NORTH BURLINGTON, NJ - The NJSIAA held the spring track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday, June 7th at the Northern Burlington High School. GL athletes qualified in three events--the girls 400, 800 and 4x400 relay. Victoria Vanriele, who qualified to run the 400 and the 800, scratched the 400 event to ensure her legs were fresh to defend her 800 MOC title. The 4x400 relay team consisted of Alexandra Cassu, Sophie Cresitello, Samantha Erickson, and Victoria Vanriele.
To set the stage, the MOC is a five-hour one day meet as compared to the preceding sectional and group qualifying championships that are held over two days. The 800 at the MOC is contested in the second half of the meet, about 30 minutes after the 400, which would have been the last event of the first day for the sectional and group championships. Based on this schedule, Victoria opted to forego competing in the 400, a race where the winning time was slower than her personal best time.
Leading up to the 800 event, there were numerous upsets at the MOC. Over and over, athletes who were touted to win and even break state records, ended up losing their races. This added to the excitement of the meet for spectators, knowing that anything could happen. It added to the nerves of the athletes with upcoming races. Victoria was no exception, particularly since she altered her pre-race routine by going to a prom the night before the meet.
But when the gun went off, Victoria went on automatic pilot, forgetting all the fears. She executed a great race to win with a personal best time of 2:05.43, more than three seconds ahead of the runner up. Historically, the time is the fourth fastest ever clocked at a MOC, less than a second off the fastest time ever clocked. With this win, Victoria now has amassed six MOC titles over her high school career. This is her third outdoor 800 title added to three indoor 800 titles.
The five-hour meet ended around 7 pm with the 4x400 relay, where the girls ran a time of 4:07 to finish the NJSIAA season.