Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lakeland Girls Track Teams Up to Win Conference Title

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lakeland Girls Track Teams Up to Win Conference Title

Article excerpt

WANAQUE – The Lakeland girls' indoor track team needed an extra three weeks to celebrate their first conference championship in five years.

After fighting weather, time and five other teams in the division, the Lancers captured the Big North-Independence title last week for the first time since 2013 at the Armory Track Center in New York.

"The team has worked real hard the last few weeks and everyone stepped up to help win the conference championship," said Lakeland veteran head coach Bob Mueller. "Unfortunately, we weren't able to attend the originally-scheduled meet because of poor weather conditions. But the league did a great job rescheduling the event to allow the other teams a chance at competing."

In a meet rescheduled from Jan. 17 when four of the six teams in the division were unable to compete due to inclement weather, Lakeland captured four events and placed in the top five in the other events to outdistance runner-up Fair Lawn, 122-91.

Wayne Valley finished third overall with 72 points, followed by Wayne Hills (60), Passaic Valley (39) and West Milford (38).

Senior Lilly Brown won the pole vault, setting a meet and Lakeland school record of 11-7 and recording the third best performance in Passaic County history.

"Lilly looks real strong and sharp this season," said Mueller. "She's put a lot of extra time and work in and it shows. She'll continue to get better and will be ready to go in the upcoming state group meet. She has a really good shot at advancing to the State Meet of Champions."

Joining Brown in the gold medal category was senior distance runner Samantha Biss, who claimed the 1,600-meter race in a winning time of 5:50.70. Biss, who only returned two weeks ago from a nagging injury, provided crucial and necessary points for the Lancers to claim the overall team title.

"Sam's presence was huge for us as her contributions basically helped with the points needed to win the meet," admitted Mueller. "She's a competitor and really wanted to compete and be there with her team. …

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