As the Nutley Raider Track and Field Express made the trip down to Central Regional High School for the NJSIAA Group Three State Championships, many on the bus wondered why they were on Double Trouble Road. Coach Ryan, having family in that part of the state, assured everyone that the name didn’t matter on the road, the name on the front of their uniforms did. That little pep talk was all the inspiration that senior Danielle Lohf needed to get her to the NJ State Meet of Champions. The senior took advantage of a new runway from last year near and perfect weather conditions, compliments of Team Meteorologist Emily McIntyre, to toss the spear out to 116-11. That throw earned her the 5th place medal and a wild card berth to the Meet of Champions. At the Post Meet Press Conference sponsored by the Turtle Back Zoo, Lohf commented on the new javelin area,” I really liked it, especially when compared to the one we threw off of last year at Groups. Last year, it felt like we were throwing off a sandy beach and not the nice sandy South Pacific beach sand you see in movies and in travel brochures, the weathered beat up sand that you would see in one of those World War II movies we watched in Coach Ryan’s history class. I felt much more comfortable on the new grass runway and was able to get a few good throws off.” The near perfect weather was predicted by McIntyre who at the Pre Meet Press Conference sponsored by the US Coast Guard stated, “the last remnant rain and rumbles are currently fizzling out over the region. The upper-jet is going to split over the Mid-Atlantic US before an upper-level trough swings through while re-capturing the lower split off upper-level low. This should produce a gorgeous Friday, statewide and Saturday, for most aside from some showers and thunderstorms possible in Northern New Jersey.”
On the track side of the ledger, sophomore sprinter Anna Contini qualified in the 400 meters, which she ran a near PR of 59.41 on Friday night. On Saturday, Contini came back with her sister Kate, Ava Tucker and Mia Geraghty for the 4 x 400 relay. After overcoming what experts were calling a wardrobe malfunction, in which the four relay runners only had three pairs of competition shorts between them. Thanks to a cooperative bus driver, Mr. Chuck Baker, Mrs. Contini’s credit card and a Modell’s that was only seven miles away, the Raiders were able to outfit themselves in matching shorts. Running out of the seeded heat, the Raiders turned in their third school record in the past four weeks. Running leadoff, Kate Contini split a 59.7. Freshman Mia Geraghty took the stick and covered the oval in 61.1, and then handed it off to Ava Tucker, who promptly turned in her first ever sub 60 second split with a 59.8. Anchor leg Anna Contini, closed in a 59.5. Their final time of 4:00.39, which broke their record of 4:01.00. They missed a wild card berth to the Meet of Champions by 1.92 seconds. A professional photographer was on hand to get these actions shots. Senior Kate Contini was blocked out of all of them. Sorry Kate.
Freshman Mia Geraghty
Sophomore Ava Tucker looks to hold off Woodbridge High School.
Sophomore Anna Contini closing on the finish line.