Ramsey senior girls go out with another title by Paul Schwartz of The Record
OLD TAPPAN – When Ramsey captured the girls C division title three weeks ago at the Bergen County Jack Yockers Relays, coach Matt Wynne, while thrilled with his team’s performance, wistfully reflected on the apparent loss of one of his senior stalwarts.
“I can’t believe I won’t be able to coach Sam Sudol again,’’ said Wynne of his long sprint star, who had come back from a quad injury that had destroyed her winter only to suffer a hamstring pull during the first day of the Relays.
But Sudol battled back, and appropriately had a hand in the final event Saturday in the Red Littler Bergen Group meet, leading off the silver medal winning 4-x-400 relay as the Rams held off Pascack Hills, 139-134, for their second divisional title in three years and 16th overall.
The senior quartet of Lauren Chamberlin, Sofia DePalo, Elizabeth Flood and Sudol, who along with Julia Bressi were the core of the team that won four of the eight championship meets and took three seconds in their four years and wanted one more title.
“No way that I wasn’t coming back and celebrate one more championship with these girls and this team,’’ said Sudol, who grabbed fourth in her first race back Friday in the 400 and followed it up with a strong leadoff leg Saturday. “When you spend all day stressed out in school and then you go to practice together as a team and it’s the best part of the day – I wouldn’t miss that!”
Flood agreed and used it as a focal point to pull off a come-from behind win in the 3,200 meters which gave the Rams the lead to stay with just two events to go. “I had lost the 1,600 on the last lap (Friday) and there was no way I was going to let it happen again,’’ said Flood. “I heard my girls cheering me all around the track.’’
DePalo provided a big six points in the discus and Chamberlin as she has throughout her career, showed the versatility that brought her a Bergen County pentathlon crown in 2017, scoring in the 200, triple jump and 4-x-100 relay.
Only Sudol, headed for the University of Maine, is expected to compete next year with Chamberlin (Georgia), Flood (Maryland) and DePalo (Alabama) headed for large major Division I schools.
“But knowing everyone is always rooting for you, and is always there for you as this team is, makes everything worth it,’’ says DePalo.
As expected, Ridgewood won its second straight Division A title and 18th overall group crown easily, scoring a near record 176 points and beating runner-up Northern Highlands by 60 points.
But the group 4 state contenders might have suffered a crushing blow in their hopes for state sectional and group titles, when junior star Katherine Muccio injured her left ankle when she appeared to hit the seventh of 10 hurdles with her trail leg as she was breezing to a third win in the meet.
Muccio, who had won the 400 hurdles and 400 meters impressively on Friday, had a lead of about a hurdle when the incident occurred. She tried to right herself and somehow managed to take 6th anyway as teammates Sara VandenAssem and Victoria Purritano ended up 1-2. Muccio was carried off and later went to Valley Hospital for X-rays. A complete diagnosis won’t be known until a CT scan is performed Monday.
“It casts a pall on a wonderful effort by a wonderful team with a great staff and great performances,’’ said a concerned coach Steve Opremcak. “We all hope it’s not a season-ending injury.’’
The Paramus Catholic quartet of Tiffany Bautista, Isabelle Dely, Mariah Fede and Kennedee Cox combined for eight wins, four seconds and 114 points, but Paramus Catholic needed unexpected efforts from throwers Tatiana Amir, Dymond Robinson and Jordan Somerville and a tight win from it’s 4-x-100 team of Lindsey Desir, Ayanna Dais, Kiyara Santos and Emily DelaCera, to hold off Holy Angels, 197-195. Desir was the only regular on the 4-x-100 lineup and the Paladins edged Holy Angels by .03 seconds in 51.88.
The Final D division results show Emerson winning its first title since 2013 with a comfortable 106-93 margin over Waldwick. But what the final results don’t show is that the Cavos were in fourth place before the meet’s final two events before they leapfrogged Saddle Brook and Becton as well as Waldwick to grab the crown.
The pole vault was just concluding when the last event, the 4-x-400 relay got underway. Emerson, trailing Saddle Brook by 8 points going into the pole vault took 20 points in the event, including a personal best win at 10 feet by senior Adrianna Gobin. Waldwick took the other 10 points in the vault, but had no relay team. Emerson then won the relay, edging Becton to gain the deceptive final margin.