Kate Ashley had another outstanding performance Friday at the State Group Track & Field Championships in Toms River. In the first event of the night–the 400m race–Ashley got boxed in behind several runners, forcing her into the outer lanes to pass which used up some valuable time. She still finished strong with a time of 61.0 to get eigth place overall in a very competitive field.
Not to be denied her personal goal of competing in prestigious Meet of Champions, Ashley returned to the track about two hours later to compete in the 800m run. In a field of strong athletes, Ashley’s determination and resolve stood out, and she finished in second place with a 2:22.6 performance. Next Sunday, Ashley will compete in the New Jersey Meet of Champions at the Bennett Center in Toms River.
Among other members of the Verona High School winter track team, sophomore Lily Benanchietti competed in pole-vault, clearing an opening height of 7” but missing at 7’6” with three close attempts. Sophomore Brianna Rigney ran her personal best 400m in the lead leg of Verona’s 4 x 400m relay. Freshmen Chelsea Gruskin and Kathleen Nagy ran legs two and three while Ashley anchored the relay. Although the relay team didn’t qualify, the meet provided much experience for a young group of athletes who will provide a strong nucleus for the future.