New Jersey has been home to some of the greatest track athletes in Olympic history and two of them head the list of the five most dominant high school athletes in New Jersey history.
MaxPreps is counting down the top five greatest high school athletes from each state. This week's list features two track stars, a baseball MVP and a pair of basketball greats.
Five most dominant high school athletes in New Jersey history
Carl Lewis, Willingboro, 1979
Lewis was one of the top long jumpers in the world as a high school athlete, setting the high school long jump record at 26 feet, 8 inches just a few days after graduating from high school in 1979. While still a teenager, Lewis was ranked No. 5 in the world, according to Track and Field News. He went on to win the gold medal in the Olympics four times (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996) and won the 100-meter dash gold medal twice. He won four gold medals at the 1984 Olympics and at one time held the world record in the 100 meters.Milt Campbell, Plainfield, 1952
While still in high school, Campbell made the Olympic team in the decathlon and finished second at the Helsinki Olympics behind Bob Mathias. He also set state high school records in the low hurdles and high jump and was named the national high school Athlete of the Year by Track and Field. He went on to edge Rafer Johnson for the gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. Also a football player, Campbell scored 140 points as a fullback his senior year and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1957. He only played one year with the Browns and
then played several years in the Canadian Football League.Mike Trout, Millville, 2009
Trout played basketball and baseball in high school, earning All-American honors in the latter sport after setting a state record with 18 home runs. He was drafted in the first round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Angels with the No. 25 overall pick. He has emerged as one of the game's bright young stars, making seven trips the All-Star game and twice earning American League MVP honors.
Kyrie Irving, Patrick School (Hillside, N.J.), 2010
Irving led two different schools to state championships in New Jersey, first leading Montclair Kimberly Academy to a Non-Public Group B title as a sophomore and then transferring to St. Patrick's and leading that team to a Non-Public Group A championship as a junior. Irving added 24 points per game as a senior while earning All-American honors from MaxPreps, Parade Magazine and McDonald's. At Duke, Irving missed most of the season due to a toe injury, but he averaged 17.5 points in 11 games. He was the No. 1 overall choice in the 2011 NBA draft and went on to win Rookie of the Year honors. He's a five-time NBA all-star and made All-NBA Third Team in 2015.Rick Barry, Roselle Park, 1962
A two-sport star, Barry was twice all-state in basketball and baseball before heading to the University of Miami on a basketball scholarship. He led the NCAA in scoring in 1965 and was a consensus first team All-American. He was the No. 2 overall pick in the 1965 NBA Draft by the San Francisco Warriors and he immediately made an impact. He led the NBA in scoring in just his second team. He jumped to the ABA and played four years there, earning four All-ABA First Team honors. After returning to the NBA, Barry made first team All-Pro five times and was an 8-time NBA All-Star.Also considered:
Carol Blazejowski, Cranford, basketball; Anne Donovan, Paramus Catholic, basketball; Jabrill Peppers, Paramus Catholic, football; Tom Heinsohn, Saint Michael's, basketball; Bobby Hurley, St. Anthony, basketball; Bill Raftery, Saint Cecilia, basketball; Billy Thompson, Camden, basketball; DeJuan Wagner, Camden, basketball; Karl Anthony Towns, St. Joseph, basketball; Brian Cushing, Bergen Catholic, football; Ron Dayne, Pine Hill, football; Joe Flacco, Audubon, football; John Giannantonio, Netcong, football; Franco Harris, Rancocas Valley Regional; Craig Heyward, Passaic, football; Renaldo Nehemiah, Scotch Plains Fanwood, track and field; Dave Robinson, Moorestown, football; Mike Rozier, Camden Woodrow Wilson, football; Art Still, Camden, football; Joe Theisman, South River, football; Carli Lloyd, Delran, soccer; Sydney McLaughlin, Union Catholic, track and field.