Sports

Five Champions Named Delicious Heights Highlander Athletes of the Week: Part 1

eb5b22a37279068d3621_BBA88A46-AF84-4F8A-BD52-0DB0CEAF4886.jpg
eb5b22a37279068d3621_BBA88A46-AF84-4F8A-BD52-0DB0CEAF4886.jpg

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ -- Five athletes have been named Delicious Heights Highlander Athletes of the Week for winning the Union County Championship titles and NJSIAA Group 2 Relay Championship in their respective events. Champions include swimmer Sarah Montagna along with Indoor Track stars Victoria Vanriele, Andrew Aguilera, and Leah and Lauren Saifi.

  • Sarah Montagna swam past Scotch Plains-Fanwood's Caroline Warren by three 100’s of a second – 5:16.09 to 5:16.12 to win the Union County Championship title in 500 Freestyle. This win provided crucial first place points for GL in their third place team finish behind Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Westfield.  
  • Victoria Vanriele set the new Indoor Track school record of 2:15.91 and skimmed .97 seconds off the 800 M Union County Championship record set last year by Amari Onque-Shabazz of Union Catholic. Vanriele subsequently won the NJSIAA Central Group 2 Sectional title in the 800 M and was a member of the sectional championship winning 4 X400 M Relay team along with Nicole Trezza, Cristal Vilasoa, Danielle Petryk.
  • Andrew Aguilera ran a personal best 7.51, currently ranked third in NJ, and broke the school and meet record [set by Jason Cission Jr. of Plainfield last year, by .01 seconds]. Aguilera also took second in the 55 m dash in 6.55.  Aguilera followed this up with two NJSIAA sectional titles in the 55 M hurdles in 7.69 seconds and the 55 M dash in 6.53 seconds, a new school record. 
  • Leah and Lauren Saifi had a repeat pefrormance taking home their second consecutive NJSIAA Group 2 Relay Championship title by clearing a combined 23 feet. The sisters set a new Group 2 record and tied the All Group relay record. Leah jumped an indoor personal best of 12’ 6” and Lauren jumped her indoor personal best of 10’6”.  Leah’s 12’6” jump puts her at #1 in NJ and #10 in the US for the indoor season. The 10 points earned by the Saifi sisters' first place finish helped the Gov. Livingston Girls Team to their second place overall finish. Subsequently, Leah and Lauren placed first and second at the NJSIAA Central Group 2 championships.

Additional comments from the athletes:

Junior swimmer Sarah Montagna

Sign Up for E-News

Records broken: 100 Backstroke by Carol Hickey in 1979 and 200 Medley Relay

TAPinto: How did you get started in your sport and how long have you been swimming?

Sarah: I've been swimming for as long as I can remember. I joined the summer swim team in Mountainside when I was seven. Growing up, I tried pretty much every sport possible, from basketball to ice skating. What we quickly learned is that I'm horrible at all sports on land. Swimming was different. I didn't embarrass myself when I swam. So, since then, I've been swimming. It wasn't until I joined the Summit YMCA swim team when I was 12 that I became serious in swimming. 

TAPinto: What do you like most about your team?

Sarah: My favorite thing about the GL swim team is how close we all are. Everyone is friendly and supportive of one another. If you ever go to one of our swim meets, all you'll hear is people cheering for one another and having a blast. 

TAPinto: Do you have any pregame rituals/superstitions?

Sarah: Before every meet, I make sure to listen to my pre-meet playlist. It's a bunch of fast paced songs that get me pumped up and ready to race. When I'm behind the block getting ready to swim, I like to think about my goal for my race. This helps me focus on what I have to do and gets me ready to swim my best. 

TAPinto: Have you met your Season Goal?

Sarah: I started off this season with many goals in mind. I haven't been able to meet some of these goals yet, such as getting the MOC cut in the 500 freestyle. While some are still a work in progress, I'm glad to say that some goals were reached. For one, our medley relay was able to beat our record from last year. Now, my main goal is to win the sectional finals with my team. 

TAPinto: What is your favorite class/professor/why?

Sarah: I would have to say my favorite class is concert band with Mr. O. I've been taking the class with him since I was a freshman. He's a great teacher who is really passionate about what he's teaching. Concert band is great because I'm able to get away from all the stress of my other classes for an hour and make music with my friends. 

TAPinto: Future plans -- College and major? 

Sarah: As of right now, I haven't given much thought of where I would like to go to college. The only thing I'm sure of is that I want to swim in college. As for my major, I definitely want to do something in the sciences. I really enjoy biology and I'm considering going into a pre-med program. 

TAPinto: Favorite athlete of all time?

Sarah: My favorite athlete would have to be Michael Phelps. It's probably the most common answer you'll get from a swimmer, but I find him amazing. He is the top swimmer in the world and he has so many achievements. 

Freshman runner Victoria Vanriele 

TAPinto: How did you get started in your sport and how long have you been running track?

Victoria: This is my fifth year of running track.  I started off having my greatest success with the 1500 meter distance.  Then with more speed work and conditioning, I have been improving my 800 and 400. 

TAPinto: What do you like most about your team?

Victoria: I love training with my teammates.  Our coaches develop great workouts.  We all take our events seriously and want to represent our school well.  At practice, we push each other and encourage each other. The other day, our state champion pole vaulter Leah Saifi was running up and down the field cheering me on when I was racing the boys.  I couldn’t disappoint her.

TAPinto: Do you have any pregame rituals/superstitions?

Victoria: I like to watch videos of athletes who are really good at the events I will be running. Each time I watch a video, I observe strategies about starts, form, pace, positioning, and finishes.  

TAPinto: Have you met your Season Goal?

Victoria: Winning County’s and breaking the meet record in the 800 were definitely goals for this season.  Next, I want to progress from State Sectionals to State Groups, and then to State Meet of Champions in the 800.  I am also hoping that our 4x400 relay progresses all the way to the MOC.  I have already obtained open cuts for the Eastern Regional Championship and the National High School Championship, so I’ll be participating in those meets at the end of the indoor season. 

TAPinto: What is your favorite class/professor/why?

Victoria: I love playing the saxophone and my band teacher recently formed a wind ensemble in which I was invited to play.  When I am playing in the ensemble, I love the professional feel to it.

TAPinto: Future plans -- College and major? 

Victoria: I’m a freshman, so I have a couple of years before focusing on college.  However, I am taking challenging courses that demonstrate my strong academic capabilities.  Ultimately, I plan to select a college that will provide me a great academic experience.

TAPinto: Favorite athlete of all time?

Victoria: My favorite athlete is definitely the Kenyan runner David Rudisha.  He is the world record holder in the 800 and the two-time Olympic champion.  I can watch his videos endlessly.

Andrew Aguilera and Leah and Lauren Saifi provide additional comments in Champions Named Delicious Heights Athlete of the Week: Part 2.

_________________________________________

Delicious Heights Highlander Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Delicious Heights, a family restaurant with three locations; Berkeley Heights, Bedminster and Basking Ridge, where it is part of the Basking Ridge County Club operating a public restaurant with outdoor dining, and acting as the banquet caterer, boasting a facility with panoramic views of the sprawling golf course. Visit our website, www.deliciousheights.com for weekly specials including Happy Hour specials from 3-6pm and daily featured dinner and lunch specials. Delicious Heights....where our only limitations are yours!

Delicious Heights is located at 428 Springfield Avenue in Berkeley Heights. 908.464.3287; 285 Main Street in Bedminster. 908.234.1596; 185 Madisonville Road in Basking Ridge. 908.766.9499.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Union County Magnet High School to Hold Silent Auction

February 21, 2018

A great night out with family and friends for just $10.  And we provide dessert and coffee/tea.

Please come to the Magnet High School PSA Silent Auction on Friday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Union County Vocational Technical School in Scotch Plains (West Hall Cafeteria). 

Tickets are only $10. You can then bid on over $12,000 worth of ...

2018 LGBTQ Roundtable Comes to Hamilton Stage in Rahway

Union County Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados and Freeholders Bruce H. Bergen and Alexander Mirabella welcomed Christian Fuscarino of Garden State Equality to the 2018 LGBTQ Roundtable meeting hosted by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders at the Hamilton Stage in Rahway.

They were joined by Union County Department of Human Services Director Debbie-Ann Anderson, Union County ...

Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Club Pancake Breakfast

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Rotary Club will host their first Pancake Breakfast at the newly renovated Scotch Hills Country Club in Scotch Plains. The event will take place on Sunday, March 25, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and the price will be $10 per person. Pancakes, eggs, ham, turkey sausage, coffee, tea, and juice will be served and there will be prize ...

Are you bored with "healthy eating?" THE MAX Challenge to the rescue!

ARE YOU BORED WITH THE SAME HEALTHY RECIPES?

https://www.themaxchallenge.com/locations/new-providence-nj/

THE BEST PART OF BEING A MEMBER AT THE MAX CHALLENGE OF NEW PROVIDENCE IS THAT WE MAKE HEALTHY EATING INTERESTING WITH NEW HEALTHY RECIPES.

Don't let the same boring routine and nutrition get in the way of your healthy lifestyle.  Let THE MAX Challenge of New ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, February 22

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Thu, February 22, 6:00 PM

UCEDC, Cranford

Next Level Business Planning

Business & Finance

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_b59229b3972266545812_magnet_fundraising_auction_2018_flyer_0219

Fri, February 23, 6:30 PM

Union County Vocational Technical Schools, West Hall Cafeteria, Scotch Plains

Union County Magnet High School Silent Auction

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Sat, February 24

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Municipal Court Room/Council Chambers, BERKELEY HEIGHTS

Return Berkeley Heights Public Library's Books, ...

Other

Invest Like a Tortoise -- Not Like a Hare

Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” is a perfect metaphor for the way people go about investing their money. As you recall in the fable, the hare brags about his ability to beat the tortoise and is overly confident about winning. In the investment world, the hare is someone who thinks he or she is great at selecting “winners” and avoiding “losers.” The ...