With better weather conditions on Saturday than at last weekend’s Summit Relays, balance and breakthrough performances were the themes of the meet for a couple of local team winners at this year’s Cranford Cougar Relays.
Westfield High School took home the combined team title by outscoring second-place Union 105-97. The Blue Devils were anchored by their girls claiming first place, outdistancing Union by eight points. The Westfield boys finished tied for second with Union.
The Governor Livingston boys ran away with the boys meet with 65 points, a full 18 points ahead of the second-place finishers.
“We had some improvement in some areas today, and the weather helped a little bit,” said Westfield girls coach Jen Buccino. “Each week the kids are seeing what they can do and working better together, and it’s starting to fall into place. It’s a really good, dedicated group of kids who are very serious about what they’re doing.”
Perhaps the most impressive performance by the lady Blue Devils was in the distance medley. The quartet of Johanna Mermer, Lilly Burtness, Meghan O’Dwyer and Gabby Stravach clocked in at 12:59.44, more than 35 seconds ahead of Princeton’s four.
The Highlanders boys placed just two individual winners — Zakaria Rochdi in the triple jump and Kevin Tesoro in the javelin — but were able to cruise to victory behind the strength of their depth and having some athletes step into the shoes of others who were absent for ACT testing.
The balance was something Governor Livingston boys coach Joe Hubert was preaching after the meet.
“I think that’s the kind of program we have,” Hubert said. “It’s really never for us the stud that drags people along with him. I think we have a lot of good kids, and when teamed up, make a great performance. All of this combined is just basically who we are and the way we deal with things. Everybody tries to contribute and they do.”