Jared Cooper's 16:16 for 16th at the Meet of Champions last fall marks him the top Group 1 returner at Holmdel Park. He was sixth at the Group 1 Championships with a time of 16:40. From that Group 1 race the top returner is actually Sebastien Reed of Pitman who ranks third on this list, Reed finished fifth as a sophomore in Group 1 running 16:40.
Also gaining recognition is Bermuda Carifta Medalist Nathan Armstrong.
Cooper not only leads the Group 1 returners but he'll be the cornerstone of Mountain Lakes' title defense after winning the 2017 Group 1 Team Championship. Mountain Lakes returns five from that squad of seven averaging 17:38. New Providence, Spotswood, and Shore Regional along with others will all be eyeing that team title as well.
Other Group 1 individuals on the lookout for is Robert Hannon, from Point Pleasant Beach, Hannon returns this year after taking 4th at last year’s Group 1 Meet. Hannon defeated defending champion Reed at Meet of Champs this spring in the 3200. He proved that Reed could be beaten by someone not named Cooper, which is why he is our pick to win group 1 this year.
Armstrong who represents Pompton Lakes produced one of the most impressive performances at the Group 1 State Meet in Track this spring.
Armstrong ran 4:26 in the 1600 to place 5th, 9:51 in the 3200 to place 7th and 1:59 in the 800 to finish 9th. This incredible range is the reason that Armstrong is one of the picks to be runner up at the Group 1 meet this year.