Bergen Sweeps Team Titles, Perez Breaks Record In NJ Sec 1

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Bergen County ruled the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1 Groups 2-3 Championships by sweeping all four team titles, and Angelina Perez of Lakeland shattered an overall sectional record at Sunday's meet at the Bennett Center in Toms River.

The Bergen broom job consisted of the Northern Highlands boys winning their first title, the River Dell girls and Demarest boys winning for the first time since 2018, and the Ramapo girls captured its first championship in eight years. Combined with the Groups 1-4 meets last week, Bergen County won seven of the eight team championships in NJ. Sec. 1.    

But before we dig deeper into the team champions, let's get into the biggest individual highlight of the meet, which was provided by the indefatigable Perez.

The University of Florida-bound Perez, the runner-up in the Foot Locker National XC Championships in December, won the Group 2 3,200 in 10:27.80 to take down the sectional record (All Sections and Groups combined) of 10:34.25 set in 2019 by Abby Loveys of Randolph. Perez's 10:27.80 is No. 10 in state indoor history (including 2-mile conversions), and is tied for No. 9 in the U.S. this season.


Northern Highlands received a huge jolt from its field event athletes en route to a 44-39 victory over runner-up Bergenfield in the Group 3 competition.

Northern Highlands picked up 28 points when senior Dante Lateano (6-0) and junior Zach Madison (5-10) went 1-2 in the high jump, and junior Ian Kearney cleared 11-6 to capture the pole vault.

On the track, junior Gabriel Johnson finished fifth in the 1,600 and 3,200, Jackson Vogel placed fourth in the 3,200, Maxwell Gurkovic was fifth in the 400, and Harrison Flynn finished fifth in the 800.   


Brianna Braver pulled off the distance double, and Izzie Anzaldo and Carly Griffin scored victories to fuel the Ramapo girls to an 88-50 win over over runner-up Randolph to win the girls Group 3 trophy. It's the fourth title for Ramapo, which also won sectional championships in 2008, '13, and '14.   

Braver, a junior, captured both the 1,600 (5:21.60), and the 3,200 (11:30.88). Anzaldo, who is headed to Quinnipiac, won the 55 dash in 7.49, and was second in the 400 in 59.26. Griffin, a junior, finished first in the 800 in 2:22.04 with teammate Julia Wowkun, a senior, second in 2:23.17.   

Ramapo also picked up a victory from its 4x400 squad in 4:08.52, a runner-up finish from Brianna Potaki in the 3,200, and a 3-4 from junior Alexandra Cahill and senior Natalie Jackson, and fifth from Juliana DeFino in the pole vault.


Christina Allen was her usual spectacular self as the sophomore star piled up two wins and second-place  finish to fuel the River Dell girls to a hard-fought 76-67 victory over runner-up Demarest.

It's the fifth sectional title for River Dell, which captured four titles in a row from 2015 through 2018.

Allen, who won the 3,200 at the Meet of Champions last spring, led 1-3-5 finish for River Dell in the 800 in 2:17.02, crossed the line first to win the 1,600 in 5:01.27, and finished second to Perez in the 3,200 in 11:42.90.     

River Dell had several other athletes perform at a high level.

 Junior Abreeana Rilveria won the hurdles for River Dell in 9.09, and River Dell 4x400 struck gold by running 4:20.21. Senior Amelie Moon placed second in the shot put, sophomore Grace McQueeney finished fourth in the high jump, Ava Ebneter and Alex Grivas placed 3-5 in the 800, and Morgan Levine picked up a sixth-place in the 55 dash.  


Chris Short dominated the sprints and Demarest scored in all 10 events on the way to a dominate 98-42 over second-place River Dell in the boys Group 2 competition.

Demarest, which had a staggering 14 different athletes score individual points, has now captured four sectional titles. It won Group 3 in 2014, and Group 2 in 2017 and '18.

Short, a junior, got Demarest off to flying start by winning the 400 in 52.88 and the 55 dash in 6.74.  Demarest also won the 4x400 in 3:36.69, and picked up a third from Lincoln Sorenson and a sixth from Nicholas Glass in the 55 dash. Sorenson added a sixth in the hurdles.

Andrew Tandler had a big meet for Demarest.

The junior led a 1-4-5 finish in the high jump for Demarest by clearing 5-10 to finish first, and he also led a 3-4-6 finish for the Norsemen in the hurdles. Junior Ohan Ambartsoumian (a big PR of 49-9.50) finished second in the shot put, and senior Daniel Mikay (46-9.75) was third.

Other scorers for Demarest were Elliot Lim, fourth in the hurdles, Jack Attali, fourth in the HJ, Matthew Ruocco, fifth in the HJ, Andrew Kleinman, second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600, Ethan Kalajian, fifth in the 3,200, Ivan Timochko, fifth in the 800, Kieran Laul, sixth in the 400, and Charles Nyfenger, sixth in the pole vault.