If I told you we finished 2nd in the State Group 4 meet losing by just two points, you might feel disappointed. It is safe to say that the girls at the meet were disappointed, and that tells me a lot about the makeup of this team. They are more concerned about the performance of the team and each other than their individual successes. What if I told you that was just the second time in school history that the team finished 2nd. Or that an outright school record both indoors and outdoors was broken. Or that there were four lifetime best performances. One more indoor best performance. Five top ten performances all time. or the freshman 1600m record was lowered even more. To me that says what kind of night we had. The girls laid it out there and came up a little short. It is never easy to win a State title in track and field especially in group 4.
Ali Cooke and Kelsey Niglio started the day off for us in the 400m. Kelsey ran 60.80 and finished 13th. Ali Cooke ran 59.17 to finish 5th. Her time earned her one of the wildcard advancements to the Meet of Champions.
The 1600m was next up for us. This race lived up to the hype as Nikki Clifford ran a perfectly executed race sitting for 4 laps and then taking over and never looking back. She rolled through in 74, 74.2, 74.5 and then dropped a 71.2 last 400. 4:53.85 broke the school record of 4:55.66 set by Megan Lacy at the Sectional meet in 2012 when she won. That time is #20 in State history indoors and #5 all time in South Jersey
History. Not to be outdone freshman Megan Niglio lowered her pr for 1600m running under 5:10 for the first time ever. 5:08.16 managed to get her 7th place and snag one of the 12 wildcard spots for MOC's. Her time moves her up to #5 all time indoors and lowered her own freshman record.
At this point in the meet Girls pole vault was coming to conclusion. Jill Strauss cleared 8' and Bella Kadar cleared 7'6 to place They finished 9th and 16th respectively.
The trials of the 55m were up next on the track and Maddie Van Haren ran 1/100 off her lifetime best clocking 7.51. That time finished 10th.
Kelsey Niglio was now up for her second race of the day in the 800m. This week, she didn't have to worry about running by herself. She negative split a 2:17.54 to place 3rd and earn an automatic qualifier for MOC's. That time is the fastest 800m she has ever run indoors and moves her to #3 on the indoor all time list.
At this point we knew we needed some big points out of the last two events to catch Ridgewood. Nikki Clifford was back on the oval to run the 3200m. She once again let the race unfold perfectly before taking charge. After leaving the field, she cruised to an 11:00.36 to claim her second state title of the night. That also is the second fastest 3200 she has ever run.
The meet came down to the 4x400
m relay. Not only racing the field, we needed to finish two places in front of Ridgewood to tie them for 1st. Kelsey Niglio(60.5), Maddie Van Haren(60.9), Ali Cooke(61.1) and Nikki Clifford(59.3) ran the fastest 4x4 we have run this season at 4:01.77 to finish 2nd behind RV and unfortunately right in front of Ridgewood. This is exactly why we hold meets and these girls gave it all they had for this night. I am proud of the way they handled adversity, and the way they held their heads high at the end of the meet. We battled Ridgewood, we battled RV and we live to face them another day.