She didn't make the finals of the 55 meters at the Seton Hall Invitational and she was beaten by Kennedy's Tawana Watkins at the Season Opener 55.
But don't discount the possibility of Takara Wilks of Queen of Peace
winning her third straight State Meet of Champions 55-meters title on
Feb. 3 at Princeton.
Wilks won her second straight title in 7.25 seconds after capturing
the Colgate Winter Games as a sophomore, and then a bad back knocked her
out of her second straight outdoor season.
"I didn't run for 8 1/2 months," said Wilks, a junior. "But I got
lots of therapy, and decided not to have surgery, and in the beginning
of November, I started to run again."
"I never doubted I'd come back," said Wilks last week. "You can't
expect to win every race, but I didn't feel any pressure because I still
have the rest of this year and next year. And this year, I'm finally
going to run outdoors."
ANOTHER HURDLE TO CLEAR: Mahwah's Greg Molnar admits he's better at
the 110-meter hurdles outdoors than he is at 55 meters indoors. But that
won't stop him from trying to be North Jersey's top hurdler this winter
"I have good form and that serves me well in a longer race," said
Molnar, who was third behind Union Hill and Memorial runners at the
Season Opener. "My start isn't that good and I need to get better. I hit
the fourth [of five hurdles] and that cost me the race. I just got a
little too close to the hurdle."
"I think I have a lot more strength this year from running
cross-country, even though I didn't do that well," said Molnar, who was
the North 1, Group 2 champion in the spring and who was fifth in the
Bergen Meet of Champions. "That should help me get even better by the
time spring comes around."
TITLE CONSIDERATIONS: Don't misunderstand West Milford coach Scott Copperman. He likes the idea of a Northern Hills Conference winter track
championship just fine. It's that holding it 22 days after the season
starts comes a little too early to suit him.
"To have this meet so early in the season and so close after
vacation makes things difficult," says Copperman, whose boys and girls
teams are both among the favorites in the meet at Drew University on
Saturday at 1:30 p.m. "It makes it especially hard with the State Relays
[for Groups 2 and 3] the next day."
But Copperman concedes that the difficulties in getting an
appropriate facility, both for the league meet and State meets, makes it
hard for the season to follow the same rhythm that the spring one does.
Copperman points to West Orange and perhaps Clifford Scott as the
favorites to win titles Saturday, although he concedes that a few wins
by his girls team could boost them to the title.
"We need to do well in the high jump and shot put and maybe Caitlin
Schopp can win either the 400 or 800," said Copperman. "West Orange is
tough, though, and Clifford Scott has some great sprinters and
Look for Passaic Valley's Jesse Mizzone to win whatever distance
race she enters even as she continues to recover from mononucleosis. And
Butler sophomore Rebecca Baskinger should score highly in the hurdles
and sprint and hopes to improve on her North Jersey-leading 5-4 high
Four-time defending boys champ Wayne Valley, a 58-56 winner over
West Milford last winter, has graduated most of its points winners from
The State Group 2 and 3 Relays are Sunday at Jadwin Gym in
Princeton, followed by Groups 1 and 4 on Jan. 13. The event to watch
might be the Group 2 girls shot put, which features the Northern Valley
at Demarest team of Jessica and Kelly Fazekas. The duo, who threw 42-0
and a Bergen County record 44-5 two weeks ago in their only meet of the
winter, could be the best twosome since the Plainfield pair of Kim Hicks
and Nicole Sims a decade ago.
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