ORADELL — Every year when Waldwick girls coach Eric Weizmann is making up his spring track schedule, he circles the dates for the Jack Yockers Bergen County Relays.
“This is the meet we highlight and shoot for,” said Weizmann, whose team won its third straight D division title, 85-68, over Dwight-Englewood at River Dell on Saturday and has been first or second nine times in the last 11 years.
“We have a small team, just 22 girls, and we need every girl to compete and get out there so we can cover nearly every event. We really don’t have any stars but everyone who competed [Saturday] was part of a team that scored for us.”
The biggest star on the team might be senior javelin thrower Erin McHugh, who had the meet’s second-best throw of 117 feet, 11 inches, and fouled on an enormous throw by a fraction of an inch. The throw was measured anyway and came in at 134-0, which would have been 11th best in Bergen history.
And sophomore Anna Boddy had an unusual triple as being part of the Warriors’ winning shot put, high jump and pole vault teams, having the division’s top vault and jumps of the weekend.
Waldwick competed and scored in 14 of the 16 events, winning the shot put and high jump titles and sharing first place in the pole vault with Park Ridge.
“We rely on depth more than anything else and we need to bring the third and fourth kids in our events to get up to speed so that we can compete,” said Weizmann. “It’s really the team concept.”
And though the Warriors may not approach their success in division, county individual or state competition later this spring, three teams that expect this meet to be a springboard for the rest of the season, combined depth with outstanding individual performances.
Division winners Northern Highlands (A), River Dell (B) and Hasbrouck Heights (C) each scored at least 100 points and placed in all 16 events in their respective divisions.
Hasbrouck Heights won five events with small-school meet records in the 4-x-800, sprint medley and 3-x-400 hurdles events.
The big difference for the Aviators was the return to health of Jillian DiGiacinto, heavily hampered by a stress fracture in her back that was discovered after this meet a year ago. She was the key figure in the sprint medley and hurdles record-setting wins.
“We use the early-season meets to set up our combinations for this meet,” said Heights coach Rob Brady, as his team won its sixth title in seven years.
“If our kids want to run on relays with our key kids, like Jillian or Stacey Porzl they have to perform in those meets.”