ROXBURY, NJ - Four Roxbury High School track stars who became Group 3 state champions - seniors Jess Cammarata and Karly Forker along with juniors Bridget Doherty and Jordan Morris were honored recently by the township school board.
“It’s another great day to be a Gael,” said Roxbury High School Director of Athletics Stuart Mason in presenting the runners to the board at its April 23 session. Mason was accompanied by Roxbury High School Principal Jeffrey Swanson and track coaches Laura Schmidt and Derek Bischoff.
“Thank you to the parents, to our athletic director Mr. Mason and our principal ,Jeff Swanson, who continually support athletics and work tirelessly to meet all of our needs and requests so that our student-athletes are well taken care of,” Schmidt. “Tonight we honor four girls, all of whom during their freshman year, believe it or not, were not number one on the team in anything. However, truly through their hard work and dedication can now call themselves state champions.”
Schmidt added that last spring the team "sat in the gym and studied the banners of previous track and field greats who have come through Roxbury and set a goal that these team members had the potential to be immortalized." Now, she said, less than a year afterward "here we are."
Bischoff echoed Schmidt’s sentiments saying, “It really is an honor to be here and be able to help present these four girls with their championship banners tonight. Moments like this are why teaching and coaching are so rewarding. However, the rewarding part about this isn’t getting to stand here and present these awards. The rewarding part is knowing what it took to get to this point. The rewarding part is that these four girls set a goal to become state champions, earn their banner, and since then having worked tirelessly to do so.”
Bischoff said the championship was two years in the making.
“I think we need to celebrate what led to it," he commented. "From the heartbreaking loss a year before, to battling through injuries, to sacrificing time with late nights at meets and early morning bus rides for hours, to the Sunday practices when nobody else was around. Going through all of that was never easy. No matter what, they didn’t lose the focus, overcame every setback, and kept believing in each other. That is what we are most proud of. Being able to watch as they crossed the finish line to win the state championship was one of the most rewarding moments in my career in athletics.”
Among the runners' accomplishments are:
- 4x400 Meter Relay
- Morris County Relay Champions
- Morris County Champions
- NJ State Sectional Champions
- Sprint Medley Relay
- Morris County Relay Champions
- #20 in the United States – setting the school record
- NJ Group 3 State Champions
Forker was also honored for her individual Group 3 State Championship in the 800 meters. Forker finished the indoor season #38 in the nation in the 800 meter and is the Morris County Champion in the 600 meter
“Karly is a one-of-a-kind competitor, whose drive and determination have played a huge role in our programs success," Bischoff said. "It is only fitting that we get to honor an outstanding individual alongside her teammates tonight.”.
Forker is also this year’s Valedictorian.