Woodford’s Winners: A Recap of the Spring Boys’ Track Season


The 2021 spring track season for the boy’s Cresskill track team was one for the history books. They broke records, won multiple big meets, and showed what even a small town like Cresskill is capable of. 

They started off the season strong, going undefeated in the league meets against strong teams such as Emerson and Waldwick. They continued their winning streak as they went to their first big meet of the season, County Relays. Running the team’s best runners in events such as the sprint medley, distance medley, 4x100m and 4x400m, Cresskill pulled out their first major win of the season. 

Two weeks later the boys ran at the County Individual meet, which they also won. 2 days later they ran again at the League Meet, running against every town in our league, and easily winning this meet. 

Two weeks later the boys team ran at the first state qualifier meet of the year, State Sectionals. This meet was extremely close, but the team pulled out a win by half a point to secure their State Sectional Champion title. Winning the County Relays, County Individual, AND State Sectional is an enormous accomplishment that no previous Cresskill team has done before. 

Their head coach, Coach Woodford, remarked on their numerous achievements: “The boys team had an amazing year…Along the way we also secured those boys First Team All County as well. I was incredibly proud of how we ended the season with that.”

The boy’s 4x400m relay team, consisting of Jack Zeigher, Brandon Tilp, Alex Riccardo, and Oliver Urena, also significantly broke the school record in that event.

Along with the team’s many wins, many of the individuals on the team had an outstanding season. For example, Freshman Josh Yoon proved to be a driving force in the team. He broke the CHS Freshmen Record in the 200m, and also got the school record in the 100m, tying a record from 1981.

Woodford commented on Josh saying that “the kid is incredibly talented and he fills in so many spots on our team. It is incredible to have someone who is fast on your team, but Josh is REALLY fast and we can use him in so many places. At every single championship meet that we won, Josh Yoon was a huge part of our scoring and success.”

After the State Sectionals, 7 of the boys qualified for the State Group Meet by placing in the top 6 in their event(s): Joe Toto and Jerry Makris for Javelin, Giancarlo DiRese for Discus, Oliver Urena for the Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump, Josh Yoon for the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m, Ben Klein in the 400m and 4x400m, Sidney Hamburger for the Pole Vault, Alex Riccardo for 4x100m and Brandon Tilp in the 200m, 4x100m, and 4x400m. 

Then by placing in the top 3 in their event(s), Jerry Makris, Oliver Urena, Ben Klein and the boys 4x400m all qualified for the State Meet of Champions. This meet consists of the best athletes in the entire state, and just making it to this meet is a huge accomplishment. 

Jerry Makris and Oliver Urena attended the State Meet of Champions, competing in Javelin and High Jump respectively. Oliver Urena placed 10th out of 38 with a height of 6 ft 2in. Jerry Makris finished 26th out of 39 with a throw of 150 ft 2 in.

Though this season turned out to be a huge success, it was certainly different from previous years, specifically due to covid. Woodford explained that “this was a challenging season to tackle because of shortened times, staggered starts for different groups, and the endless check ins for COVID screenings. It was very difficult to plan for this season at first, but we really accomplished a lot in the short window of time that we had for the season.”

Furthermore, last year’s spring track season being cancelled also affected this year. 

“A lot of our Sophomores came into this season with a limited skillset, which we expect from Freshman typically. We lost all of our experienced Varsity hurdlers and jumpers, which meant that we had to teach brand new people events and also try to teach them technique while relying on them to score points.”

Nevertheless, Woodford and the team is extremely happy with how the season turned out. The work they put in every day was worth the many outstanding achievements of the season. Next year the team will come back and work to do it all again!