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Phillips, Kane create lasting legacies by winning state titles

Keira Phillips of Middle Township wins the 400 hurdles.


Cape May County has produced two state track and field champions.

Senior Keira Phillips of Middle Township took top honors in the 400 hurdles at the Group II girls meet at Franklin High School and junior Jimmy Kane of Wildwood Catholic emerged victorious in the javelin at the Non-Public B boys meet at Middletown North High School.

Also of note, Wildwood freshman Macie McCracken placed second in the 3200 at the Group I meet.

All three have qualified for this Saturday’s Meet of Champions at Franklin High School. The top two places in every event at the six state meets plus six wildcards from each of the three group sites qualify for the Meet of Champions.


Middle Township senior Keira Phillips is a state champion in the 400 hurdles.

Keira Phillips’ state championship in the 400 hurdles further cements her status as one of the best-ever female track athletes in Middle Township High School history.

She ran personal-best and school-record time of 1 minute, 3.19 seconds in the event, besting second-place finisher Carmelle Alexis by almost 3 ½ seconds.

“It’s amazing to be a state champion, Phillips said. “I think at first I was a little shocked. But after seeing everyone’s support and seeing people post (on social media) about it, I’m just super excited.”

Phillips had one season of track experience as an eighth-grader before entering high school but didn’t take up the 400 hurdles until her freshman year.

“When I first started with track I wasn’t really expecting anything of myself,” she recalled. “But then after my freshman season, the only thing I wanted by my senior year was to be a state champion, so I’m really happy and I’m really proud of myself.”

Phillips’s rather large margin of victory at such a competitive event was surprising.

“I was trying to make sure it was one of my best races,” she said. “I just wanted to ‘PR’ and then not really worry about anything else. It felt amazing to have such a good race at that time. I felt super strong. I feel like I could’ve given more at the end if I needed to, too.”

In addition to the Meet of Champions, Phillips will also compete in the event at the New Balance Nationals on Friday at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field.

Phillips also ran the 400 at the Group II meet and placed ninth.

Phillips, also a budding model in addition to an outstanding track athlete, said she plans to model in New York over the coming months and put off attending college for a year.

She said ending her high school career with a state championship is like a dream come true. 

“It was a really good family goal,” Phillips said. “My mom and my aunt really wanted me to have it. I’m so happy I broke records and won a state championship. But it’s also sad that my high school career is over.”


Wildwood Catholic junior Jimmy Kane is the state Non-Public B javelin champion.

Jimmy Kane is known as one of the best high school soccer players in Cape May County.

He proved he’s much more than that athletically last weekend.

“It’s nice to get recognized for hard work in other things, not just soccer,” Kane said.

Kane, a junior, will forever be recognized as a state champion after his javelin toss of 147 feet, 1 inch bested the competition at the state Non-Public B championship meet. 

“Going up there, I was the No. 1 seed, but on any given day someone could outthrow me by 10 or 15 feet,” Kane said. “So I didn’t expect to win. I had no expectations. I just wanted to go up there and throw my best.”

Kane’s toss wasn’t his best – 148-0 is his personal longest – but it was plenty good enough. He edged second-place Kyle Durkin of Calvary Christian by almost two feet.

Kane also competes in the 100, 200 and discus but the javelin has quickly become his top event after taking it up for the first time last season.

Kane, who netted 25 goals and passed out nine assists in soccer in the fall, is also a member of the Crusaders’ boys basketball team.

But whatever other athletic accomplishments Kane adds to his resume, he’ll always get to see his name listed among the state track champions on a banner posted on the south wall of the school’s gymnasium.

“It’s going to be an awesome feeling to see that,” Kane said.