March 31, 2014 at 11:52 PM
WEST ORANGE, NJ - The West Orange varsity track team is looking forward to a successful spring season after their Group 4 Sectional Indoor Track team championship.
37 seniors are returning after a Sectional win that brought with it state championships for Aliyah Barnes (hurdles) and Barden Adams (high jump). Coach Joe Picataggio, along with the rest of the team, is firmly in position to do even better.
"I just want to continue what we are doing," said Picataggio. "We won State sectionals in the winter season. We had eight people that made the all county team, two people that made the group four team, and one person that made all team. I am looking for the Seniors to lead the team this spring as well," he noted.
The male runners for the spring season feature indoor players like seniors Caleb Edgehill, Jahir Blanton, and Siem Mehretu, along with sophomore Jagger Gargiulo.
Senior Barden Adams is a highlighted triple jumper, high jumper and long jumper for the team.
Adams is coming off a great indoor season, capturing the Group 4 title in the high jump by clearing 6-6, his personal-record in the event. Additionally, the 4x400 meter boys relay team that consisted of senior Jamie Smith, Blanton, Edgehill, and Adams came in second to clinch the third sectional title for the indoor track team. The team also clinched the title in 2008 and 2010.
The girl Mountaineers enter the season with decorated runners like senior Casmira Nelson, senior Chidnima Ameafuna, and junor Ashley Peart. These girls, along with freshman Bukola Akinsola won the 4x400 meter relay for the girls in the state sectional meet.
The secret behind the success is the workouts and work ethic of each individual athlete. Practices consist of a six-day workout, Monday through Saturday, including tips from the coaches on how to prepare for the big meets. Players are instructed in healthy eating and sleeping habits.
The coaching staff encourages and helps student-athletes academically to ensure the students are balancing their schedule appropriately while still excelling in their studies.
The West Orange Varsity Track team will face Millburn in their opening meet on Friday, April 4th at West Orange High School beginning at 4:00 pm.