Press Releases

Jaguars Finish Indoor Season Strong at USATF Nationals

1st place Boys 4 X 200 RELAY (BANTAM 9 - 10) Standing  Lto R - Dylan Williams, Henry Cooper, Amari Akakpo,  Al-Qamar Rojas   Credits: Jaguar Track Parents
Myles Richard (L) 1st Place Boys 800m 2:55.00 (Sub Bantam 8 & Under) and Natalia Thompson (R) 6th Place Girls 400m 1:26.59 (Sub Bantam 8 & Under) Credits: Jaguar Track Parents
Myles Richard - 1st Place Boys 800m 2:55.00  (Sub Bantam 8 & Under) Credits: Jaguar Track Parents
1st place Girls 4 X 400 RELAY (Youth 13-14) L to R - Ashley Bush, Savannah Lee, Leena Morant, Morgan Williams Time:  4:07.04 Credits: Jaguar Track Parents

The Jaguar Track Team headed to the 2016 Hershey USATF Youth Indoor Championships March 11 to March 13, prepared and ready to run, after great performances at the Potomac Valley 14 & Under Invitational in Maryland. 

At Nationals the young Jaguars took the medal stand 20 times during the final meet of the indoor season held at the Ocean Breeze Complex on Staten Island, NY.  Qualifying athletes from around the country competed in a variety of track and field events with our South Orange Recreation Department Jaguars achieving notable results.

The youngest Jaguars (U8), showed up strong with Sahar Ahad placing 4th in the 800 (3:06.87) and 4th in the 1500 (PR 6:15.90), Natalia Thompson placing 6th in the 400 (1:26.59) and setting a personal record in the 200 (34.97). 

Sign Up for E-News

Myles Richard represented the sub-bantam boys with impressive performances including a personal record in the 200 (35.18), a 4th place finish in the 400 (1:21.10) and a 1st place finish as the National Champion in the 800 (2:55).

The bantam runners (U10) continued to shine with Peyton Hollis placing 4th in the 1500 (PR 5:25.68), running a personal record in the 200 (1:08.76), and clocking in at 2:42.56 in the 800. Ciara Taylor joined the team for her first Indoor Nationals and ran a personal record in the 400 (1:16.13). 

The Bantam boys left it all on the track with Dylan Williams bringing home medals in the 55 (5th place finish, 8.09) and a 4th place finish in the 200 (29.10). Amari Akakpo led the bantam boys mid-distance runners with a 5th place finish in the 800 (2:40.63) and a personal record in the 1500 (5:27.27). 

Al-Qamar Rojas set a personal record in the 400 (1:10.52) and fought hard in a competitive 800 field (2:49.26). The 4x200 bantam boys relay (Al-Qamar Rojas, Amari Akakpo, Dylan Williams and Henry Cooper) had the crowd on their feet with a 1st place finish and a personal record of 2:01.51. 

The 4x400 bantam boys relay (Anthony Mack, Matthew Twyman, Ronald Palmer and Henry Cooper) ran an impressive personal record (4:55.69) and took the medal stand in 2nd place, a very narrow loss.

The 11-12 Jaguar boys set the stage for speed with personal records in the 200 run by Xavier Donaldson (27.19) and McKenzy Pierre (27.88), and Joziah Johnson in the 55H (11.41).  The boys mid-distance runners showed their Jaguar swagger in the 800 with Shane Brosnan running a PR of 2:31.63 and Cormac Taylor running a 2:39.36.  Cormac also set a PR (4.60m) in the long jump as one of the only Jaguars competing in field events at Nationals.

The midget boys relay teams once again showed their dominance on the track by running personal records across the board. The 4x200 A Team of Xavier Donaldson, Leo Grace, Edison Friday and McKenzy Pierre took 3rd place with a time drop of over 2s (1:53.17). The B Team of Joziah Johnson, Stokely Palmer, Nelson Ha and Shane Brosnan were right behind in 4th place (1:59.79).  The 11-12 boys didn’t let their first relay wins go to their heads, and they powered around the track in the 4x400 with a 2nd place finish (4:25.03) for Team A (Edison Friday, Shane Brosnan, Xavier Donaldson and Cormac Taylor), and a 6th place finish (4:46.52) for Team B (Leo Grace, Jozia Johnson, Nelson Ha and Stokely Palmer).

The Youth Jaguars (13-14), with many National appearances on their side, continue to show the young Jags how to perform on the big stage.  Leena Morant battled tough competition to take 4th in the 200 (26.48PR) and again took the medal stand with a 4th place finish in the 400 (59.64).  Mid-distance runner Morgan Williams and Ashley Bush both ran PRs in the 800 (Williams 2:31.38 and Bush 2:32.18), and Williams also took the track for the 1500 (5:23.67). The Youth relay teams again proved they came to run with PRs across the board. The Jaguar A 4x200 team (Savannah Lee, Jordan Robinson, Natalie Gibson and Leena Morant) took 4th with a personal record of 1:48.07 and the Jaguar B team (Olivia Grace, Ashley Bush, Morgan Williams and Morgan Jackson) ran a hard personal record at 1:55:97. 

The girls stepped up their game once again in the 4x400, and both relay teams took the medal stand.  The Jaguar A team (Savannah Lee, Ashley Bush, Morgan Williams and Leena Morant) took 1st shattering their PR with a time of 4:07:04, and the Jaguar B team (Olivia Grace, Natalie Gibson, Jordan Robinson and Morgan Jackson) also ran a personal record (4:20:05) and took 4th place.  Not to be forgotten was Talib Bilal who strongly represented the Youth Boys with a personal record in the 55M Hurdles (7.31) and a sub-60 400 (57.37). 

The oldest Jaguars (15-16) took the track with a vengeance.  Zarria Bethea placed 4th in the 400 (1:00.35 PR) and ran a PR in the 800 (2:28.6).  The 15/16 boys battled tough competition in the 55M, 200, and 400. Jefferson Cajuste ran a PR in the 55 (7.17) and 400 (57.18) and battled strong in the 200 (25.22) and 55M Hurdles (10.20).  Matthew Axt ran PRs in all of his events, the 55 (7.49), 200 (25.85) and 400 (59.01). 

Dedicated coaching throughout the indoor season by the Jaguar staff of Shauna McFadzean, Iman Johnson, Derrick Williams, David Gibson, Marc Parlavecchio, Bruce McClamb along with team founders Andrea Johnson, and husband and wife, Maurice Cooper and Daneen Cooper, have spearheaded the early careers of these athletes and given this past performance, the Jaguar Track Team continues to maintain its formidable reputation.

Congratulations Jaguars!

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Columbia High School Principal's Removal Raises More Questions Than It Answers

The last Twitter post from Columbia High School principal Elizabeth Aaron is very telling. 

The four-year CHS schools chief, who was recently, surprisingly, reassigned to a vague “Principal on Special Assignment” post by the school district, was a Twitter regular on her @CougarPrincipal account. There she would often promote the school’s successes and notable staff and ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



Maplewood Police Blotter - Stolen Vehicle in Maplewood Recovered by South Orange Police

July 18, 2018

July 11 - Motor Vehicle Theft; Sometime during the early morning hours, a vehicle was stolen from a residence on the 400 block of Richmond Ave. The vehicle was recovered by the South Orange Police Department the same morning.

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Robberies Reported on July 5

July 2 - Motor Vehicle Theft; Sometime over the previous two days, a U-Haul truck was stolen from a business on Newark Way.

July 4 - Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours an unsecured vehicle parked on Elberta Rd was entered and keys were stolen from it.

July 5 - Robberies; At approximately 1:30 a.m., a male was assaulted by two males ridding bicycles while he was walking on ...

Free 'Movies in the Park' on July 18 and August 23 in Maplewood

July 16, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Free "Movies in the Park" are planned for Wednesday, July 18, and Thursday, August 23, a program hosted by the Maplewood Police Department in conjunction with the Maplewood Recreation Department, the Maplewood Office of Cultural Affairs, SOMA Film Festival and SOMA Municipal Alliance.

The movie on July 18 will be The Incredibles, shown in Dehart Park, ...

National Weather Service Issues Heat Advisory Through 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 17

NEW YORK, NY, - The National Weather Service issued a 'Heat Advisory' this morning for Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Union and Hudson Counties in New Jersey. The heat advisory will remain in effect from noon Monday July 16, until 6 p.m. Tuesday July 17.

Extreme heat can cause illness and death among at- risk population who cannot stay cool. The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 7:30 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, SHORT HILLS

Solid Gold with Bobby Valli at Par 440

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Thu, July 26, 6:00 PM

River Barge Park & Marina, Carlstadt

Meadowlands Discovery Sunset Eco-Cruise

Green Travel

Fri, July 27, 6:30 PM

Calloway's Restaurant & Bar, Staffordville

Family Promise SOC Fundraiser at Calloway's

Food & Drink Giving Back


Fri, July 27, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Statement From Emergency Committee to Reinstate Principal Aaron

July 10, 2018


We created a movement. We leveraged our collective 1,600 voices and forced the District leadership to sit with us today [Monday] and discuss the poorly communicated, weekend announcement that CHS Principal Elizabeth Aaron was being reassigned.

Our meeting was a first step in both accountability and transparency as Dr. Ficarra revealed Principal ...

Coalition on Race Responds to Changes in School District Administrators

The Board of Trustees of the Community Coalition on Race seeks racial equity, integration, and excellence in education for all students in our schools. While the pace of change has been frustratingly slow, we have seen some progress. Yet, candidly, there are too many students of color who are not well served in SOMA, who still experience segregated classrooms and who still suffer from racial ...

Those Boarded-Up Homes in the West Ward? Newark Has a Plan for Them.

July 19, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - The city is using the power of eminent domain to reduce the number of condemned homes and vacant lots scattered throughout the West Ward.

The redevelopment plan for the West Ward was introduced in 2016 and encompasses properties from the border of Irvington to South 13th Street between South Orange Avenue and 16th Avenue. One of the main goals of the plan is to support new ...

Lawmakers Denounce SCOTUS Nomination at Essex County Courthouse

NEWARK, NJ - State Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin said it was important to support local women’s health organizations at a state level should President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court justice nominee be approved.

The assemblywoman joined state Sen. Teresa Ruiz, congressional leaders and women's rights groups yesterday at the steps of the Essex County Courthouse ...

Rutgers Hikes Tuition, Student Fees for 2018-2019 Academic Year

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University Board of Governors today approved a 2.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, as well as increases for dorm rooms and meals, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The increase now brings the annual cost for undergraduate students to $14,975, which is $337 more than this past school year.

Student housing will increase 1.9 percent, and ...

NJ Residents Take Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

New Plumber Joins the Woolley Home Solutions Team

July 16, 2018

We are excited to announce a new addition to the Woolley team! Our new plumber, Oscar Buonafina, is an expert plumber with nearly a decade of industry experience serving New Jersey homeowners. He is also a NJ Master Plumber Since 2007. As a military veteran, Oscar truly understands hard work and commitment, and we’re so happy to bring him on board!

"I believe in service to people ...

Maplewood Brings Local Youth to the Governing Table With the Youth Advisory Committee

The Maplewood Township Committee cordially invites diverse student residents of Maplewood who are enrolled in private or public school in grades 8 through 12 to apply to serve on its new Youth Advisory Committee.  In order to continue empowering local youth whose recent advocacy on - gun safety, safe schools, voting rights, immigration, greater institutional equity and inclusion, to name a ...

Repairs to Boyden Avenue Between Elmwood Avenue and Springfield Avenue

On Monday, July 16, road repairs to the south side of Boyden Avenue between Elmwood Avenue and Springfield Avenue will take place for approximately one week pending weather conditions. There will be access to the pool parking lot for pool members and NJ Transit employees. Signage and police officers will be present to direct traffic.