HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - With most of the last season’s double NJIC Champions and double Bergen County Division D championship team returning, there are big expectations for the Hasbrouck Height Boys and Girls cross-country teams for the upcoming season. Provided that is, that the team stays healthy, and the continued improvement shown in the summer continues throughout the season.
Head coach Mike Ryan feels his team is ready to meet those expectations.
“We have had a great summer,” said Ryan. “They (the runners) have worked hard, and a ready for the season.”
Senior Nick Bua leads a deep group of runners who are working hard to repeat, and improve upon, what the 2018 team accomplished. The team captured the NJIC championship, the Bergen County Division D championships was second at both the state sectionals and state group championships, qualifying for the State Meet of Champions for the first time in school history.
“We have had a great summer of training,” said Ryan. “They have worked hard, and know that they have to keep working hard, to keep their spots. I told everyone, the top seven run varsity. Doesn’t matter where you were, you have to be top seven to run.”
Following Bua are seniors TK Kapser and TJ Singh, juniors Jake Porco and Cole Sonzogni and sophomore Evan Morrow. Bua, Porco and Morrow might be the top three, but Kasper, Singh and Sonzogni will challenge. Behind the top six there is plenty of depth pushing to get to the top.
Ryan mentioned that juniors Andrew Oetttinger and Darwin Urgiles have had good summers. Senior Damian Summers has experience as well. With over 20 runners on the boys squad, there will be plenty of competition for spots.
The Lady Aviators add to a solid core of runners that captured the NJIC and Bergen County Division D titles a season ago in senior Mia Guerra, who missed the entire 2018 season with an injury. She joins the Division D champion, Shannon Artuso to give the Aviators a top 1-2 punch at the top of the girls lineup,
Senior Roberta LaBarbera, juniors Halyn Xheraj, and Emily Estrada also return. Sophomore Isabella Drezek is coming off an “outstanding summer” and should push the top 5.
Ryan is looking for health for his top 5, and improvement from those just outside the top five, in order for the girls to compete for their fifth straight NJIC title, and the third straight Bergen County.
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