The team banners listed above are all of the programs represented on the girls NJ Tough Team. The full Girls Team 1st and 2nd are listed at the bottom of the article. Any statistical or name errors can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org!
A career best of 6.95 at Meet of Champions placing 1st in the finals after a 7.03 in the prelims was pretty much the perfect cap to Torie Robinson's season. Robinson broke the 7.0 barrier for a New Jersey girl sprinter for the first time since 2012 indoor when Myasia Jacobs of Paramus Catholic hit a 6.87 at the Hispanic Games. She had TEN wins this season, a second place, and a false start (after winning the prelims at the Hispanic games). She broke 7.0 after hitting the time flat while winning Easterns just before her 6.95 run at MOCs. She would later prove it wasn't a fluke by breaking 7.0 again at New Balance Nationals with a 6th place 6.99 performances to end her season on a high note. Nice running this year Torie! She was also voted the most impressive performance of the Meet of Champions after 2,268 votes were placed.
Season Best of 53.49 US#1 / State Season Best of 54.09
Olivia was the 2013 Outdoor 400m Dash NJ Tough selection as well. She continued her success this year as she ran her best indoor 400m of her career this season with a 53.49 at New Balance Indoor Nationals. This was after she burned the 400m field at MOCs with a 54.09 at the Toms River Bennett Complex. She was undefeated in the 400m this season even through Nationals and continued her career unbeaten streak to any New Jersey runners in the 400m. She only raced the 400m five times this indoor winning Essex County Champs with a 56.31, Sectionals with a 55.34, Groups with a 55.15, Meet of Champs with a 54.09, and eventually a New Balance National title with a US#1 53.49. Her 54.09 at Meet of Champions was a meet record and also a US#1 at the time!
Olivia won many different events this season ranging from short sprints all the way to the 1600m! She heads into her last season of outdoor track with full momentum and we are all really excited to see what she has in store for the state on her way out of high school athletics.
Runner Up / Alternate: Emile Cowan - Columbia HS
Olivia Baker opening what would be a successful 400m at the 2014 Indoor Meet of Champions. / Photo by Robert Kellert for MileSplit
With US#1s galore, a US#10 all-time, records left and right, and an undefeated season by a long shot in the 400m the Stanford University bound Olivia Baker takes her second NJTough Team selection as Sprinter of the season. This was the fastest she has run indoor so far, with an already storied high school track career that was all she could do (including winning the National title!). She heads to outdoor with the ever used "sky's the limit!" tag. Congratulations Olivia and good luck with outdoors!
This was such a tough call with two very talented hurdlers that were going back and forth the entire season. However in the end, much like her awesome blowout Meet of Champions 7.99 goldperformance, Patrycja Dziekonska of West Windsor-Plainsboro North came out on top. Patrycja Dziekonska has been at least top 5 in the event the last three years and was twelfth in the state her freshman year in 2011!
Dziekonska had four gold medal performances this indoor running the 55 meter hurdles at seven meets. The hurdle talent not only won her second indoor Meet of Champions title in the event but broke 8.0 for the first time in her career! The 7.99 came at the Bennett Complex in Toms River as she rebounded with a win after dropping two meets to Cidae'a Woods of Winslow Twp. And what a rebound it was! (Video of the race)
Cidea'a Woods of Winslow Twp was some of her main competition this year and deserve a major nod herself for a great season. The University of Tennessee bound multi-event athlete won both the Group 3 State Championship and the Eastern States title over Dziekonska with tight races between the two. Woods ran a personal best of 8.11 during the Group Championships win.
Runner Up / Alternate: Cidae'a Woods - Winslow Twp HS
Patrycja Dziekonska (center blue) bringing home gold at the 2014 Indoor Meet of Champions. / Photo by SJPixShooter for MileSplit
With only one event during indoor it's pretty simple choosing the top hurdler when she's already been chosen for the one event! Congratulations to Patrycja Dziekonska! I'm excited to see you and Cidae'a Woods go head to head again during outdoors!
Season Best of 2:09.02 US#4 / State Season Best of 2:10.52
The Northeastern University commit from Westwood, Corinne Myers, finished off a fantastic undefeated state season with a victory at MOCs. The 2:10.52 time was just short of the meet record set by, now professional, Ajee Wilson at 2:10.45! Before the Meet of Champions Corinne had won a Group state championship with a time of 2:14.55, a Sectional championship at 2:16.64 and the Big North League Championship with a time of 2:17.50 in mid January.
After state season Corinne took on New Balance Nationals with an even better time of 2:09.02 which earned her third place!! She would finish the season with four wins and one third place finish in the 800m. Congratulations Corinne, excited to see what kind of times the outdoor season will bring.
If one could have a perfect day at MOCs Kylene Cochrane of West Morris Central had it. No only did she win the girls 1600m with a US#16 (now a US#19 time) it was also her birthday. The University of Penn commit posted an undefeated season in the 1600m with six wins, four of those wins labeled as championships. This was her best indoor season by far time wise as well, she had broken the five minute barrier outdoor in 2012 and 2013 but this was the first season she ran sub-five on the indoor oval. In fact four of her six races were under five minutes this season! The best of those performances during the most important race of the season, a 4:53.17 at the Meet of Champions.
Another close call choosing the 3200m between Dana Klein of Gill St. Bernard's and Mackenzie Barry of West Morris Mendham. Dana Klein when 4-0 on the season in the 1600m winning Somerset County, Skyland Conference, Non-Public B Groups, and the Meet of Champions. Most importantly in this decision, when Klein laid down the law in the Meet of Champions 3200m race with a 10:37.70 it was a head to head race with Mackenzie Barry who placed second with a time of 10:43.40.
Dana Klein made some major strides this indoor, last winter season her 3200m best was an 11:46.12 and her 2013 outdoor time had only dropped to an 11:33.17. This year she dropped almost a minute off her outdoor time!!! And her personal best of 10:37.70 (a NJ#1 US#25 time) came at the perfect moment despite the meet of champions being weather delayed making tapering distance runners scramble heading into the race. She felt she was an underdog heading in and was pretty pumped after winning MOCs, deservedly so!
To give Mackenzie Barry some deserved attention as well, she went 5-1 on the season in the 3200m her only loss was when she placed second at Meet of Champions! I think Barry is primed for an amazing outdoor campaign.
Runner Up / Alternate: Mackenzie Barry - Mendham HS
Top Distance Runner
Corinne Myers set the pace early on during the 800m at the 2014 Indoor Meet of Champions and it paid off with a great victory. / Photo by Aaron Laserna for MileSplit
Undefeated 800m regular season, US#4, and third at Nationals? Say hello to your Distance NJ Tough Team Captain Corinne Myers. This was a career season and she wasn't only successful in the 800m, Myers also earned a Group Championship in the 1600m with a time of 4:59.74, and took the trifecta at the Sectional level winning her section's 800m, 1600m, AND 3200m! Great season Corinne keep it going as we head outside.
First indoor season and you win Groups and MOCs? Sounds good to me! Cheyenne did not throw as often as some of her fellow top state competitors however when she did compete she made sure to make it count. Her state meet season started with a second place performance placing second at Sectionals with a mark of 39-4.5. That was the last meet this indoor that she would finish sub-40. From there she won three straight meets; Groups, 41-7, Eastern States, 43-0, and the Meet of Champions with a NJ#1 mark of 43-8! After state season she headed up to New York for New Balance Indoor Nationals placing 10th with a mark of 42-8.25.
Cheyenne has thrown the last three outdoor seasons and placed 6th at last year's outdoor MOCs with a mark of 40-6.5.
Runner Up / Alternate: Michelle Mazza - Ocean Twp
Cheyenne Bellerand competing at New Balance Indoor Nationals! / Photo by Don Rich for MileSplit
A multi-event athlete Kate Gulbrandsen of Lawrenceville found herself excelling at the high jump this season. Her highlight of indoor coming at the Eastern States Championships where she placed first at cleared height of 5-08! Right now that is a US#8 tied height. She had only previously cleared 5-06.5 earlier in the season so the 5-08 was a huge personal best.
Another impressive task, Gulbrandsen went on a 7 win tear up until Nationals where she placed 17th with a 5-04.5 jump. Winning 7 meets in a season is no easy task
Runner Up / Alternate: Nnenna Ibe - North Brunswick
Nicole Macco of Matawan definitely earned the honor of being name all-state pole vault. She want eight meets in the pole vault! And the funny thing is that her best vault of her career came in a meet where she placed second. At Eastern States Championships Macco cleared the 12-00 bar for second place, this was the first time since 2012 that the indoor girls leader cleared that height. Chelsea Vaughn of Southern Regional cleared 12-06 in 2012.
She improved her overall personal best from 11-6 to the 11-10 while winning Groups before bumping up to 12-00 at Easterns. She also won her first ever Meet of Champions title at 11-06 this indoor which is something to celebrate as she is our only junior on the NJ Tough Team! We'll see her again next year.
Macco's main competition was Katlyn Rymarzow of Pope John XXIII, she had a great season as well vaulting 11-9 while her 2013 indoor season was set at 11-3. The head to head meet performances were in Macco's favor this season. It will be fun to watch them vault it out this spring.
Runner Up / Alternate: Katlyn Rymarzow - Pope John XXIII
Kate Gublrandsen competing at New Balance Indoor Nationals. / Photo by Kyle Brazeil for MileSplit
Even though Nationals may not have gone her way after the impressive 5-08 jump at Easterns Kate should be proud of this indoor season. Seven wins, NJ State Leader, tied for US#8, and improved her career best from 5-06 to 5-08!! Things are looking bright for the Lawrenceville School jumps star as we head into outdoor season.
Who would have guessed this?! Well.. everyone! This team is ridiculous when it comes to the depth that they have for the 4x200m, 4x400m, SMR, and 4x800m. They've ran great times and won even without Olivia Baker running! Last year we all received a treat at Penn Relays from these girls. I can't wait to see them run outdoors this year.
Meet of Champions team: 1 COLUMBIA 3:52.76 1) Aigner Bobbitt 12 2) Olivia Baker 12 3) Kayla Richardson 12 4) Emily Cowan 11