Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Geller Grabs Bronze

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Geller Grabs Bronze

Article excerpt

PHILADELPHIA -- It was a good day for ducks and North Jersey javelin throwers at the vaunted Penn Relays.

NV/Demarest's Jesse Geller led a charge of three North Jersey throwers who placed in the top seven, recording a personal-best 137 feet, 11 inches, to claim a bronze medal Thursday afternoon. Midland Park's Thalia Graham was fifth and Olivia Pantale of Wayne Valley seventh in the event.

"I didn't expect this," a thrilled Geller said. "I'm really happy. This is such a prestigious meet and I didn't think I would place this high."

Geller was the top finisher from New Jersey at the Relays. She set the mark with her first throw of the competition.

"You know they call out [the distance] in meters, so I had to have my team calculate it for me," Geller said. "I just didn't think I was going to hit that. I didn't think I was going to [hit a personal record] with the weather."

The day started as overcast, then early in the afternoon the athletes were greeted by a chilly and steady rain that made peak performances difficult.

Unfortunately, the weather turned just as the pole vault competition was starting. NV/Demarest's Michelle Rubinetti made her first two heights, then failed to clear the bar at just under 12 feet. On her last attempt, she purposely dropped the pole on her approach rather than try. She finished fourth.

"It's very hard to grip the pole and deal with the wind when you're running and you feel off-balance," said Rubinetti, a junior from Closter. "[My hands] slipped down the pole and I was under my steps, so I just stopped."

Pole vault officials twice paused the competition and appeared to be discussing whether to delay the event, but there was no stoppage. Girls would land on the padding and rise with their uniforms soaked. Multiple times, officials bailed water out of the box.

NV/Demarest coach Mike Ives kept wrapping towels around Rubinetti's poles when she wasn't competing to keep them dry, and even placed sections under an umbrella. …

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