COLUMBUS-- What the Sterling girls track program has built in the last few years is nothing short of incredible.
The Silver Knights entered last year’s state Group 2 meet without a team title. On Saturday, they left Northern Burlington with their second consecutive team trophy.
“It’s really amazing, especially since we weren’t doing this before,” Madison Coppolino said. “We worked for this oursevles. We set ourselves up for it.”
“That’s a huge accomplishment,” Aliya Harrison said. “It hasn’t really hit me yet and it probably won’t until we get on the bus.”
Sterling has one of the most well-rounded teams in the state and it showed throughout its dominating team performance in Group 2.
Sprinter Aliya Harrison repeated as champion in the 100 and 200 meters in 12.15 and 24.72 respectively.
“I repeated in the 100 and the 200 and I dropped time since last year,” Harrison said. “I won the 100, 200 and second in the 4x100, The 100, it was okay. The 200 I ran around what I wanted to run so that was good.”
Madison and Sydney Coppolino did plenty of damage in the distance events, with Madison capturing the title in the 3,200 meters in 11:02.09.
Sydney Coppolino took second in the 400 meter hurdles and fifth in the 1,600 meters, two places behind Madison, who took third in the mile.
Out in the field, Saraly Gonzalez took third in the javelin and Janell Rowe placed second in triple jump and third in long jump.
“If you look there’s not one specific person or event we got all of our points from,” Madison Coppolino said. “We had field, we had distance, we had springs, we had jumps. It’s a little bit of everything.”
“Our thrower Saraly (impressed us),” Harrison said. “She got the school record in the javelin. My whole team motivates and pushes each other. “
Sterling also took second in the 4x100 and 4x800 relays to round out a weekend of excellence.
And the scary part is Sterling could achieve even more next season, as most of its core are in 11th grade, something that has already led to more excitement.
“I’m happy and excited for what next year produces,” Harrison said.
Morton sweeps hurdles, helps Camden win 4x100
All it takes is one successful race to set the gears in motion for an incredible weekend.
Camden’s Lenaami Morton began her weekend at the Group 2 meet at Northern Burlington High School with a win in the 400 meter hurdles and never looked back.
The senior won the first race of the weekend in 1:02.36, 12 hundredths of a second faster than Sterling’s Sydney Coppolino, and used that to propel her into an incredible Saturday for herself and her teammates.
“Running the 400 hurdles just made me want to set goals for the 100 hurdles and the 4x100,” Morton said.
Morton ran away with the 100-meter hurdles final on Saturday in 14.10, beating her closest competitor by almost half a second.
Her second win gave her all the confidence in the world to help out her team in the 4x100 relay. Camden took first in the sprint relay in a time of 48.90 seconds, the only Group 2 school to run under 49 seconds.
“I was just working on my start for the 100 hurdles and for the 4x100 just push myself,” Morton said. “If I had to go catch somebody, make sure I can catch them for my team because it’s not individual, the relay is for the team. I wanted to make everyone happy.”
The weekend was a massive success in the eyes of the senior, who was also looking for a bit of redemption after failing to make it to this stage a year ago.
“Just to redeem myself from last year,” Morton said. “In the sectionals in the 400 hurdles, I had a bad situation with the last hurdle and I wasn’t able to run last year.”
Now with a week to prepare for the Meet of Champions, Morton has specific time goals in mind to close out her season;.
“In the 400 hurdles, just breaking a 1:02, even if I don’t win, I’m okay with PRing,” Morton said. “In the 100 hurdles, I’m going to shoot for a win and a 13.9 or 13.8. In the 4x100, PRing and hopefully winning that.”