PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2020
CONTACT: 
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant
jcrusco@holyangels.org

All-County Athletes Receive Video Tribute from Coaches Association

Demarest, NJ: Academy of the Holy Angels’ senior track stars Maris Rodriguez and Nicole Barbaro were recognized in a video tribute organized by the Bergen County Women Coaches Association. The video was produced in lieu of the annual awards dinner, which cannot be held while COVID-19 social distancing and self-quarantine measures remain in place.

Rodriguez and Barbaro are both two-time All-County honorees who were also named Athlete of the Week by The Record. They work with AHA Track Coach Howard Schuman and Assistant Track Coach Staisean Lyew.

Schuman said these students are two of the finest athletes he has coached in the past 55 years. He described Barbaro and Rodriguez as hard-working young women who are outstanding students, athletes, and people.

Barbaro won the Bergen County Championship in the 600m event with a time of 1:40.38, the best in the county by nearly three seconds. This Fort Lee resident also won the 600m at the Paul Schwartz Invitational. She is New Jersey’s best leadoff runner in the 4x400 relay. In the past two years and 22 starts, she has been in first place each time she passed the baton.

Barbaro started running track with NJ Striders Track Club, but stopped before high school to pursue competitive dance. When she entered AHA, she joined the track team and found her passion for hurdling. As a junior, earned AHA’s Most Valuable Athlete award in both winter and spring, made All-League and All-County in the 400m, and broke multiple individual and relay school records. She competed at the State Meet of Champions, Penn Relays, and New Balance Outdoor Nationals.

She began the winter season as team captain.

In addition to her athletic success, Barbaro is a member of multiple honor societies, including the National Honor Society. In November 2019, she signed her letter of intent to run track at Amherst College this fall.

“She wants to do well and encourages her teammates and coaches to do their best,” Schuman said of Barbaro, noting that she often runs on her own so she is always improving.

Rodriguez is one of the top sprinters in New Jersey. This Ridgewood resident’s achievements include earning First Team All-County in the 200m race and posting the best time (25.61) in the Varsity Classic 200m race. In addition, she helped her 4x200 relay team post one of the fastest times in the state (1:45.8).

As a member of AHA’s track team, Rodriguez has made it to nationals and helped AHA win the Penn Relays. She has also received All-League honors.

This successful athlete began running track competitively in fifth grade. Once she entered Holy Angels, Rodriguez learned how to manage her time so she could pursue athletics and academics. She takes honor courses, and is regularly named to the Honor Roll. At the beginning of her senior year, she was commissioned as a Eucharistic Minister. Rodriguez has signed a letter of intent to run for Saint Joseph’s University.

“Maris is always the first one to help the other athletes on the team better themselves,” Shuman said.

He added that he would miss both students and their families, who have offered so much positive support to the athletic program over the years.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.

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