West Milford, WV win crowns

The Record
January 2003
The Wayne Valley girls team dominated the Passaic County Indoor Championships from the opening event at the Armory on Wednesday night, taking 1-2-4 in the 55-meter hurdles and breezing to a near-record point total in a 124-52 victory over West Milford. Nothing went wrong for the Indians as they won six events.

The West Milford boys team had to come from behind in the final five events to win a third straight Passaic title, 99-79, over Clifton.

But it was the depth of both teams that made their victories seem inevitable.

"I thought we did pretty well in the Northern Hills meet last week, but we had to improve on what we did there," said West Milford coach <Scott Copperman. "I thought we had the potential to do that."

Even when bronchitis knocked Greg Weiss out of the 1,000 and a stomach virus forced Shawn Gilroy to stop competing after a third in the 300, the Highlanders never faltered. Thirteen Highlanders scored in the meet, far more than any other team.

"Our kids are willing to compete and no one's willing to settle for second best, although they know they might not win their event," said Copperman. "They train together and support each other no matter what happens."

The win by junior Tim Lawrence in the high jump was West Milford's only victory. But five seconds, five thirds, and eight individual events with at least two scorers secured the fifth straight season winning the Passaic championship for the Highlanders (two straight cross-country, two indoor track, and the 2002 spring track titles).

It also helped them overcome a meet record performance by Mohamed Khadraoui of Kennedy, who broke a 14-year-old record by 20 seconds in winning the 3,000 in 8:52.4, a pair of meet records by Clifton's Ken Stoute (13 feet in the pole vault and 40-7 1/2 in the triple jump), and three wins by Wayne Hills' Mike Pruzinsky.

Lindsay Van Alstine of Hawthorne Christian (4:53.4 in 1,500) and Awinna Martinez of Passaic (3:10.6 in 1,000) did the record-setting in the girls meet, but Wayne Valley stunned its head coach with its dominating performance.

"Every one of our kids had a great day," said Doug Flower. "I think it was the best meet we've ever had since I've been here. I was amazed every time I clicked my stopwatch."

Paul Schwartz's e-mail address is

Paul Schwartz
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