UNION, NJ – Union High School’s girls cross-country team took home first place, for the second straight year, at Thursday’s Union County Conference, Valley Division competition at Warinanco Park.  Union’s boys team took home second place.  The teams had an opportunity to celebrate at the Magic Fountain Ice Cream Shop on Friday evening.

The girls cross-country team also won first place at the Newark Academy Invitational last weekend.

Freshman Cassidy Kidd came in first in the Union County 5K race and also took home first place at the Newark Academy Invitational.  “I love track and cross-country,” said Kidd, 14, “because everyone is so supportive.  We all encourage each other.  I’m glad we’re able to run this year, and everyone is doing their part to try to keep all of us safe and healthy.”

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“This year has been a great mix of veterans and rookies,” said coach Don Erdman.  “They came and energized the squad and I’m really proud of everything they’ve done.”

Team captain Maria Silva, a senior, said, “the team is like a family to me.  We all support each other.  I think that’s something very special.  I’m honored and proud to be a captain of this team and of our accomplishments.  We’ve worked very hard.  I’m proud of everyone.”

“This year is really different from other years,” said senior captain Angelica DeStefano, 17.  “We did a great job keeping things calm and really coming together during our meets and pushing and encouraging each other.  That’s what makes our sport amazing.”

Freshman Ana Figueiredo, 14, who took second place at Thursday’s Union County competition, said, “cross country is great and I give a lot of props to Erdman for dealing with us and training us every single day since the summer.  Our team is always there for each other.”