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1975 Spring Track Team 1975 Spring Track Team
Inducted: 2003 - Graduated:

The 1970s were a golden decade for the Golden Knights’

track teams, and Coach Dave Hanson’s runners, jumpers

and throwers were at the peak of their dominance in the

mid-’70s. Although Nanuet was a Class B school whose

enrollment was dwarfed bymost other schools in the county,

Hanson built a programthatwas second to none in numbers,

depth and talent.

The 1975 team was 72 members strong, and the sight of the

big Nanuet track contingent piling off the team bus—clad

in their golden yellow fleece warmup suits—must have

been intimidating to their rivals of the era. Of course, the

team was not only big—it had oodles of talent. Hanson

cited the fact that he could cover each track and field event

with at least two quality athletes, a true measure of the

squad’s balance.

The ’75 team was primed for a memorable season after

superb winter track and cross country campaigns. With many of the same athletes, the indoor track team swept

Rockland County and Section 9 Class B titles en route to a

No. 2 ranking in New York State for the winter season.

The cross country team—which formed the nucleus of

Nanuet’s outstandingmiddle-distance and distance running

corps—won the inaugural New York State Federation

crown and ranked No. 3 statewide in the fall.

The spring track team carried that momentum forward,

capturing the Rockland County and Section 9 Class B

championships and earning a statewide ranking of No. 5.

Based on their sustained three-season excellence, theGolden

Knights were awarded theNo. 1 collective ranking inNew

York State for the 1974-75 school year, encompassing

schools of all enrollment classes.

The accolades continued to pour in years later, too. In

1985, The Journal-News polled its readers on the top five

scholastic athletic teams in Rockland for the period from 1960 to 1985. When the final results were tallied, two basketball

teams, one football team, one cross country team,

and one track team received the most votes for the “Fab


Guess which track team won the distinction. The ’75

Nanuet spring track crew, the team that steamrolled

through all 10 of its dual-meet opponents, winning by an

average margin of 54 points. The team that racked up 113

points in the Section 9 Class B meet to 60 for the runner-up,

Washingtonville.Nanuet won 12 individual events that day

as well as one relay.

Everywhere you looked,Nanuet had quality.Nowherewas

the team’s depthmore apparent than in themiddle distance

and distance ranks. What other team could boast seven

half-milers who could break 2 minutes? The same runners

who brought Nanuet success on the cross-country trails

also formed a vaunted unit on the track oval, performers

like John McNulty, Bret Watzka, Jim O’Rourke, Mark

Forlow, Ken Johns, Ralph Magnetti and BillWeidemann.

McNulty, Watzka, O’Rourke and Forlow won the 4-mile

relay at theNanuet Relays that year in 17:50.1, which ranks

No. 2 on the all-time Rockland County list in that event.

The hurdles were another Nanuet strength, led by Don

Berich, Larry Finucane and Brian Scully. Berich was the

Most Valuable Performer of the Rockland County championships

on the basis of his victories in the 120-yard high

hurdles in 14.1 seconds, at that time a County record and

now No. 4 all-time, and the 220-yard dash in 22.8. Berich

went on to finish second in the New York State

championships in the hurdles. (He had previously

won the hurdles at the state indoor meet in the


Berich and Paul Dertinger spearheaded the

Nanuet sprints unit, augmented by the versatile Scully

and Marc Cote, and up-and-comers Randy MacRobbie

and Bobby Weiser. And if the Knights’ opponents were

looking for any relief off the track—forget about it.

Hanson and assistant coaches Ed Denton and Rich

King were able to field a formidable array of jumpers

and throwers.

Paul Coopersmith, Scully, Cote and soph Brian

Klock piled up points in the long jump and triple jump,

while Coopersmith and Scully capably handled the pole-polevaulting

duties. Rick Carey, who made the Nanuet Hall of

Fame last year as an individual, was a budding sophomore

star in the high jump, complemented by jack-of-all-trades


The shot put and discus were the domain of Tony Harlin,

backed by a solid supporting cast headed by Jim Rice.

Harlinwas theRockland and Section 9 champ and a secondplace

finisher in the New York State meet. He is also being

honored as an individual inductee into the Hall of Fame,

and he and Carey were recently elected as chartermembers

of the Rockland County Track & Field Hall of Fame.