IRVINGTON, NJ (updated Friday March 3, 12:30 p.m.) – Irvington High School’s Da’John Graves was an underdog going into the NJSIAA indoor track and field state Meet of Champions held at the Bennett Center in Toms River on Saturday, Feb. 25.
The senior was ranked 23rd in the state in the 55-meter hurdles.
But Graves showed much tremendous mettle and almost made it to the finals. Graves finished 16th in the preliminaries in 7.86 in a field of 37 runners. He missed qualifying for the finals by just 1.2 tenths of a second.
Graves qualified for the Meet of Champions after taking fourth in 7.90 at the NJSIAA Group 3 state Championships on Feb. 18 at the Bennett Center.
At the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 state Championships on Feb. 11 at the Bennett Center, Graves won the 55 hurdles in 7.98.
Graves placed in every marjor championship this winter. An excellent student in the classroom, Graves has a 3.8 grade-point average while attending Bloomfield Tech. He has been accepted to St. Peter’s University, Bloomfield College, and Montclair State University, according to head coach Marvin Hawkins, who describes Graves as a humble, hard-working student-athlete.