RECAP: North 2 Groups 1 & 4 Sectionals

Here's a look at some of the biggest highlights at the North 2 Groups 1 and 4 Championships at Ridge.


Team Champion:  Elizabeth scored in 14 of the 18 events and defeated runner-up and Union County rival Westfield, 93-84. It's the first title for Elizabeth since 2019 and its 14th overall.

Stars of the meet:

Elizabeth was led by sprint star Greg McQueen and distance star Lucas Reguinho. McQueen ran on the winning 4x100, won the 200 in,22.13, placed second in the 400 in 48.04, and was fourth in the 100. Reguinho was third in both the 3,200 (9:13.57) and the 1,600 (4:19.00). 

Jackson Barna of Ridge, the Meet of Champions winner in the 3,200 last June, used a 60.49 final 400 to become the first runner to ever crack 9 minutes in the 3,200 in sectional history by running a NJ No. 2 8:59.92. Barna was just over two seconds behind Conor Daly of Westfield with one lap to go before he hit the gas. Daly finished second in a NJ No. 3 9:07.38.

Barna's 8:59.92 broke the all-time sectional record (all Sections and Groups combined) of 9:01.57 set by the great Joe Rosa of West Windsor-Plainsboro North at the 2010 Central Jersey, Group 3 meet.

Gabriel Rodriguez, a junior at Union, held off Union County rival Charles Stock to win a wicked fast 800 battle in an all-time sectional record of 1:50.82, the fastest time in the state this season! Stock was second in a NJ No. 2 1:51.02. Rodriguez took down the state sectional record (all Sections and Groups combined) of 1:50.89 set in 2018 by Clifton's Luis Peralta, now starring at Oregon.

Cashieve Blair of Irvington took over the state lead in the 400 with a winning time of 47.67, and also won the 100 with a PR of 10.91  


Team Champion: Whippany Park rolled to a 161-78 victory over runner-up Secaucus. It's the first title for the Wildcats since 2010 and their 8th overall. 

Stars of the meet

Junior Matthew Griffin was the catalyst for the Whippany Park as he accounted for 38 points. Griffin won the 400, the 800, ran on the winning 4x400, and was second in the 200. Whippany Park also picked up wins from Joseph Ciottone (long jump), Thomas Ung (PV), Jalen Blake (javelin), and the 4x800 squad.     


Team Champion: Scotch Plains-Fanwood, led by quadruple winner Julia Jackson, rolled to 104-78 victory over Ridge. It's the first title in Group 4 for SPF, and its first championship since 2002. SPF won four titles in Group 3, so the Raiders have now won a total of 5 sectional titles.     

Stars of the meet:

Julia Jackson was her usual scintillating self. The Duke-bound sprint star won the 100 on Friday in 12.19, then on Saturday she burned a N.J. Sec. 2 record (all Groups combined) in the 400 with a 53.69 to lead a 1-2-3 finish for the Raiders. Jackson later  won the 200 in 24.82, and then split 53.24 as the anchor on the winning 4x400 (3:51.16). Jackson 53.69 broke the sectional record of 53.74 that all-time great Olivia Baker of Columbia ran in 2014.   

Celine-Jada Brown of Plainfield, the Meet of Champions winner in the long jump last spring, soared 19-10 to smash the N.J. Section 2 record (all Groups combined) in the long jump. The former record was 19-3 set in 2006 by Amethyst Holder of Parsippany. Brown is the state leader with a 19-11.50.

Jordan Robinson NJ of Morristown tied the N.J. Sec. 2 record and took over the state lead by clearing a PR of 5-8 in the high jump. 

Brooke'Lyn Drakeford, a junior at Piscataway, won the 400 hurdles in a NJ No. 2 1:01.73. 


Team Champion:  Whippany Park won its third straight title by ringing up 190 points to outscore runner-up Secaucus by a whopping 101 points. The Wildcats have now captured 8 sectional titles.

Stars of the meet: 

Whippany Park had several athletes rise to the occasion.

Maya Laterza won the javelin for the Wildcats with a PR of 115-10, and placed third in the shot put, and third in the discus. Also for Whippany Park, Emma Guerard won the pole vault, Gabriella Primavera captured the high jump, Nicole Rider won the triple jump, Kelly O'Grady took first in the 800, second in the 400, and ran n the winning 4x400 and 4x800, and Colleen O'Grady ran on the victorious 4x400 and 4x100, and she placed third in the 100 and fifth in the 200.

Secaucus had a pair of double winners- sophomore Alyssa Craigwell (shot and discus), and senior Nicole Parise (400 hurdles/100 hurdles).