Matt Trudell had one goal for this early in the season -- qualify for
the Penn Relays. When that opportunity went by the board last week, his
Now the senior from West Milford is out to prove that he should have
qualified for the Penn Relays.
"He was on the fringe," said coach Scott Copperman. "When we found
out the middle of last week that he didn't make it, he turned it up."
Trudell ran a split of 56.4 seconds at the Ranger Relays at Wallkill
Valley on Saturday as the Highlanders' 3x400 intermediate hurdles team
of Trudell, John Greenwald, and Greg Weiss tied the meet record of
2:57.1. He also ran 15.5 for the 110 hurdle team which came in one-tenth
of a second off the meet record (1:06.7).
"He is probably one of the top 12 hurdlers in the state, at least in
the quarter hurdles," Copperman said. "The school record is 54.6
seconds, and we think he's ahead of pace to get there this season. Our
first three dual meets were real challenges for us, so we asked him to
run some different races and put the hurdles behind for now, so Saturday
was his first chance to focus on the hurdles."
That move has worked for West Milford, which hasn't lost a dual meet
in more than two years (25-0) and is one of the favorites going into
this weekend's County Relays at Wayne Valley. The Highlanders have point
scorers throughout the team.
Brian Leslie is off to a flying start in the long jump, setting the
school record of 22 feet, 2 1/4 inches on opening day. Justin Roberts
has thrown 45 feet in the shot put and 137 feet in the discus this year.
Wayne Valley, which has relegated the Highlanders to second place in
recent years, and Passaic could also be in the mix.
"We're cautiously optimistic," Copperman said. "We're concerned
about Wayne Hills, which is great in the field events, and Passaic,
which has great throwers and great runners."
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