J.J. Kelly wins 2 titles at New Balance Nationals

PHILADELPHIA — J.J. Kelly’s short, but very successful, track & field career took another step forward last weekend.

J.J. Kelly

At the New Balance Nationals meet at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Kelly, of Chambersburg, competed against other top freshmen and brought home two first places and a second place in the jumping events.

In the event Kelly did not win, the long jump held last Friday, his top effort of 22-9.25 (on his last jump) broke the long-standing Trojan school record of Ted Wingert (22-9), which had held for 51 years. The winner, Clayton Gary of Maryland, jumped 23-2.

Kelly said, “My best had been the 22-8 I had at Greencastle, and what I was hoping to do was break the school record this weekend and get it over with (before next season).”

Later Friday, Kelly took first place in the high jump, hitting 6-2.75 on his final attempt at that height. His season-best mark was 6-5.

Saturday, in the triple jump, Kelly topped the field with a leap of 46-7.25. His previous best had come three weeks ago, when he won the PIAA title at 48-1.

“I did hit 49 on one of my jumps, but I fouled,” Kelly said. “I’d already won, but I was hoping to break my own record.”

Chambersburg coach Bob Walker said, “That last jump was probably over 49, and he fouled by about half an inch. We had entered him in the freshmen division, but in hindsight, I think if we’d put him in the championship level, the better competition might have pushed him more.”

There were three levels at the meet — championship, rising stars and freshmen.

Kelly said his first track season is now over, but he’ll keep plenty busy this summer playing AAU basketball and training for football, in which he’ll play wide receiver.

The Trojans entered a team in the championship 4 x 110 shuttle hurdles event and the team of Jermere Jones, Edis Korkutovic, Darion Baumgartner and Michael Kelly placed second. Their time of 1:02.15, broke their own school record (1:02.87), set at the Cedar Cliff Relays in May.

A D.C.-area club team won in 1:00.40.

Also, Antonio Harrison reached the final in the freshman 100 dash, hitting 11.44 in the trials and 11.47 in the final, where he placed eighth.

Shippensburg’s Dakota Arana, a two-time PIAA champion, won the championship high jump with a heights of 6-9.