VERONA, NJ - Verona boys cross country is three meets into the new season and senior David Navarro has led the team in all three and achieving a season best of 17:43 on Tuesday.  Navarro is the TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove Hillbilly Athlete of the Week.

Our season has been going pretty well so far,” Navarro said.  “We’ve had three meets so far and we’ve done pretty well for ourselves against some hard teams.”

Navarro placed 2nd overall in the first meet against Millburn and Livingston, and took 3rd overall on Sept. 11 against Montclair Kimberly Academy and Montclair with a time of 17:52.  Navarro’s coach Laura Palmerezzi is impressed with his work ethic and leadership this season.  

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“David has stepped up tremendously during competition in the highly competitive American Division.  At practice and competition David gives 110 percent,” Palmerezzi said. “He has been a great role model to his teammates during workouts too always leading on the track.”

A runner since his sophomore year, Navarro trains throughout the summer to prep for the cross country, meeting up with his teammates to run.  He said the strong bond and support is one of the things he likes most about the sport.

“A group of us get together to run in the summer, then when the season starts we start to pick up the mileage,” he stated.  “The team is very close. I like how close knit we are. We are really more like a family.”

Looking ahead, Navarro is hoping the team can make it to the championships in Holmdel in November and individually he’s hoping to break his personal record and consistently deliver times in the 17:30s.  Overall he’s optimistic about achieving both goals.

“I’m close to PRing so I’m hoping to do that this season,”  Navarro said. “We lost some good seniors to graduation last year, but everyone is stepping up and the guys are really filling in those spots and getting the job done.”

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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