Chatham's Kirton Breaks 20-Year-Old Record in Winning Morris County Hurdles Title

No wonder Chatham's Simone Kirton didn't know that she won the 55-hurdles in record fashion - she closed her eyes at the finish Credits: Glenn Clark
Chatham girls track coach Julie Ullmeyer urges on Julie Hamilton at Morris County Winter Track Championships Credits: Glenn Clark
Chatham sophomore Simone Kirton finishes off her record-setting hurdles victory in 8.40 Credits: Glenn Clark
Laura Barber takes the baton from Julia DiSalvio in Chatham's 4x400 race at Morris County Championships Credits: Glenn Clark

MADISON, NJ -  Chatham sophomore Simone Kirton ran 8.40 to win the 55-meter high hurdles, setting a school record and breaking a 20-year-old meet record at the 2015 Morris County Winter Track Championships held Wednesday at Drew University.

Vanessa Lewis of Morris Catholic set the meet record of 8.57 in 1995 and it was tied by Samantha Kral of Randolph in 2013.

Kirton edged out rival Elly Scherer of Randolph, who ran faster than the old record with a time of 8.45 in placing second. It marked the first time Kirton has beaten Scherer this season.

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"I think I focused a lot on my start," Kirton said. "Usually, Elly (Scherer) throws me off because she's really good. I tried to screen her out and just focus on my race. I worry about her because she's beaten me so many times that I know she can pass me. So instead of just going for it, I'm thinking about her catching me."

Chatham sophomore Simone Kirton sets a school and meet record in winning the 55-meter hurdles in video

"I focused on driving out because I know (Scherer) can catch up to me because she has really good form," Kirton said. "I knew I could get a lead due to my foot speed, so I tried to say low over the hurdles instead of jumping over them. I'm really eager to bring down my time more."

Simone Kirton talks about the 55-meter hurdle race and her rival Elly Scherer of Randolph in video

The Chatham girls finished eighth as a team with 19 points.

In other highlights for Chatham, senior Laura Walsh placed third in 1600-meter run in 5:11.28 and fifth in 1000 in 3:10.73. Senior Sarah Prill gained sixth place in 55-meter dash in 7.73.

Also of note: Rashida Haye-7th place in 55mHH in 9.23
Alex Frenzel-7th place in 600m in 1:44.85
Erin Tencic-8th place in 600m in 1:45.77

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