VERONA,NJ - Ricky Friedman is a top runner, a hard worker and a great leader. He has also earned himself impressive times in various meets and helped his team come out on top with multiple medals. It is for those reasons that Friedman is this week’s TAP into Verona/Cedar Grove Hillbilly Athlete of the week.

The honor is one that Friedman said feels good, especially with all of the hard work he has put into the season.

“The season has been great so far. It started off cold but finally got to the nice weather, practicing everyday,” Friedman said. “We have had two relay meets so far and there have been some medals to go around. Duel meets during the week at our home track have been great as well.”

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The senior captain runs the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter, with his best times being 24.1 in the 200-meter and 11.7 in the 100-meter. Although his times are impressive, Friedman hopes to improve on them by the end of the season.

As a team, Friedman said the Hillbillies don’t face many challenges since the runners all get along well and there are a large number of runners on the team. The Hillbillies hope to keep winning meets and getting better as a team.

“For me personally, I would say just to stay in shape for the 400 because it's more new to me so I have to train for that with time to come,” Friedman said of his personal goal this season.

Although the whole season has been a great one so far, Friedman and his Coach Laura Palmerezzi agree that the duel meet against North 13th Street was one that really stuck out. Verona won almost every race at that home meet with Friedman running impressive times in both the 100-meter and 200-meter, Palmerezzi said.

“Ricky has improved this season in both the 100 and 200 meters,” Palmerezzi added. “His hard work and dedication to our sport has shown with his improved times at each meet.  Ricky is a very reliable captain who leads by example and helps train the new sprinters on the team.”

Not only is Friedman a great runner, he is also a great leader and has been working with the underclassmen sprinters to improve their times and share his love for track and field.

“I love the atmosphere of track and field -- being outside and talking to everyone, because there are always tons of people at the meets,” Friedman said. “And also just the races I race in I enjoy competing against others.”