As the season progresses, the spring track and field athletes at Ridgewood High School have made exceptional accomplishments at both the state and national levels. Over the past few weeks, the large team of runners, jumpers, and throwers have performed impressively at various meets around Bergen County and even throughout the country. Not only have the young athletes placed highly among some of the top teams in New Jersey, but they also traveled to compete during spring break in Arcadia, California to face off against competitors from across the nation.
During Ridgewood High School’s spring break, multiple competitors on the varsity team flew out to California in order to compete at the Arcadia Invitational. Both boys and girls teams had outstanding performances in their events. In the boys’ sprint medley relay, which consisted sophomore Matt Tai, juniors Kobi Grant and Kyle Mack, and senior Michael Thurston, the boys placed fourth in their event with a time of 3:29.88. Moreover, this made them the fastest boys sprint medley relay team in New Jersey this year. When asked about the race, Kobi Grant responded, “The place was exactly what we hoped for. I am really proud of my teammates for going out there and putting in one hundred percent effort to achieve our common goal.” Kobi was also part of the eighth place team that ran the 4×200 relay, which included Matt Tai, Jack Stadulis, and Kyle Mack.
Ridgewood also competed in the boys 4×800 meter relay and clocked a time of 8:04.35, ranking seventh in all of New Jersey. Freshman runner Will Baginski, sophomore Ben Zamboldi, and seniors Michael Thurston and Andrew Taggart ran in this event, placing fourteenth at Arcadia and giving Ridgewood another top place in the state. Kobi responded to these results by explaining, “We were all happy but of course we wanted to get that top spot. Now we know what we must do to get a faster time and we’ll work off that.”
The girls varsity athletes also competed impressively in multiple events at the invitational. In the girls’ 4×800 meter relay, sophomore Evelyn Kotch, junior Olympia Martin, and seniors Leah Rosenfeld and Sam Halverson finished with a time of 9:28.62, earning them seventh place among the competition. Other than the runners, sophomore Nicole Lester and Maxine Earl both placed in the girls pole vault event. Maxine placed third with a mark of 10-04.00, while Nicole finished eighth with a mark of 9-10.00. Matt Tai commented on the team’s overall effort, stating, “I was pretty excited about our performance. We all competed well and it was great to see us place with all of those teams there.”
Other than these remarkable accomplishments in California, the track team has also shown success within Bergen County. On Saturday, April 23, Ridgewood girls were deemed Bergen County Relay champions after winning first place in the meet at River Dell High School. Moving forward, several members of the varsity team will bring their talents to Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania, beginning on April 28. Runners Sam Halverson and Olympia Martin have qualified to compete in the 3,000 meter event, taking part in the nation’s largest and oldest track and field tradition. Until then, the athletes are continuing their vigorous daily practices to sustain their record of success.