They say great programs don’t rebuild, they reload.
That’s just the case with the Delsea Regional High School girls’ track and field team.
The Crusaders took a group of relative unknowns and put the South Jesey track community on watch, going undefeated (5-0) en route to Tri-County Conference Royal Division, Gloucester County and Group III South titles. And they did it despite graduating four state champions from the year before.
Senior Ashley Woodards, who won the 400-meter hurdles at the Meet of Champions as a junior, returned and was sensational, winning four gold medals at the Group III South meet. But beyond Woodards, it was names like Celine Mazzi and Sabrina Burrell — Meet of Champions qualifiers in the 1,600 and the long jump, respectively — that stepped up and became household names.
At the Group III meet, the Crusaders were second only to Neptune, which scored 44 points to Delsea’s 35. Of the 44 points Neptune scored, 40 came from perhaps the best girls’ runner in the state, senior Ajee Wilson, who won four events.
Woodards will graduate, as will standout Jeanne Berry — a MofC qualifier in the javelin — but the team is still young and promises to be strong again next year. Of course, if this spring proved anything, it’s not about who returns for Delsea, it’s about who is waiting in the wings.