The North Jersey Tri-County Conference held its first-ever championships (and quite possibly its last as well) Tuesday at Garret Mountain in Woodland Park. The area was well represented by some solid performances, highlighted by the North Bergen girls winning the Hudson larger schools team title, the school’s first girls’ team title of any kind since 2002.
Led by senior Ybrahina Cohen, who finished third overall in 22:12, and junior Nicole Ortiz, who was fifth in 22:41, the Bruins outdistanced second place Kearny by only four points.
“I just had a feeling that we had a chance,” said North Bergen fourth-year head coach Colleen Conroy. “I saw the other times of the other teams and thought we had a shot. The girls all run in a pack together, and they did what they had to do. They were consistent. Their times have been improving all year, but these were the best times they had at Garret Mountain. We’re really excited. The girls have worked hard and they are thrilled and ecstatic to win this championship. It’s really a big step.”
Senior Janel Alvarez was seventh, followed by her teammate, sophomore Estefania Osorio, who hit the line just 7 seconds apart.
Senior Meghan Donovan of St. Dominic Academy won the race individually in 21:04.
The large school boys’ team title was captured by Dickinson, which did the same thing last year in winning the old HCIAA title, running as the “Wolf Pack,” as they like to call themselves.
The Rams easily outran runner-up Memorial, 29-55.
While North Bergen’s brilliant Danny Rondon bounced back from a sub-par performance at Holmdel last week to win the race in 16:30, the next three finishers were all Dickinson runners, namely junior Jose Rivera (17:13), senior Pedro Claudio (17:14) and junior Jose Veras (17:29). Senior Tarick Awad was sixth, just a few seconds behind his teammates, so the Rams had four of the top six finishers. That’s pretty impressive.
In the smaller schools’ division, Mohamed Merdan of County Prep won the boys’ race in an impressive 16:35, with McNair Academic earning the team title, thanks to a dominating performance, where the Cougars’ top seven runners finished among the top 10, led by Chris Farao (third, 17:53) and Kevin Ratigan (fourth, 18:16).
In the small schools’ girls’ race, sophomore Fawzia Kheir took top honors in 22:12.
Needless to say, it was a fine showing from the local schools, as they prepare for the Hudson County Track Coaches Association championships next Saturday at Bayonne County Park…
There were some important items from the local world of high school football over the weekend.
Secaucus might have lost starting quarterback Niko Petruzzella to an injury, but sophomore Sean Egan filled in and threw three touchdown passes in the Patriots’ 57-6 thrashing of Wallington. Two of Egan’s passes went to Matt Traynor and the other went to the best name in all of Hudson County sports, Angelo Abdellatif, had the other.
The Patriots also had more than 300 yards rushing, with Joe Impreveduto rushing for 164 yards and three touchdowns and Eddie Delgado adding 149 yards more, easily the most impressive rushing performance by coach Charlie Voorhees’ team in recent memory…
St. Peter’s Prep trounced Union City, 50-0, with quarterback Raphael Ortiz continuing his brilliant play, passing for 155 yards and two touchdowns. His main target was Brendan Dolaghan, who had four receptions for 100 yards…
It’s not too early to start thinking about the upcoming NJSIAA football state playoffs.
Here’s an update on the power point situation. In North Section 2, Group I, Secaucus is fourth with 43 and Hoboken is eighth with 22.
In Section 2, Group II, undefeated Lincoln is sitting pretty in second place with 60 points, trailing only Summit for the top seed.
In Group III, Ferris once again finds itself in a pickle. The 3-2 Bulldogs are currently in seventh place with 44 points, so they will need to keep winning and get some help to secure the elusive playoff berth that faded away the last two seasons.
In North Section 1, Group IV, North Bergen looks solid in fourth place with 50 points. The Bruins can certainly help their cause this week with an upset win over the Marauders of St. Peter’s Prep, who are currently seventh in Non-Public Group IV. This weekend’s game will be crucial to both local teams’ state playoff hopes.
The only other local squad who can think about the playoffs this season is St. Anthony, which sits second in Non-Public Group I, far behind perennial top seed Paterson Catholic….
The Hudson Reporter Top Five: 1. St. Peter’s Prep (3-1). 2. Lincoln (5-0). 3. North Bergen (4-1). 4. Secaucus (4-0). 5. Hoboken (2-2)….
Local boxing hero Tomasz Adamek, who was featured prominently in the new issue of the Jersey City Magazine, wrapped up his local training schedule last weekend and headed to Poland to fight former local resident Andrew Golota in a Polish heavyweight extravaganza Oct. 24…
Here’s a great way to end this week’s editions. Last Friday night, the New England Basketball Hall of Fame held its annual induction dinner. Three Hudson County hoop legends were among those honored, namely John Wendelken, Gordon Chiesa and the late Tony Nicodemo. Tony Nicodemo, Jr. accepted for his father, Tony “the Tiger,” who was the long-time athletic director at St. Mary’s High School in Jersey City. All three men were hugely successful in basketball and deserved their place among the legends of New England. Another Hall member, current UConn assistant and Jersey City native George Blaney, served as a presenter. Needless to say, it was a great night for Hudson County basketball, albeit in New England. Congrats to all three honorees… -- Jim Hague Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.