ORADELL – When Saddle Brook’s Class of 2015 came into the school, the upward trend that the Falcons had waited for years to come finally began. On Saturday, the Falcons hit the pinnacle of their success by winning the Division D title at the Jack Yockers Bergen County Relays.
“We always know we have to compete at our best and perform at any meet, no matter what goes on in practice,” said senior Raj Gulati, after posting a split of 51 seconds in the 4-x-400-meter relay. “It feels amazing knowing how hard we worked not just this year, but for four years.”
“We wanted to get our name out there for the track team, because it’s a sport and a team that doesn’t get a lot of recognition,” senior David Plaza said. “People have been saying nobody will ever top our great teams of the 1970s and 1980s, but we’re out to prove them wrong and I think we can.”
Gulati, Plaza, Will Salcedo and Brian Brooks form the core of the Falcons squad and remain confident heading into the Penn Relays.
“I haven’t had a more balanced or dedicated team in the eight years I’ve been here,” coach Ed Ciccone said. “As a smaller school, everyone has to train for every event. For example, Raj Gulati ran the 4-x-800 as well as sprints [Saturday]. He’d even pick up a pole if we told him to. He’s just an example of how great the kids on this team are.”
Emerson (94.5 points) was the runner-up to Saddle Brook (103), and Park Ridge (71.5) finished third.
Hasbrouck Heights continues to refuse to lose, winning Division C with 104 points and giving the Aviators their seventh straight county title. It’s exactly what coach Rob Brady wanted from his team.
“Group C was a great group this year. Our boys had a great, balanced meet,” Brady said. “They work hard for each other, and listen to the coaches.
“I was comfortable with the boys [Saturday], and they did an excellent job. They were good in the shuttle hurdles, [the throws], and the 4-x-100. Going forward, staying healthy is how we continue to succeed,” Brady added.