Hasbrouck Heights has long been one of New Jersey's top group 1 teams in both boys and girls track and field, both indoors and outdoors.
The Aviators have won dozens of league, county group and state sectional meets. But before last Thursday night, their only gold state group trophy had come from the 2011 boys team that won the indoor relays.
Thursday, the Aviator girls, after just missing a scoring place in the night's first event, the distance medley, grabbed a share of the lead with an impressive win in the shuttle hurdles and never gave it up, dominating the field events for a 54-40 win over Clayton, in the meet held at the Bennett Center bubble in Toms River.
"We always try and compete in the state relays, and with no NJIC meet this year we wanted to use it as our first team championship meet of the year and a springboard for the rest of the year,'' said veteran coach Rob Brady. "It's the first girls state group title in any sport in Hasbrouck Heights history.''
The team of Amber Barrios, Brooke Freschi, Ella Reyngoudt and Megan Napolitano ran a sizzling time of 34.68 seconds to win the shuttle hurdles more than a hurdle and then Barrios joined first year indoor runner Dea Jera, Paige McGuire and Elisha Santos to take second to Clayton in the 4-x-200.
Barrios, the only Aviator for score in four events, teammed with Natalie Kroncke, and freshmen Lexi Powers and Mackenzie Bua to take fourth in the 4-x-800.
Meanwhile, the Aviators were tearing it up in the three field events.
Freschi and Gea DePass took second in the high jump, while Napolitano and Emma Cunningham were second in the pole vault. But it was the rookie pair of soph Elliot Eddy and junior Meghan Stellhorn that provided the biggest lift, combining to throw 60-7 1/4 and win the title.
"The field events gave us an 18 point lead over Clayton with just two events,'' said Brady. "Then we got two points in the sprint medley and the meet was ours.''
After the makeshift sprint medley team of Freschi, Ines Turner, Santos and Morgan Gagliano scored the clinching points, Barrios, Jera, McGuire and Mia Gagliano grabbed fourth in the 4-x-400 for the final margin.
"I was worried going into the meet because our top distance runner (Isabella Drezek) was unavailable because of a stomach virus,'' said Brady. "That probably cost us points in the DMR and 4-x-800 but our girls came together to pick us up. I'm real happy with this win."
Hasbrouck Heights was the only team winner in what was light participation in the state relays, which were held without spectators.
Gold medal winners
Ryan Balsam cleared 11-6 and teammate Benjamin Damsky made 9 feet as Emerson won the group 1 boys pole vault title.
The Paramus Catholic 4-x-400 team of Fiona Carter, Sydney Dungey, Gina Rubio and Isabella Tejeda held off Union Catholic to win the Non-Public A title, 4:29.15-4:29.17.
Max Zuckerman led all vaulters with a jump of 14 feet and teammate Ben Mandler cleared 12 feet as Pascack Hills easily won the group 2 pole vault title.
Here's a breakdown of other North Jersey medal winners in the six divisions of the meet, which began Jan. 12.
Non-Public B (Jan. 12): No North Jersey entries.
Group 1 (Jan. 13): BOYS: Kinnelon (3rd, distance medley, 11:11.96; 6th, 4-x-200, 1:39.46; 3rd, 4-x-800, 9:00.53; 4th, 4-x-400, 3:43.80; 2nd, high jump, 11-0); Hawthorne (5th, distance medley, 11:48.23; 6th, sprint medley, 3:56.48); New Milford (2nd, 4-x-200. 1:38.74); Secaucus (5th, 4-x-800, 9:27.07); Saddle Brook (6th, 4-x-400, 3:45.07); Hasbrouck Heights (2nd, shot, 87-4 3/4); Midland Park (3rd, shot, 86-7 1/2); Saddle Brook (5th, shot, 82-9 1/2).
GIRLS: Saddle Brook (6th, distance medley, 14:21.49); Kinnelon (6th, shuttle hurdles, 39.50; tie 3rd, high jump, 9-0); New Milford (4th, sprint medley, 4:43.28): Emerson (2nd, shot, 56-2 1/4).
Non-Public A (Jan. 14): BOYS: Bergen Catholic (6th, distance medley, 12:03.09; 5th, 4-x-800, 9:12.41; 6th, sprint medley, 3:58.34; 6th, 4-x-400, 3:46.54; 5th, shot, 80-10 1/4); Paramus Catholic (3rd, shuttle hurdles, 34.06; 6th, 4-x-200, 1:37.43; 4th, 4-x-400, 3:45.28; 4th, high jump, 10-8).
GIRLS: Paramus Catholic (2nd, shuttle hurdles, 34.81; 3rd, high jump, 9-0; 2nd, shot, 61-0 1/4).
Group 4 (Jan. 15): BOYS: Hackensack (3rd, pole vault, 20-0).
GIRLS: No North Jersey entries.
Group 3 (Jan. 16): BOYS: Wayne Hills (5th, 4-x-400, 3:40.95).
GIRLS: Wayne Hills (5th, shuttle hurdles, 36.46).
Group 2 (Jan. 17): BOYS: Pascack Hills (4th, high jump, 10-10); Ramsey (5th, 79-0 1/4).
GIRLS: Mahwah (4th, 4-x-800, 10:38.09; 6th, 4-x-400 relay, 4:26.09; 5th, shot, 55-9 1/2)
Heredia, Dubac, Ramapo have big nights at Millrose Games Trials
Jan. 12 at the Armory Track Center
Jacob Heredia came up short in his bid for an automatic invite to the Jan. 29 Millrose Games Boys high school mile, but the Clifton senior did set a Passaic County indoor record in his fourth place finish.
Heredia finished fourth in a very strong field behind race winner Collin Boler of Delbarton, running 4:18.80 for the full mile. That converts to a 4:17.30 1,600 meter finish, breaking the old Passaic County record of 4:17.8 set by Kennedy's Mohamed Khadraoui in 2004.
Heredia's teammate, junior Remy Dubac was fifth in her Millrose Games bid in a school 5:08.84 for the mile, the equivalent of a 5:07.05 1,600. Only Alyssa LaGuardia of DePaul (2010, 5:04.09) and Cathy Feeney of Wayne Valley (1988, 5:06.92) have run faster among Passaic County girls indoors.
Ramapo's girls relays had an outstanding night, qualifying for both the 4-x-800 high school invitational and the Suburban 4-x-400 relay at Millrose.
The Green Raiders' Carly Griffin, Bianca Wertheimer, Julia Wowkun and Brianna Braver finished third in the 4-x-800, in 9:33.14, 16th fastest in Bergen County history and finished five meters behind race winner Freehold Township.
About an hour later, Griffin, Wertheimer, Wowkun and Izzie Anzaldo combined to run 4:06.53 for third in the Suburban 4-x-400 trials to also earn a spot at Millrose Games, with Anzaldo's 58.30, the best anchor split of the 25 teams entered.
The Ramapo boys 4-x-800 also ran well, running 8:23.99 for fourth place in their qualifying race.
Highlands at the Armory
Northern Highlands ran at the Steve Borbet Invitational held at the Armory Track Center on Jan.14 and had some very good results.
Molly Bennett, headed for Notre Dame next fall, had her best race of the indoor season, winning the 600 in 1:39.49, while Hailey Pataki was fourth in 1:44.94. Bennett's younger sister, Belle, won the 55 hurdles with a personal best of 8.95 seconds.
Belle Bennett was sixth in the 55 dash in 7.77 seconds, while Hannah Feeley was second in the 200 in 27.53. Braden Slayne took second in the girls 400 in 1:03.82
On the boys side, junior Michael Braun won the 400 in 53.88 with Dhylan MacLaren fourth in 54.63 and Brian Buono 5th in 55.31. Zach Madison won the high jump at 6-0 and was fourth in the long jump at 19-6.
Ridgewood Winter Games
Jan. 12 at the Rockland CC Fieldhouse, Monsey, N.Y.
North Jersey winners: Nathan Storz, Emerson (HH, 8.7; long jump, 20-1;triple jump, 43-11 3/4); Deniz Kalkandelen, Indian Hills (1000Y, 2:49.1); Joshua Manning, Manchester (shot, 45-11 3/4); Matt Aono, Ridgewood (pole vault, 11-0); Lyndhurst (4-x-400, 3:56.9)
Other top North Jersey performances: Elijah Carroll, Eastside (2nd, 55, 6.8; 2nd 300Y, 36.1); Ethan Arevedo, Don Bosco (3rd, 55, 6.8); Luke Parker, Eastern Christian (2nd, 1000Y, 2:49.4); Guy Allegri, Pompton Lakes (3rd, 1000Y, 2:49.7); Jason Ballen, Midland Park (3rd, shot, 43-9 1/4); Connor Havison, Park Ridge (2nd, high jump, 5-8); Jordan Engram, Lodi (2nd, triple jump, 38-5 1/2).
North Jersey winners: Emma Keating, Pompton Lakes (HH, 9.3; pole vault, 11-0); Danielle Tilp, Cresskill, (600Y, 1:38.4); Ciara Brown, Hackensack (shot, 37-7 1/2); Maegan Feeney, IHA (Long jump, 16-4); Niki Matthews, IHA (triple jump, 34-7 3/4); Park Ridge (4-x-400, 4:42.6).
Other top North Jersey performances: Olivia Tacconi, IHA (3rd, 55, 7.8; 2nd, 300Y, 42.1); Olivia Salkowsky, IHA (2nd, HH, 9.4): Amanda Barrett, Lodi (3rd, HH, 9.7; 2nd, triple jump, 32-5); Julia Tozduman, Lyndhurst (2nd, 300Y, 41.0); Grace Kelleher, IHA (2nd, 600Y, 1:40.3); Elyse van derLieth, Park Ridge (3rd, 600Y, 1:41.5); Annelise Barney, Indian Hills (2nd, 1000Y, 3:16.5) ; Tilp (2nd, 1 mile, 5:27.9); Kayla Carrino, Lyndhurst (2nd, 2 mile, 12:35.7); Isabel Johnson, Ridgewood (2nd, shot, 32-10); Anneke Kuperus, Eastern Christian (2nd, high jump, 4-8); Shaniya Richberg, Lodi (3rd, triple jump, 32-0 1/2).
Paul Schwartz covers high school track and field for NorthJersey.com. For full access to live scores, breaking news and analysis from our Varsity Aces team, subscribe today. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter and download our app.
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Winter Track: Hasbrouck Heights relays win highlight of the week