Sydney Woods sets Bergen pole vault record by Paul Schwartz of The Record
Well that didn’t take long.
On opening night of the 2018-2019 indoor track season, Sydney Woods of NV/Demarest set the Bergen County record in the girls pole vault, clearing 12 feet seven inches and taking second at the Tim St. Lawrence Invitational at the Armory Track Center in New York.
The University of Pennsylvania-bound senior cleared the height on her first attempt, breaking the mark of 12-6¼ set by Melissa Purcell of Pascack Valley just last year. Purcell still holds the outdoor mark at 12-7, which she set last year, when she the record that Woods had set less than two hours earlier.
“I was on a larger pole that I had never cleared a height with before,” said Woods, who had three misses at her first tries at 13 feet. “I had a lot of hip height when I cleared 12-7 and I’m really confident and where I want to be right now.”
Woods now ranks fourth on the all-time New Jersey list.
Woods cleared a personal best at the time of 12 feet last winter at the same meet and was never able to better the mark indoors, despite winning the Group 2 state title and finishing fifth in the State Meet of Champions.
“I’m a much different athlete now than I was last year,” said Woods, who received her formal acceptance from Penn last week. “College is taken care of and I can really focus on practice and getting better. I put more work in the offseason than I did last year and I’m much more prepared.”
Woods is a favorite to not only repeat in Group 2 but to win Bergen County’s first indoor Meet of Champions title in the event that celebrates its 15th year in the state meet. Wayne Hills’ Kristina Langan won in 2015.
She’s also been invited to the Millrose Games high school girls pole vault on Saturday, February 9 at the Armory.
The opening weekend of the indoor track season saw many of the best North Jersey teams and athletes enjoying fast starts to the 10-week campaign.
Friday night, Bergen Tech senior Jayjoon Sim won two events at the Tim St. Lawrence meet that Woods had excelled at, taking the boys 55 meter dash in 6.78 seconds and winning the long jump with a leap of 20-5½. Teammate Stephen Shields was second in the long jump at 20-0½ and fifth in the 55 hurdles in 8.43 seconds.
Other top North Jersey performers at the meet Friday were: John Shea, NV/Demarest (2nd, triple jump, 41-4), and Miles Chamberlain, NV/Demarest (6th, 400, 52.75) among the boys and Alexa Nicole Cruz, NV/Demarest (5th, triple jump, 32-6), Jordan Hecker (t-5th, pole vault, 9-0), Liana Meyer, Bergen Tech (5th, long jump, 15-10 1/4) and the Demarest 4-x-200 relay (6th, 1:50.06) among the girls.
GIRLS TRACK: Team-by-team previews for North Jersey
BOYS TRACK: Team-by-team previews for North Jersey
Ramapo and Northern Highlands shine at Armory Hall of Fame Classic
Ramapo and Northern Highlands, had some excellent opening performances at the December 15 Armory Coaches Hall of Fame Classic.
Ramapo seniors Grace O’Shea and Sarah Adams got their seasons off quickly with multiple medal-winning performances in the small schools division. O’Shea, the defending state champion in the 55 hurdles, ran the 55 meters sprint instead and set a school record of 7.36 seconds, losing the race by just .002 seconds. She then ran legs on the 4-x-200 relay that finished second in 1:46.27, and the winning 4-x-400 team that won in 4:04.71.
Adams was fifth in the 400 (60.68) and third in the invitational 500 meters in 1:18.83. She also ran a leg on the winning 4-x-400 team which also included sophs Sophia Schwartz and Sophia Vernieri. The 4-x-200 team had Schwartz, Vernieri and Courtney Lander and its clocking is eighth in Bergen County history.
The Northern Highlands duo of Grace Smiechowski and Kyla Krawczyk opened their seasons by finishing 2-4 respectively in the small schools in 58.45 and 59.55, respectively.
Defending state indoor high jump champ Jenna Rogers of Rutherford cleared 5-8 to win the small schools high jump, while Pascack Hills pole vaulter Jamie Rossig set an indoor school record, finishing 4th in the pole vault and clearing 10-6.
Other top girls performances from the meet: Lauren Judd, Ramapo (6th, mile, 5:34.73), Ramapo 4-x-800 (6th, 10:42.78), River Dell 4-x-800 (3rd, 10:12.21); Nicole Waletzki, Northern Highlands (4th, high hurdles, 9.38) and Christina Hughes, Northern Highlands (5th, high hurdles, 9.83), Isabel Kientek, Northern Highlands (3rd, triple jump, 31-11), Bella Conway, Ramapo (5th, triple jump, 31-9) and Kaia Paulsen, Pascack Hills (4th, high jump, 4-10).
Ramapo’s Jeremy Miller and Tommy Cahill staged an epic duel in the small schools high jump. Miller, a sophomore, entered the competition at the opening height of 5-3 and cleared on his first attempt. He then made 5-6, Cahill, a junior entered at 5-9 and both continued clear at that height and at 6 feet.
Only two other jumpers were left at 6-3 and after all four had missed three times, Miller and Cahill were the only two without previous misses and advanced to a jumpoff.
Both missed a fourth time at 6-3 but then Miller made and Cahill missed at 6-2 and the sophomore was the winner.
Other tops boys performances at the meet: Luke Bussetti, Northern Highlands (6th, 400, 51.96); River Dell 4-x-800 (4th, 9:13.26); Ramapo 4-x-400 (4th, 3:34.81); Bobby Hymans, Ramapo (6th, 2 mile, 10:04.97); Geoff Clark, Northern Highlands (4th, triple jump, 39-8¼); Griffin Milgram, River Dell (4th, shot, 43-9½); Joshua Iyonsi, River Dell (5th, shot, 43-5¼) and Liam Landau, Pascack Hills (2nd, long jump, 20-5½; 4th, pole vault, 13-6).
Braedon Fiume of Bergen Catholic took third in the mile (4:31.72) and fifth in the two mile (9:53.49) at the Bishop Loughlin Games at Ocean Breeze Saturday.
Friday at the same venue, Indian Hills swept the first five places in the girls 1,600 and won the boys race at the Essex County Coaches Invitational.
Corinne Barney (5:29.40), Madeline Barney (5:29.47), Leanne Atkinson (5:29.53) and Allison Lounsbury (5:31.67) grabbed the first four places in the seeded heat and freshman Abbey Churchill ran 5:35.78 to win the second heat and grab fifth overall for the girls. Bergen County cross-country champ Bobby Oehrlein won the boys race in 4:34.55.
Butler’s Rebecca Kneppel took third in the Jack O’Leary Lid-Lifter 600 at Drew on Friday in 1:46.33. Kinnelon’s Emma Kline was second in the 1,000 in 3:18.12 and third in the 1,600 (5:32.58).