North 1 Groups 1 & 4 Winners Recap

Individual Highlights

The Montclair girls and Park Ridge boys broke 4x400 records, NJ#1 high jumper Jamier Collins-Wright of Paterson Kennedy equaled a meet record, and several athletes were double individual winners at the North Jersey, Sec. 1 Groups 1 and 4 Championships on Saturday at the Bennett Center in Toms River.


One of the biggest highlights of the meet came when Montclair won the girls Group 4 4x400 in a NJ #8 4:01.10, smashing the North 1 sectional meet record of 4:06.50 set last year by West Orange.

The Park Ridge boys also flashed their speed, running 3:36.05 to finish first in the 4x400 and take down the N1, G1 meet record of 3:36.67 set by Dover in 2009. Collins-Wright, who leads the state in the high jump at 6-9, cleared 6-6 to win his second straight Group 4 high jump title and match the meet record he shares.

Nicholas Ortiz of Passaic ran a swift 800 to win the Group 4 two-lapper in a NJ#9 1:57.03. 

Philmon Mehari of Livingston, the Essex County and N1 Group 4 XC champ this past fall, was one of many athletes who picked up multiple wins. Mehari won the Group 4 1,600 (4:26.24) and the 3,200 (9:44.00).

Madison Latimer, a junior at Newton, nearly placed in three individual races. She won the Group 1 400 in 59.95, placed first in the 55 dash in 7.53, and was seventh in te 55 hurdles in 9.82 (9.54 in the trials)


Passaic County Tech received a balanced scoring attack to push the Bulldogs to its first title and end Ridgewood's run of five sectional crowns in a row.

The scoring for Pasaic Tech came from all over, but most of the damage came by way of 36 points in the sprints/relay. Another 18 came in the field, and eight more were registered in the 3,200 as Passaic Tech outscored Essex County champion Montclair, 64-42.

Jordan Ricketts was one of the catalyts for Passaic Tech sprint crew, winning the 400 in 50.82 and running on the runner-up 4x400 (3:29.26). Amair Buffaloe was third in the 400 in 52.13 and fourth in the 55 dash in 6.77. The other sprint points were picked up by Ian Wilkinson, third in dash in 6.76, and Edmond Jones, fifth in the dash in 6.79.

In the field, Jayden Johnson led the charge by winning the shot put (46-7 1/2), and Ian Spoelstra (10-6) and Juan Hernandez (10-0) finished 3-4 in the pole vault. Julius Pallero contributed to the victory for Passaic Tech by placing second in th 3,200 in 9:44.59.   

Nathan Bryan led a strong sprint surge for Montclair, winning the 55 dash in 6.72. The Mounties, who won the 4x400 in 3:28.98, scored 30 of its 42 points in the sprints/relay.  


Ridgewood, which dominated the distance events as expected by piling up 45 points in three races, rolled to its fifth straight title, 65-47 over runner-up Clifton.

The distance squad was led by soph. star Camryn Wennersten, who won the 1,600 in 5:09.92 and the 3,200 in 11:05.88. Lily Williams was second in the 3,200 (11:15.17), AnnaMarie Tretola placed third in the 1,600 (5:12.06), Lucia Rabolli placed second in the 800 (2:21.88), Olivia Shattuck finished fifth in the 3,200 (11:21.79), and Sarah Policano was sixth in the 1,600 (5:20.15).    

Ridgewood also accumulated 14 points in the field and placed fourth in the 4x400 on its way to victory. Ellie Veenhof placed fourth in the both the HJ (4-10) and pole vault (9-0), and Nicoletta Venizelos finished third in the vault (9-6).

Clifton's runner-up charge was led by Andrea Dubbels, first in the 800 (2:20.16) and second in the 1,600 (5:11.23), and Brianna Rubio, who won the 400 in 58.73, just off her PR of 58.42.  


Hasbrouck Heights finished second in the meet-concluding 4x4 in 3:39.74 to rally past Glen Rock to win its second title in three years and its seventh overall, 49-46 over Glen Rock.

The Hasbrouck Heights charge was led by Vince and John SedlmeirMaliki Burrell, Pete Garifalos, and a srong distance crew.

Vince Sedlmeir won the 55 hurdles in 8.25 and placed sixth in the high jump (5-6). Burrell picked up a second in the 55 dash in 6.88 and a sixth in the 400 (54.47). John Sedlmeir placed third in the  400 (54.14), Garifalos was fifth in the shot put (41-10 3/4), and the Hasbrouck Heights racked up 13 points in the distance races. Evan Morrow was fourth in the 3,200 and sixth in the 1,600, Jake Porco finished third in the 3,200, and Cole Sonzogni placed fifth in the 3,200.


Bergen County rivals Glen Rock and Hasbrock Heights hooked up in thriller that came right down to the final event before the team champin was decided.

Heading into the 4x400, Glen Rock held a 42-37 1/2 lead over Hasbrouck Heights, so Hasbrouck Heights had to finish third or better to have a chance at rallying past Glen Rock. Hasbrouck Heights did what it needed to by getting third to secure six points, but Glen Rock also did what it had to do, placing fifth to grab two points. That gave Glen Rock a heart-pounding 44-43 1/2 victory over Hasbrouck Heights.
The victory by Glen Rock was its third sectional title in a row. Five athletes were responsible for all of Glen Rock's points outside of the 4x400.

Karina Roze (35-9 1/4) and Kaira Torres (31-4 3/4) went 1-3 for Glen Rock in the shot put. On the track, Mary Andreou scored 14 points by placing second in the 1,600 (5:37.11) and third in the 3,200 (12:15.22). Gracie Gault was fourth in the 55 dash (7.76), and Lindsey Burstiner finished second in 9.03.