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June 8, 2011


(Newark, NJ) – During the Wednesday, June 8th, meeting of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders held at the Hall of Records, the Board honored the Columbia High School Girls Track Team for having won the 2011 Group IV Outdoor Track State Championship on Saturday, June 4, 2011, finishing ahead of 35 other Group IV teams and ahead of its nearest Competitor, Randolph High School, 54-44.

Pictured above with members of the team are: Freeholder Juan Rivera, Jr. (2nd row, far left), Freeholder Carol Clark (back row, middle left), Freeholder Rufus Johnson (back row, center right), Assistant Coach William Keegan (without jacket, to the right of Freeholder Johnson), and Freeholders Patricia Sebold and D. Bilal Beasley (front, far right), as well as Head Coach, Lisa Morgan (1st row, 2nd from left).  Photo by Glen Frieson

By winning this year’s Group IV Championship, the Cougars continued their record of excellence by winning their second straight Group IV Outdoor title and seventh title overall, thereby tying the record for the most-ever State Championship titles by a public high school girls team, while also winning their fourth title in the last four years.

The team won the Group IV North Jersey, Section 2, Sectional Championship on the weekend of May 27-28, finishing ahead of its nearest competitor, Franklin Township, 108-80, before going on the capture the Group IV State Championship.  During their championship season, the Cougars also captured the Kings County Relay Championships, put in outstanding performances at the Blue Devil Classic held at Westfield High School and the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The team also concluded its second straight undefeated dual meet season in the Super Essex Conference, and captured the Super Essex Big School Outdoor Championships for the second straight year.  They also won their third straight Essex County Relay Championship and captured first place in the Essex County Outdoor Track Championships.

The team was led by standouts Kayann Richards, Olivia Baker, Whitney Jackson, Danielle England, Maya Hinton, Brittany Padmore and Kiana Winton.

The team was coached by Head Coach Lisa Morgan and Assistant Coaches Nicole Gilhuley and William Keegan.

Freeholder Carol Clark of East Orange sponsored the Board’s Commendation honoring the team.

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For Additional Information:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders
973-621-4452 (phone) 973-621-5696 (fax)


Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695