Before he took his team to the Hudson County Track Coaches Association Indoor Championships at the New York Armory last Monday night, Hudson Catholic head coach Anthony Campbell had an idea that his girls’ team had a good shot of coming away with the title, even though the Hawks had never won a county title in girls’ track before.
“We had basically our entire team back from last year,” said Campbell, who was a sensational runner during his scholastic days at Snyder in the 1990s. “We only lost by four points last year, so I felt pretty confident that we could win the meet.”
Campbell remained steadfast with his thoughts even after learning that standout distance runner Weeshamar Senatus was battling a hip injury and was not going to be able to compete in the 1,600-meter run, the signature event during the indoor season for the two-time reigning county cross country champ.
“It’s a long season and I didn’t want to lose her any more than one race,” Campbell said of Senatus’ injury. “We had a lot of season left in front of us. We didn’t need to push her. We just got a good team effort.”
The Hawks won only two events, namely the 800-meter run with Senatus taking the gold in 2:23.56, and the 4×400-meter relay with Ryan Webb, Modesty Griffin, Janae Von Burch and Senatus combining to set a new meet record with a time of 4:14.19, but the Hawks’ collective team effort was good enough to take home the team prize at the HCTCA Indoor Championships for the first time in school history.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” Campbell said. “We were able to win the county championship with just seven girls. It’s a real good feeling. The girls all believed in themselves.”
The 4×400 relay team also qualified for the prestigious Milrose Games that will take place at the Armory on Saturday. The Milrose Games is historically recognized as the premier indoor track meet in the country. The 4×400 relay was slated to go off at 1:28 p.m. – and there is a precise schedule that all of the competitors have to religiously follow.
Needless to say, it’s a milestone achievement for the Hawks, first winning the county crown, then getting the chance to compete in the Milrose Games.
The Hawks managed to squeak by North Bergen by a two-point margin, 56-54, with St. Dominic Academy third.
Two female athletes managed to win two individual events, namely Iria Paz of North Bergen, who earned gold medals in both the high jump (4-10) and long jump (16-1 ½) and Aretha Edwards of Lincoln, who won both the 55-meter dash (7.40 seconds) and the 400-meter dash (59.94 seconds).
Other individual champions included Shayla Morales of North Bergen, who won gold in the 1,600-meter run in 5:30.03 and Denayia Johnson of Ferris, who captured gold in the shot put with a throw of 32-11.
On the boys’ side, St. Peter’s Prep dominated, exactly doubling the point total of the closest competition, McNair Academic, 88-44. North Bergen was third.
For the Marauders, Markus Bagley won the 400-meter dash (50.44), Adonis McGee won the high jump (6-2) and William Woltmann won the shot put (51-6). The Marauders also took home the gold in the 4×400-meter relay (3:29.96).
North Bergen’s sensational Giano Roberts won three events, taking gold in the 55-meter hurdles (7.71), the 55-meter dash (6.62) and the long jump (21-4).
McNair Academic’s Fahd Nasser won the 3,200-meter run (9:28.00) and was second in the 1,600-meter run to champion Francis Martingale of Memorial, who won the 1,600 in 4:22.69.
Nasser’s teammate Marcus Hardy won the 800-meter run in 1:58.47…
Almost a full three years after declaring his intentions to become a professional boxer, Jersey City school teacher Nicoy “Zilla” Clarke will finally make his pro debut Tuesday, Feb. 13 at the Sands Bethlehem Events Center and Casino in Bethlehem, Pa.
Clarke, a heavyweight, is scheduled to face former New York Golden Gloves champion Michael Polite Coffie in a four-round bout as part of a packed 10-bout card promoted by King’s Promotions and respected promoter Marshall Kauffman.
Clarke, who teaches reading, writing and math at the old Our Lady of Czestochowa school for students grades kindergarten through eight, had to endure a host of cancellations and postponements since turning pro, but now has inked a four-bout deal with Kauffman and King’s Promotions to finally climb into the ring.
“I had four other fights cancelled on me, so getting this chance is the greatest feeling in the world,” Clarke said. “I’m excited and ready to shock the world. I know they’re bringing me in to lose this one, but that’s not going to happen.”
The 36-year-old Clarke, who stands 5-foot-10 and weighs about 215 pounds, is facing Polite Coffie, who stands 6-foot-5 and weights 270 and won the New York Golden Gloves title last year after reaching the finals in 2016.
“I’ve been working real hard for this,” Clarke said. “I’ve been going to the gym constantly. I’m ready for this challenge.”…
The Great Hagueini’s Super Bowl prediction for the immortal retired Jersey City Police Officer Jim “Alamo Jones Shoes Roscoe” Gallagher: Philadelphia Eagles 30, New England Patriots 17. Remember, you can only use that prediction if you’re wagering a bologna sandwich on toasted white bread and an Arnold Palmer with your Uncle Looie…
Hudson Reporter Boys’ High School Basketball Top Five: 1. Hudson Catholic (13-4). 2. North Bergen (13-4). 3. Lincoln (12-5). 4. St. Peter’s Prep (13-4). 5. Snyder (11-6)…
Hudson Reporter Girls’ High School Basketball Top Five: 1. Secaucus (14-1). 2. Lincoln (14-1). 3. Hudson Catholic (15-1). 4. Weehawken (14-2). 5. Marist (9-6)… — Jim Hague.
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.