After finishing ahead of 40 other Group I teams, The Newark Tech Girls Track Team won the 2011 Group I Outdoor Track State Championship on June 4 and was congratulated for an outstanding season by the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders last Wednesday.
Only in its second year, the track team has had a great deal of success, having won both the 2010-2011 Group I Indoor and 2011 Group I Outdoor State Championships in the same academic year.
"Congratulations to the Essex County Newark Tech Track program. Although the program is just two years old, the young men and women have excelled and made the Track team one of the best in New Jersey,” said the Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. "Their list of team and individual achievements is quite impressive and reflects the high level of talent, commitment and hard work by our student athletes."
The team is composed of freshman, sophomores and juniors. Some of the girls are running track for the first time and have made extreme accomplishments.
"You wouldn’t expect after only two years to do so well," said Daniel Harris, athletic director at Newark Tech High school.
Sophomore Iana Amsterdam led the team and set new Group 1 and Essex County records in the triple jump, and won individual Group 1 State Championships in the long jump, triple jump and 100-meter dash.
Freshman Brionna Singleton, who had never high-jumped before joining the team, became the Group 1 Outdoor State Champion and set and Essex County record for the high jump.
The team also won the Ranger Relay Invitational Track Meet at Wallkill Valley High School and the Blue Devil Invitational Track Meet at Malcolm X Shabazz High School earlier this season.
"This success wouldn’t be possible without excellent coaching, dedication, and the team’s ability to learn on and off the field," said Harris.
The girls show up for practice at 6:30 a.m. on some days, go straight to class, and end the day with another two-hour practice after school, and still, 70 percent of the team is on the on the honor roll.
The team practices outside on rainy days instead of inside with the mats to prepare themselves for real rainy day competitions, according to Harris.
"They’ve got a lot of chemistry," said Harris. "And a lot of heart."
— Staff reports