Lakeland, Ridgewood Sweep At Big North Championships

Results of Freedom, Liberty & United | Results of American, Independence & Patriot  

Twelve team champions were crowned, Lakeland and Ridgewood swept team titles, the Westwood boys ended a long drought, and two NJ#1 times were run in the 3,200 at the Big North Championships that were held over multiple days this week at Ocean Breeze on Staten Island.

Here is a look at each of the team champion in all six divisions -


The Lakeland boys made it two in a row with a 117-83 victory over runner-up Passaic Valley. Lakeland picked up two wins from Jesse Campoverde, who ran a big 3200 PR of 9:34.80, which is NJ #2 this season  #6 all time Passaic County, and won the 1,600 in 4:39.15. Ray Schmitt won the 55 dash (6.60) and the 200 (23.42) for Lakeland, and Zach Voll (2:00.92 in the 800) and TJ McCormack (47-4 in the shot put) also struck gold for Lakeland.

For the Lakeland girls, sophomore Angelina Perez lowered her 3200 PR to a NJ#2 11:04.85, which is also #6 in Passaic County history, and also won the 1,600 (5:23.69) to help her team narrowly defeat Wayne Valley, 130-125. Katie Mullin was also a double winner for Lakeland, capturing the 55 dash in 7.84 and the 200 in 28.30, and Hanna Miles won the 400 (63.40).


The Ramsey girls dominated and the Westwood boys ended a 22-year title drought in the American Division.

Ramsey, which rolled to its third straight title by outscoring runner-up Pascack Hills 178-51, struck gold in nine events, led by double individual winners Claire O'Keeffe and Emily Grubb.   

O'Keeffe won the 200 in 27.29 and the 400 in 62.09, and also got second in the 55 dash in 7.79 (7.75 in the trials). Grubb was victorious in the 55 hurdles in 8.78 (8.62 in the trials), and also went 15-3 to win the long jump.

Ramsey also picked up victories from Kaitlyn Garofalo in the 1,600 (5:33.71), Carolyn Coletti in the 800 (2:25.80), Julia Dakwar in the pole vault (9-6), and from its 4x400 (34:23.36) and 4x800 (10:47.87) relay teams. Coletti (5-0 in the high jump) and Garofalo (3,200) also contributed runner-up finishes.

In the boys competition in the American Division, Marcus Cheema led the charge for Westwood, which edged Fort Lee, 103-90, for its first divisional title since 1998. 

Cheema turned in a great distance triple as the junior won the 800 in 2:02.73, placed first in the 3,200 in 10:25.71, and picked up a third in the 1,600 in 4;50.28. Westwood also picked up a victory from Stephen Munson in the shot put with a throw of 39-9 3/4.  


The Demarest girls picked up victories from Julia Tucci and Gretchen Haray flexed its remarkable depth by scoring multiple times in every individual event except one on the way to a 156-116 victory over Tenafly.

Tucci cleared 10-6 to finish first in the pole vault and lead a 1-2-3 finish for Demarest, and Haray went over the bar at 5-2 to capture first in the high jump.      

On the boys side, River Dell used its balance to score an 86-0 1/2- 73 triumph lover Demarest. Justin Rhee earned the lone gold medal for River Dell when he leaped 20-1 to win the long jump. Rhee also placed second in the triple jump (41-7). River Dell also picked up runner-up finishes from Joshua Iyonsi in the shot put with a 51-4 (he's thrown a NJ#5 54-11 this season), David Puentes in the 400 (54.51), and from its 4x400 (3:37.76) and 4x800 (9:05.43).

Junior VeRon Garrison of Englewood launched the shot put a NJ#9 and PR 54-2 to finish first. 


The Ridgewood boys stretched its winning steak to four in a row and the Ridgewood girls made it three straight.

In the boys competition, Ridgewood had several athletes score and received victories from Ryan Seaver in the 1,600 (4:38.12) Aidan Sheridan in the 3,200 (9:57.16), and its 4x800 relay team (8:33.53). 

Old Tappan senior Patrick Passalacqua, who is NJ#2 in the shot put at 56-8, won the shot with a 56-6.

The Ridgewood girls, led by double individual winners Camryn Wennersten and Sara Vandenassem, racked up seven gold medals on their way to victory.

Wennersten won the 800 in 2:20.39 and the 3,200, and Vandenassem finished first in the 55 hurdles (8.84) and the triple jump (35-2) and also placed second in the long jump (16-3 1/4).

Ridgewood's other victories came from Sarah Policano, who led a 1-2-3 finish for her team with a winning time of 5:31.58 in the 1,600, Ellie Veenhof in the high jump (5-0), and Ridgewood's 4x800 team finished first in 10:09.29.    


The Clifton girls, behind double winners Mia Dubac and Brianna Rubio, competed a four-peat and the Passaic Tech boys repeated as champs and captured its ninth title in 10 years.

For the Clifton girls, Dubac won the 1,600 in 5:24.27 and the 3,200 in 11:27.21, and Rubio captured gold medals in the 200 (26.08) and 400 (60.08) and placed third in the 55 dash (7.65). Rubio's victory in the two lapper led a 1-2-3 finish for Clifton.

Clifton other victories came from Andrea Dubbels in the 800 (2:30.48) and from its 4x400 (4:19.85) and 4x800 (11:27.21).  

The Passaic Tech boys put an exclamation point on its victory with a NJ#6 victory in the 4x400 in 3:27.68. It's other five wins came from Amair Buffaloe in the 200 (23.10), Jordan Ricketts in the 400 (NJ#9 50.67), Jayden Johnson in the shot put (47-8), Ian Spoelstra in the pole vault (11-0), and the 4x800 squad (8:33.54).     

Nicholas Ortiz of Passaic burned a NJ#3 1:59.29 to win the 800.


Bergen Catholic made in three straight boys titles, Immaculate Heart Academy captured the girls trophy, and Mariah Fede turned in sizzling quad.

Fede, a senior at Paramus Catholic, was simply amazing as she a came up with one of the top performances in the state so far this season.   

She won the 55 dash in a NJ#3 7.23, the 200 in an NJ#2 25.12, the 400 in 59.03, and the 55 hurdles in 8.54 (NJ#9 8.48 in the trials). Fede is also ranked NJ#2 in the 400 with a 57.28.

In the girls team competition, IHA piled up a remarkable 60 points in the distance races to fuel it's title run. Madelyn Novelli spearheaded 1-2-3 finishes in the 1,600 and 3,200 by winning those races in 5:28.29 and 11:36.95. IHA also went 3-4-5 in the 800, won the 4x800 (10:43.69) and picked up a victory from Nicole Gysin in the high jump (4-10).

Owen McCarthy (2:07.08 in the 800) and Jaden Ebanks (20-11 3/4) were the individual champs for BC, and Fabian France had a big meet for the Crusaders. He was second in the 55 dash in 6.66, second in the 200 in 23.37, and third in the triple jump (49-4 1/2).