When 55 girls’ track teams roll into for the 20th annual Saturday morning, they’ll be treated to a new-look version of what’s become the premier all-girls’ relay meet in New Jersey.
This year adds the triple jump to the 16-event program, which West Deptford head coach Mark Drummond said could be the x-factor this year.
No longer will teams be able to truck in a few high-speed racers and blast their way to a team title winning only on the track; they’ll have to find three triple jumpers—all the field events are three-girl, rather than two-girl events—or risk losing out on valuable points.
“It levels the playing field a bit,” Drummond said. “It’ll make the team race a lot more interesting than it has been.”
And with three West Deptford girls—Megan Kirschling, Claudia Theriault and Nicole Pinto—all with the potential to go over 30 feet in the new event, the addition could add a little advantage to the home squad.
“It’ll be a new, strong event for us,” Drummond said.
The relay meet is also adding some individual honors, with recognition being handed out for the top jumper, top thrower and top runner for the day.
And on top of all that, the meet has a major sponsor this year—Brooks Sports, a high-performance running shoe and apparel company, signed on this year. They’re involved in races locally at a higher level, including the annual Haddonfield Adrenaline 5K, but Drummond said this is their first time getting involved at the high school level.
“I’m excited, because they’re a good company,” he said. “I hope that leads to something more as we go on.”
Brooks representatives will be on hand for giveaways throughout the day, as part of the sponsorship deal.
As for the Eagles’ chances at their own meet, Drummond said he thinks the team should do well, especially in the triple jump, high jump and pole vault relays, since the team is deep enough to field three solid performers in each event.
Add in a few standout track relay teams—Drummond said the 4x1600 relay should be strong, among others—and just maybe that all adds up to a shot at West Deptford’s second-ever team title at the home meet.
“We’ve got a loaded division,” Drummond said. “We’ll see how it goes—I’m optimistic.”