Anthony Averett raced down the runway, planted his left foot, and soared farther than any New Jersey high school long jumper except one.
Some guy named Carl Lewis.
Averett, a Woodbury junior known more for his play on the football field, unleashed the second-best long jump in state history with a leap of 25 feet, 21/2 inches Saturday at the Woodbury Relays.
Only Lewis, the four-time Olympic champion in the event, has jumped farther as a New Jersey high school athlete. Lewis went 26-6 as a senior at Willingboro in 1979.
"It's a pleasure to be even near him," Averett said of Lewis. "They said when he was here, he jumped out of the pit."
Averett's remarkable long jump was the highlight of a record-shattering day at the 40th annual Woodbury Relays.
Ideal conditions - sunny skies and 80-degree temperatures after an unseasonably warm winter and early spring that have many of the athletes ahead of schedule in their training - resulted in 10 meet records, including eight in girls' events.
Bridgeton junior Braheme Days set the meet record in the shot put with a throw of 66-1/4. Days broke the record of 64-1/2 inch set in 1995 by Overbrook's Ron Dayne, who later won the Heisman Trophy as a running back at Wisconsin.
"He's only the best college running back that's ever been," Days said of Dayne.
West Deptford's Megan Kirschling broke her own year-old record with a leap of 5-10 in the high jump. Kirschling's old mark was 5-7.
"That was my goal for the season," Kirschling said of 5-10. "I never thought I would get it this early. It was amazing."
Winslow Township's Stey'ce McNeil, the meet's Outstanding Track Athlete among girls, anchored her team to three meet records. McNeil brought the Eagles home in record times in the shuttle hurdles (1 minute, 1.82 seconds), 4x200 (1:39.59), and 4x400 (3:52.39).
Winslow's record in the 4x400, set in the Group 3 race, lasted only a few minutes, as Columbia lowered the mark with a 3:49.50 in Group 4.
"I liked all three," said McNeill, who has signed with Mississippi State. "We've been working hard, and it paid off today."
Willingboro's Isaac Williams ran on four winning teams in leading the Chimeras to the Group 2 team title. He was named the meet's Outstanding Track Athlete in boys' competition.
"He looked beautiful," Willingboro coach Martin Booker said of Williams, who has signed with Houston.
Cherokee's Jess Woodard was named the Outstanding Field Athlete among girls after setting a meet record with a throw of 149-11 in the javelin and also winning the shot put in 43-93/4.
Averett was named the Outstanding Field Athlete after his long jump shattered the meet record of 24-51/2 set by Willingboro's Gerald Reynolds in 1995.
Because there was no wind gauge, Averett's jump officially is regarded as wind-aided. But the wind was minimal when he jumped. And his performance was no one-time flash; he had gone 25-13/4 on his previous attempt.
"I didn't believe it, to be honest," Averett said. "I was hoping to go 24 [feet]. That was my goal for the season. I guess now I'm going to have to come up with a new goal."
Averett also ran on two winning relay teams as Woodbury captured the Group 1 team title. He recently committed to Alabama, the defending national champion, on a football scholarship.
As a 25-foot long jumper, Averett will be among the favorites to the win the high school long jump at the Penn Relays next weekend. Days, whose 70-8 throw indoors was the longest in the nation this season, will be the top seed in the shot put.
"I know there's going to be a lot of great athletes there," Averett said of the Penn Relays. "But I'm going there to win it."