Venesa Hugley

Venesa Hugley (’74)

Venesa Hugley was an incredible track & field athlete. While she was only able to compete as a senior (after the Passage of Title XI), her performances that year earned her Honorable Mention recognition on The Bergen Record All-Century Team.

Venesa Hugley was an incredible athlete, who was unfortunately ahead of her time. Prior to 1972 the NJSIAA had a ban on girls running track with the boys’ programs. As a result, throughout most of her years at Glen Rock High School, Venesa was restricted to competing in summer AAU programs where she displayed exceptional talent.  As a member of the Philadelphia Hawks she competed in the Penn Relays and several prestigious events at Madison Square Garden; she also qualified for the Junior Olympics National Competition.

In 1973, Glen Rock did not have a girls’ track & field team so Venesa joined the Glen Rock boys’ track & field team. One girl on a team of 80 boys was a trying situation handled gracefully by Coach Ed Troy. 

In 1974, when Venesa was a senior, Glen Rock finally fielded a girls’ track & field team. Given the opportunity to compete for Glen Rock High School, Venesa had a banner year. In the All School, Bergen County Championship, she won the 100 yard dash and the long jump (with a Bergen County record setting distance of 16’9”), and she anchored the team’s winning 440 yard relay. As a result, Glen Rock placed second in the meet.

Venesa then set a state record in the 100 yard dash (with a time of 11.1 seconds) at the Group B, North Sectional Championship meet. She then broke that record (with a time of 10.9 seconds) at the Group B, State Championship meet. Finally, she was then victorious in the All Group, State Championship with a time of 11.0 seconds.

Venesa was listed on the 1974 National High School Honor Roll with the fastest time (10.9 seconds) in the 100 yard dash.

She went on the compete for Rutgers University and qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 440.

Although Venesa only was able to compete for one year, in 1980, The Bergen Record recognized her as one of the best female athletes (not limited to track & field) of the first decade of girls sports. Then, in 2000, she received Honorable Mention to the All-Century track & field team.