On Saturday October 24, the Ridgewood High School Girls Cross Country team celebrated its seniors in its first “Senior Day.” The team traveled to Darlington Park in Mahwah, New Jersey for the Bergen County XC Group Championships. The team has had a strong season so far, and will be entering championship season soon. Seniors on the Cross Country JV team, now have one meet left, but for varsity seniors, there are several more championship meets to come.
The first event to occur was the Girls Varsity 5K race (3.1 miles), consisting of 53 runners from throughout Bergen County. With the top seven varsity runners from each team receiving a score based on their place in the race (the lower the better), Ridgewood got the lowest score of 37, winning the race. Ridgewood came in ahead of Northern Highlands, the second place team, by a large margin of 23 points. Junior Olympia Martin, who ran the race in 18 minutes and 33 seconds, came in second for the event and first for the Ridgewood varsity team. Ridgewood’s two varsity seniors Sam Halvorsen and Leah Rosenfeld came in 5th and 12th place respectively.
The next event was the 3k Freshmen Girls race, a 1.66 mile run. Ridgewood’s top seven freshmen runners scored the team 30 points, and came second to IHA by 7 points. Out of 109 runners, freshmen Katie Keyes took first place, running the event in 10 minutes and 29 seconds.
The last event was the Girls JV Large Schools 5K race, where the Ridgewood team took first place as well. Out of the 88 runners in this race, junior Lauren Pagano and sophomore Evelyn Kotch took the first two places in the event, both running in 20 minutes and 35 seconds. The top seven JV Ridgewood girls scored the team a total of 20 points, winning first place by a margin of 31 points with Immaculate Heart Academy coming in second. There were 11 seniors running in this race as well.
Once the girls finished their races, they were greeted at their tent with a spread of snacks and refreshments provided by the Girls Cross Country parents. Underclassmen on the team also created a colorful sign for each senior runner, which hung on display in a second tent. Parents of the seniors were also invited to come celebrate the runners and take photos. This strong support system of parents, friends, and other residents of Ridgewood have encouraged these girls to continue pursuing their goals over several seasons. Especially for the team members with older siblings, who experienced the support of Ridgewood cross country families before, this moment is more than sentimental. Since many of the seniors, have been participating in Cross Country since freshmen year, and the “Senior Day” was the perfect way to commemorate their hard work and dedication to the team over the years.