amazed because Ste'yce [McNeil] and [Samantha] Jensen from Central usually beat me out. I am so happy that I finally achieved my goal."
McNeil said that she also felt "powerful," but that she clipped the sixth and 10th hurdles and that slowed her.
She had won the 400-meter low hurdles and placed third in the open 400 on Friday. The junior said a bandage around her midsection to cover an abscess had to be tightened and might have affected her breathing during the 100-meter high hurdles.
However, she was looking forward to running the 200 later in the afternoon. Despite the discomfort of the bandage, McNeil came back to win the Group 3 200 in 24.72.
"My start was powerful, and I'm glad I was able to run faster in the last 100," McNeil said.
"I won two state titles and I'm happy. I feel accomplished," added McNeil, who did not compete in sectionals or states last year. "I'm happy to make it to the next round."