WOODLAND PARK, NJ - Twins Tori and Vanessa Hackett of Woodland Park qualified for the National Track and Field Junior Olympics, which runs from July 24-29.
The 8-year-old girls first had to qualify at the New Jersey Junior Olympics. They then had to place top five in the National Region 2 Junior Olympic Championships to make it to the National Championships meet.
Tori qualified in the shot put. She won the NJ State Junior Olympic Championship and then went on to place second at the Region 2 Championships which was her only loss of the year in the event. She is nationally ranked 23rd going into Nationals but only five inches separates her from ninth.
Vanessa qualified in the javelin. She was third at the NJ State Junior Olympic Championships due to the weather conditions (pouring rain) however then won the National Region 2 Championships and set a new meet record of 52'7.5". She was ranked seventh in the country going into this week's Nationals.
Tori and Vanessa just finished the second grade at Charles Olbon School in Woodland Park and will be attending Beatrice Gilmore on September. They have been competing at track and field meets since they were 6 and grew to love the sport, under the guidance of their father Shawn, who has served as Bergen Tech Head Track and Field coach for the last 15 years.