Melanie Egan and Julia Ashley gave stellar performances at the Essex County Winter Track & Field Championship at the Jersey City Armory on Saturday. Ashley ran in the first race of the day in the elite-seeded heat of the 400m race. The Verona High School sophomore came in second to Olivia Baker of Columbia High School, the two-time state champion in this event, in a thrilling finish with Baker running 57.2 and Ashley setting a new VHS record at 58.4.
About 90 minutes later, these Ashley and Baker were joined by 10 other girls in the elite 800m heat, and they gave the crowd a classic nail-biting finish. Baker was first at 2:17.6 and Ashley was second at 2:18.2.
Egan followed by winning the Essex County 3200m in another incredible finish with a new school record of 11:36.8. Sue Crowell of West Orange High School came in second with 11:37.4.
All three performances by the Verona girls have qualified for National Elite status by Milesplit.com.