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The Northern Star

The Northern Star

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NVD track team begins season with two consecutive victories over Old Tappan

Girls posing for a picture as they placed first in their track event. 
(Photo courtesy of NVD Track Instagram)
Girls posing for a picture as they placed first in their track event. (Photo courtesy of NVD Track Instagram)

At the Bergen County Relays, NVD’s track team competed against many other schools, including Old Tappan, and won for the second consecutive time against OT this month–the first time being at the Big North League Championship. The team is opening up their season strong, competing against OT twice so far in 2024 and winning both times.

With impressive scores, both the girls’ and boys’ teams set the tone for the rest of the track season at the Big North League Championship and Bergen County Relays, coming in with new personal records, point accumulations, and other achievements. The scores for the championship on January 8th totaled to a win by the boys with a score of 131-100 and a win by the girls with a score of 153-135. 

As for the second meet, the girls’ team finished second overall with 51.5 points, scoring 6.5 points higher than Old Tappan’s third place point count of 45. Coach Ippolito of the girls’ track team recounts highlights from the relays on January 22nd.

The boys track team after winning their meet.
(Photo courtesy of NVD Track Instagram)

“The biggest thing that we probably achieved was the girls shuttle hurdle relay. They won the events, they were the top team in Bergen county, their time of 34.81 broke the school record that we set last year,” Ippilito said, “It’s the number one time in New Jersey this year, it’s the number five time in the United States so far this year, and it qualifies them for the New Balance Nationals meet. So that’s definitely the standout.”

Prior to the Bergen County Relays, the track team was already confident in their abilities and expected to do well. Luke Davis, a distance runner from the boys’ team, was certain in the track team’s chances of winning. 

“Our morale is all the way up. Last year, I don’t think we lost a single meet, and this year we’re trying to do it again,” Davis said, “honestly at this point, [winning against OT is] the usual.”

Girls posing for a picture as they placed first in their track event.
(Photo courtesy of NVD Track Instagram)

The team is very proud of their post-relay scores considering their new personal bests and record breaks. Liam Paneque, a high-jumper of the boys team is especially proud of the hurdle events.

“I think we actually did better than we thought we would going into the 55 hurdles. And the jumps we did as well as we expected. I’ve jumped… since freshman year, and we kind of know what we’re capable of, so we went in and we knew if we get a good mark, we could win with a pretty good performance,” Paneque said, “not our best performance, but we knew going into it that we didn’t have to PR, so I think we did as well as we expected to in most events.”

As for the girls team, Kailey Attali, mainly a hurdler, doesn’t consider the relays meet to have been the best expression of the girls’ team’s skills, but she still recognizes their successes:

“Jumping, I didn’t do as well as I hoped to, but the four by four, I really didn’t know what to expect. It was my first time running it and we did pretty well. For the hurdles, it was everything I expected. I did expect us to get to nationals,” Attali said.

With the track team’s two consecutive wins against OT, the overall morale of the team is prevalent. Coach Theuerkauf, the head of the boys’ team, commented on the teams efforts, achievements, and their determined and confident start to the season, as well as their intent to remain difficult to beat.

“I’m very proud of the team. I’ve been part of this team since 1984, so I’ve been around the block. These guys work as hard as any of the best teams we’ve ever had, and they compete tough and they like each other, so I’m very proud of their accomplishments so far,” Theuerkauf said, “but I don’t want them to rest on our laurels and get confident and comfortable and complacent where we’re at because most of the season’s still in front of us.”

With more races and meets on the way, NVD’s track team intends to go on strong and confident for the remainder of the season, practicing harder and giving it their all this year in track to remain on the map and take on more records and teams.

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About the Contributor
Lia Levy
Lia Levy, Staff Writer
Hi! I’m Lia, and I’m a sophomore at NVD this year. I’m a huge music and film buff and have a knack for showing it… in the best way! I’m so excited to see where I’ll go with my first year as a staff member at the Northern Star.
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