By Andy Loigu
The pride and joy of the Hackettstown track and field program, Nioami Miranda, capped off a brilliant high school career with two medal-winning performances at the New Jersey Meet of Champions in Ocean County on Wednesday.
In a meet that brings together the best of the best, from all the public and non-public groups, she finished seventh in the 200 meter sprint (25.41 seconds) and eighth in the 400 meter run (57.21).
As someone who ran that distance in college competition four decades ago, I can say the 400 is a grueling race, because it is a long sprint. If you try to pace yourself, you fall too far behind. Rigor mortis starts to set in after about 300 meters. It was harder than the 800, which I also ran.
“I improved my stamina, and my form, by running indoor track in my junior year with the Polar Bears club,” Miranda said. “I got used to running three races on the same day. I stay focused and work through it. My goal always was to make it to the Meet of Champions,” she added.
“I’m honestly blessed, from a wonderful family, and coaches who push me to be at my best.”
Hannah Foley of Warren Hills was 10th at the MOC in the pole vault, with a 10-foot, six inch lift.
In the boys MOC competition, Justin Wulff of the Warren Hills Blue Streaks finished 13th with a 167-8 javelin throw. His teammate Brian Spolarich also had a 13th place finish, in the boys 3,200-meter distance run (9:18.35). Hackettstown’s Holden Scott was 22nd in the triple jump, with a hop, skip, and flight of 42 feet, eight inches.
Groups 2 and 3 meets
The Tigers’ senior sprinter Nioami Miranda, a fourth-year performer, placed fourth in the 400 in 57.68 and 10th in the 100 (12.76) at the Group 2 state meet.
Hackettstown’s Madison Hosking was 11th in the NJSIAA Group 2 girls 1600 meter run at North Burlington.
Also from Hackettstown, Jason Kunzman tied for eighth in the pole vault (12-0) and his Tiger teammate Holden Scott was 11th in the long jump (20-7 ½).
In boys Group 3, Justin Wulff of Warren Hills placed fifth in the javelin throw (175-5). Fellow Blue Streak Ethan Wimmer was 14th in the 1600 meter in 4:28.88 and anchored the Warren Hills 3200 relay unit along with Colin Diedhiou, Zach Oliver, and Brian Spolarich, that finished 13th.
Hannah Foley of Warren Hills won the girls pole vault championship in the North 2 Group 3 section on May 28. She soared over the bar at 11 feet.
Blue Streaks junior Paris Boucher captured third in the North 2 Group 3 girls 800 meter run, with a speedy 2:18.79 time, in an event which requires both endurance and sprinting speed.
Warren Hills’ freshman Alexa Westley and sophomore Ashley Childs finished fifth in the 3,200 meters and long jump, respectively.
Senior sprinter Nioami Miranda of Hackettstown captured medals in three events to move on to the state meet in Group 2.
Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.