Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Seniors Finish Strong in County Seat Invitational

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Seniors Finish Strong in County Seat Invitational

Article excerpt

OAKLAND -- It is not an unusual story. An athlete shows great skills and talent at a young age, but doesn't realize how hard work could make him or her better. Then senior year hits and with maturity, the talent and work ethic come together. At last, a star is born.

Fair Lawn's George Alexandris and Passaic's Zahtae Mouzone have never met. But the seniors not only share the same events, but have found that hard work and talent can produce wondrous results in dominating the boys and girls meets, respectively, at Saturday's County Seat Invitational at Indian Hills.

Alexandris won the 200 meters and long jump, setting a school record in the latter event by jumping 22 feet, 3 1/2 inches, and in his first attempt at the 400 hurdles in two years, nearly set a second school mark, finishing third.

Mouzone did Alexandris one better, winning the 200, 400 and 400 hurdles, and taking second with a personal best in the long jump. She also set a school record, with a 64.46 in her 400 hurdles win.

"I relied on my talent too much in the past," said Alexandris, who will compete for Monmouth University. "My first two years in school, I never worked hard in sports or even in the classroom. But when I did well in the Bergen Meet of Champions last year [finishing sixth with his first 21-foot long jump] I decided to commit to working harder and seeing what I could do."

A summer of lifting weights and hard work resulted in a good season on the football field and led to an All-North Jersey selection in winter track. And this spring, the versatile Alexandris has competed in seven different events while recording his highest ever grades, 3.8 on a scale of 4.0.

"I've taken the leadership role seriously and I just want to keep getting better," said Alexandris, whose 55.79 400 hurdles time is the fastest by a Bergen County athlete this spring. "There's a lot I want to accomplish."

Mouzone didn't have to come as far as Alexandris in maturity. The senior, headed for either St. Peter's or Rider, has shown her versatility since her freshman year, running everything from the 100 meters to cross-country. …

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