H.S. boys track: Ridgefield Park pole vaulters tie Bergen County mark

LYNDHURST — The oldest record in the Bergen County boys track record book is still alive today. But the 1973 Pascack Valley pole vault relay team has company atop the rankings after the Ridgefield Park trio of Chris Diaz, Raul Ferreira and Luis Escarret finished their performance at the Richie Pezzolla Lyndhurst Relays on Saturday.

Diaz (12-0), Ferreira (13-0) and Escarret (13-6) tied the 41-year-old mark of 38-6 when Escarret flew over his personal-best height on his first attempt. It was the second time in three days the Scarlets had attempted to break the mark, but a try at Thursday’s Aviator Relays fell short when Diaz missed at his opening height of 12 feet.

“I’m not sure it was going to happen that night anyway because it was so cold by the time they started jumping,” said Ridgefield Park head coach Dennis Murri, after the feat finished off a solid boys team win by Ridgefield Park, 104-90, over Hasbrouck Heights. “After Chris missed, we pulled the other kids and gave it our next shot here.”

This time Diaz cleared 12 feet easily on his first attempt, but Ferreira and Escarret both missed once at the opening height. Then Diaz went out at 12-6 and even though his teammates both cleared, Ferreira needed two tries and Escarret needed three to clear.

But Ferreira and Escarret cleared 13 feet comfortably on their first attempts and when Escarret flew over a personal best of 13-6 on his first try, the remaining duo had five shots at one more clearance, which would have broken the record.

“It was getting exciting because they were both jumping so well,” said pole vault coach Nick Faulkner.

Ferreira missed his two remaining vaults at 13-6, and Escarret looked tired and out of sync on his first two jumps at 14-0.

“It was a height I hadn’t seen before and I was jumping on a new pole,” said Escarret. But the third attempt at 14 feet was a terrific one and showed Escarret what he (and by extension his teammates) could accomplish.

“We’ve got two more chances — at Twin-Boro Relays [next Saturday at Ramsey] and at the East Coast Relays [May 19 at Randolph],” said Murri.

The trio shared the outstanding field performer award and teammate Chris Estrella, who anchored the winning 4-x-100 and silver medal 4-x-200 relays won the outstanding track performer.



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