ROXBURY, NJ - In a dominant performance on Jan. 25, Roxbury High School’s 4x400-meter relay team - Karly Forker, Jess Cammarata, Bridget Doherty and Lexi Smith - ran a season best time of 4:03.54 to win the Morris County Championships for the 2nd year in a row.
The time was good enough to break the school record and the Morris County Championship Meet record - both set by last year's Roxbury team. The meet took place at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, NY.
Another meet record and school record was set by junior Kevin Sembrat who took a first-place in the boys 300-meter dash with a time of 35.89.
"Overall it was an exceptional night for the Roxbury track & field programs," said coach Derek Bischoff. "It was great to see everyone's hard work pay off in the way that it did. To end the night with six total individual medal winners, two individual champions and one relay champion - and to set two new school and Morris County Championship meet records - was unbelievable.
Bischoff noted that last year's relay team (which only included Smith) set the meet and school records at the same meet. "Both records stood for a decade or more and amazingly we broke each of them by four seconds," said the coach.
He noted that Roxbury entered the meet as the 3rd seeded team. But he said the runners knew the seed "wasn't indicative" of their capabilities. "I fully expected us to win the race, but you really never know what will happen until a race starts," Bischoff said. "I give these girls a lot of credit. They hadn't run the times they were expecting up to this point, but they believed in what we were doing and were determined to reach the level we expected."
The coach said the relay team is made up of four young women who "hate to lose." He said they are "so competitive - even with each other," an attitude that paid off at the meet. "They ran very confidently and held the lead for pretty much the entire race," Bischoff said.
He said he was comfortable with Roxbury's chances before the start. "Then as the race goes on, and each girl hands off the baton to the next girl, it is becoming apparent that we have a really good chance to run even better than last year," Bischoff said. "Amazingly, the girls ran 10 seconds faster than the relay had ran all year en route to breaking both records."
He said he was particularly proud about the way the Roxbury girls dominated the others in the relay. "The most impressive thing to me is how convincingly they won the race," Bischoff said. "The second-place team was six seconds behind us. It was the outcome they deserved. They had worked so hard to get to that point. With at least a dozen teammates waiting at the finish line Lexi finished the race and everyone went crazy. It was an awesome moment."