TOMS RIVER, NJ - The Spotswood High School winter track team was represented by three participants at the February 17 NJSIAA Group Championships at the Bennett Indoor Complex. Based on their performances at the Central Jersey Group One NJSIAA Sectional Championships on February 5, Michaela Robinson, Cassandra Raia and Justin Paguilligan all moved onto the next level of competition.
Robinson claimed the 55-meter hurdle crown at the sectional championships and finished third in the 400-meter dash. At the Group Championships, Robinson did not make the finals of the 55-meter hurdles, finishing 21 in the preliminary heat. However, her sixth place finish in the 400-meter dash was enough to move her on to the NJSIAA Meet of Champions, which will be held at the Bennett Indoor Complex on February 26. Robinson ran the 400-meter dash final with a time of 1.00.75. Kyra Velcok of Mountain Lakes High School won the sprint with a time of 59.51.
Raia was the highest Spotswood finisher at the Group Championships. The senior distance runner placed second in the 3,200-meter race with a time of 11:51.94. Izzi Gengaro of Mountain Lakes High School won the distance race with a time of 11:44.24. Raia will represent Spotswood at the Meet of Champions at the end of the month along with Robinson.
Justin Paguilligan was the highest Charger finisher for the boys team at sectionals, coming in fourth in the high jump. Paguilligan did not make it into the high jump finals at the Group Championships on February 17.
Raia and Robinson were both members of the distance medley relay team that broke the record at the Greater Middlesex Conference Championships last spring with a time of 12:34.57. The girls along with teammates Katie Wasserman and Allie Coghlan broke both the Spotswood and GMC Championship with their time. Wasserman and Coghlan graduated in June of 2016 and took their running prowess onto the collegiate level.