Fast and Furious Roxbury Gaels Head to Meet of Champions

Roxbury's Dan Giuliano Credits: Roxbury High School
From left, Roxbury's Niki Alford, Tiffany LaRusso, Alexis Smith and Daniella Carter  Credits: Steve Alford
Roxbury's Olivia Viparina Credits: Steve Alford

ROXBURY, NJ – Sunny skies and pleasant temperatures are expected to greet six Roxbury High School track and field stars who are headed tomorrow to South Plainfield to compete in the prestigious NJSIAA Meet of Champions (MOC).

Only 42 participants statewide reach this stage - the top six performers from each group championship.

The only male from Roxbury will be junior Dan Giuliano, competing in the high hurdle competition. He will be the only high hurdler at the MOC from a Morris County school.

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Giuliano’s best performance of the season was a 14.86 leap, which ranks as the second best in Morris County and the best in the North 1, Group 3 section, according to Roxbury Track and Field Coach Brendan Donegan.

Giuliano is also a member of the 4 X 110 shuttle hurdle team which won the Morris County relays. He set a meet record of 14.90 at the NJAC large school championships. Additionally, Giuliano cleared a 20-foot, 2-inch long jump and made the finals at the Morris County Championships. “He has been part of three school records in shuttle hurdle events with teammates Mark Ruglio, Will Suitt and Brandon Rizzo,” said the coach.

Also representing Roxbury at Jost Field for the MOC will be sophomore Alexis “Lexi” Smith, running the 400 meter dash and the 4 X 400, as well as senior Olivia Viparina, who is running the 3,200 meter race. Additionally, a 4 X 400 team made it in as a wild card entry. The team will be Smith, junior Daniella Carter, junior Niki Alford and senior Tiffany Larusso.

This is the same girls team that won the winter Morris County relays.

To qualify for the open 400, Smith ran a blistering 57.97. She is ranked No. 1 in Morris County, #2 in the NJAC, No. 4 in North 1, Group 3 and No. 30 in the state.

Viparina, who will be running for James Madison University, had a season best time of 10:52.49. She is ranked No. 2 in Morris County, the NJAC and North 1, Group 3 and No. 12 in the state.

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