When Penns Grove track athletes return to school after the long holiday weekend, both the boys and girls can call themselves champions.
Both came in first place in the South Jersey Group 1 track and field meet Saturday at Egg Harbor Township.
The girls easily topped their competition, scoring 148 points, with Pitman coming in second at 71.
For Penns Grove, Faleesha Dowe won the 200 meters in 24.64, and teammate Kianje Pollard, who had won the 100 on Friday, finished second at 25.37. In the 800, Courtney Smith triumphed in 2 minutes, 30.53 seconds, and Pitman's Julia Viola registered a 2:32.01 to come in second.
Smith and Dowe were part of the 4x400 relay team that took first place, as well. Smith and Dowe teamed with Kianje Pollard and Jaye Pollard to finish in 3:55.19, almost 18 seconds ahead of second-place Audubon. Penns Grove also won the 4x400 relay, triple jump, and discus.
On the boys' side, Penns Grove won two events Saturday. In the 800, senior Jaymes Dennison clocked in at 1:54.45. Dennison also was part of the victorious 4x400 team. Dennison, Norman Morris, Deston Richardson, and Dominique Ware finished in 3:27.41.
In Group 4 action:
Cherokee's girls won a tight race for first place, finishing with 110 points. Courtney Foster won the 200 with a time of 25.59 seconds. Eastern's Sydney Jackson clocked in just after her at 25.76. Foster came in second in the 400 at 58.44, with Egg Harbor's Ashley Gerald finishing in third at 58.54.
Between the two races, Foster earned Cherokee 18 points. Southern Regional came in second with 107, and Egg Harbor finished third with 78.
Egg Harbor's boys did a little better, finishing first in their Group 4 meet with 94 points. Steven Morgan won the 110 hurdles, crossing the finish in 14.50. Atlantic City's Keith Street gave him a run for first place at the end, but finished at 14.65.
Morgan joined seniors Van-Douglas Monger, Nathaniel Henry, and Curtis Fitzpatrick for a first-place finish in the 4x100. The four seniors ran a 43.27.
A group of less experienced Millville runners put up a good fight, finishing at 43.81. The Thunderbolts' relay quartet featured two sophomores and a junior.
Non-Public B. The St. Joseph boys squad came in second with 128 points, behind Pingry's 158. The Wildcats owned the 200, with sophomore Rocco Ordille finishing first at 22.80, Christopher Gabor following up at 23.14, and Miles Pease running third at 23.40.
Ordille also won the long jump with an effort of 19 feet, 63/4 inches.
Non-Public A. St. Augustine finished the boys' meet in fourth place with 49 points. Justyce Pollitt edged his competition in the long jump with a leap of 20-41/2. Paul VI's Greg Pease finished second at 20-03/4.