BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Union County Conference Track and Field Championships were held at Governor Livingston High School on Thursday and Friday, May 10-11, 2018. The GL Boys and Girls Track teams competed in the Mountain Division along with Rahway, New Providence, Arthur L. Johnson, Cranford, and Hillside. The top six individual competitors in each event score points for their team.
The GL Girls Track team had high hopes going into the meet. They had a strong opening day including first place finishes Lauren Saifi (12-00) in the pole vault and by Victoria Vanriele in the 400 meters (55.38, the current New Jersey No. 1 time). Other top six finishers were:
- Second Place: Samantha Erickson in both the 100m (12.84) and 400m (1:00.94) and Caroline Mondelli in the 1600m (5:24.35).
- Third Place: Alexa Salida in the discus (97-06).
- Fourth Place: Hanna Nordstrom in the pole vault (9-00)
- Fifth Place: Alexa Salida in the shot put (32-06.00).
- Sixth Place: Lauren Zyska in the pole vault (8-00)
At the end of the first day of competition, the team was in second place to Rahway 87-53.
Strong performances in the distance races and throwing events on the second day put the GL Girls Team back into contention. Alexa Salida won the javelin with a throw of 99-05 and Victoria Vanriele (2:09.9) and Katie Quinn (2:23.31) went one-two in the 800m. Vanriele lowered her Mountain Division meet record and currently has the No. 1 time in New Jersey. Samantha Erickson had her third second place finish of the meet in the 200m (26.54) and Rachel Mustacchi (12:35.5) and Evelyn Doskoch (12:56.16) placed second and third in the 3200m. Other top finishes included:
Fourth Place: Nicole Massa in the javelin (93-05) and Jessica Ripperger in the high jump at 4-08.
Fifth Place: Jessica Ripperger in the 110 hurdles (18.42).
The GL Girls had a two-point lead going into the last event, the 4x400 relay. GL’s relay came in first in a time of 4:02.51, after leading on each leg of the event, beating Rahway by 12 seconds. The members of the 4x400 were Katie Quinn, Caitlin Colendenski, Kaylee Vreeland, and Victoria Vanriele. Overall, the GL Girls Track Team won the Mountain Division title 126-122 over Rahway.
The GL Boys Track team came in fourth overall in the Mountain Division. The top boys finishers were:
- Second Place: Alex Aranas in the 3200m (10:17.90)
- Third Place: Jakada Khalfani in the 100 m (11:44) and the 400m (51.79). Darren DelDuca in the pole vault at 11-00 and Alex Aranas in the 1600m (4:42.7). The 4x400m relay team of Jakada Khalfani, George Garcia, Mark Marino, and Doug Ladzinski in 3:34.68.
- Fourth Place: Kyle McCarthy in the pole vault (10-00).
- Fifth Place: Lorenzo Pagdanganan in the 3200 (10:40.04). Jack Befeler in pole vault (8-00)
- Sixth Place: Alex Janiak in the triple jump (36-10.50) and the 110 hurdles (16.73). John Walsh in the javelin (126-03). Lorenzo Pagdanganan in the 1600m (4:49.54).
The GL Girls and Boys Track teams will be back in action on Wednesday and Thursday, May 16-17, 2018 in the Union County Track and Field Championships at Hub Stine Field in Plainfield, New Jersey.