Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Majkowicz Better by Leaps and Bounds

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Majkowicz Better by Leaps and Bounds

Article excerpt

SOUTH PLAINFIELD -- From the minute Deb Majkowicz came out for the Immaculate Heart track team as a freshman, the Saddle Brook resident was an important member of the Blue Eagles -- running the hurdles, triple jumping and long jumping.

After a fine sophomore season in 2013 that included a personal best 16-foot, 8-inch long jump, Majkowicz set her sails on first 17 feet and then maybe a shot at the school record of 17-7 set by Gina Carlino in 2011.

It didn't happen in 2014 and it didn't happen this year, either, until last week's state sectional during which the senior jumped 17- 1 at the North Non-Public A meet.

Friday at South Plainfield, the struggles to improve and Carlino's school record were left far behind. Majkowicz stunned the field in the Non-Public A championship and even herself, by jumping 17-3, a school record 17-11, and then an amazing 18-4 1/4. She earned one of seven group titles by North Jersey athletes on the first day of the Group 2-3/Non-Public A meet.

"It seemed like I was trying to jump 17 feet forever," said Majkowicz, who moved into 12th on the all-time Bergen County list with her extraordinary leap, after not being ranked in the top 100 coming into the meet. "I was expecting it to happen last year and it didn't and I just wasn't giving up until I achieved my goals."

Majkowicz, who will jump at the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point next year and hopes to eventually receive a commission in the Coast Guard, obviously isn't afraid of a challenge and neither is her teammate Colleen Buckley. Buckley bounced back from an illness that lasted about a week and easily won her first state title, going 5 minutes, 1.54 seconds to run away from a good 1,600 meters field.

"I didn't feel right after the Bergen Meet of Champions," said Buckley, who won that race in a huge personal best of 4:55.94. "I kept getting tired and had a sore throat and went to the doctor twice last week and I never go to the doctor. …

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