The Men of Essex, Inc. has selected track phenom Reanda Richards of West Essex Regional High School to be the recipient of the 2018 “Essex Award.”
The 60th Anniversary Essex Awards dinner banquet was held on Wednesday, May 16, at Cedar Hill Golf & Country Club in Livingston.
Richards broke a 36-year-old meet record in the 400 hurdles at the Essex County Championship in 2017. Her time of 59.87 broke the 60 seconds mark she was trying to accomplish. The record-setting time came a month after she finished third in the 400-meter hurdles at the Penn Relays with a time of 1:00.49. Richards, a First Team All-State selection in 2017 by NJ.com/Star Ledger, broke 60 seconds four straight times in the 400 hurdles and added a personal-best 54.98 in the open 400. Reanda took silver at the State Meet of Champions last spring, losing only to Olympics star Sydney McLaughlin. This winter, Richards set two New Jersey No. 1 times on the season with her performances in the Super Essex Championships in the 400 race in 58.03 seconds and in the 800-meter run, crossing the line in 2:22.36. She earned All-American honors, placing fifth in the 400 meter hurdles championship, in a time of 59.65 at the New Balance National Championships in Greensboro, N. C. Her high school career record is unsurpassed. She is a 10-time All-Group 3 Champion, 17-time State Sectional Champion and a New Balance Champion. She maintains a 3.48 G.P.A. and is a member of the National Honor Society. As captain of the West Essex track team, Richards also serves in the community as a National Honor Society Tutor and participated in Running for Answers with the Alzheimer Organization. Reanda has committed to Rutgers University on a full track and field scholarship in the fall.
The Essex Award, an annual rite of spring in Essex County Scholastic circles, bestows highest distinction upon the leading scholar-athletes, and athletes, representing Essex County high schools (public, private and parochial). Presented by the Men of Essex, Inc., a service organization of African-American professionals and businessmen, the Essex Awards Dinner has become recognized statewide as a prestige salute to the ‘best and brightest’ for the past 59 years.
More than 200 guests were in attendance at the Essex Awards Dinner, including educators, parents, coaches and a loyal following of avid supporters.
Ifeanyi D. Anaemejeh Belleville High School
Aicha I. Naouai Bloomfield High School
Tarrin Earle Montclair High School
Catherine Jordan Columbia High School
Shamir N. Johnson East Side High School
Sara M. Jacobs Millburn High School
Megan E. Balbo Millburn High School
Remington M. Haggerty Millburn High School
Brooke G. Hoffman Millburn High School
Melissa H. Du Millburn High School
Charles Asare North Star Academy Prep.
Ashley N. Moscoso Orange High School
Ivan O. Jordan St. Benedict’s Prep.
Eamon S. Morrissey West Essex Regional High School
Ashley R. Iannuzzi West Essex Regional High School
Sarah J. Iannuzzi West Essex Regional High School
Baseball Peter Serruto (Millburn High School)
Basketball (Girls) Danielle Robinson (University High School)
Basketball (Boys) Jalen Carey (Montclair Immaculate High School)
Bowling (Boys) Michael Liu (Livingston High School)
Cross Country (Girls) Anna Schaller (Montclair Kimberley Academy)
Cross Country (Boys) Daniel Gizzo (Seton Hall Prep)
Fencing (Girls) Amina Troupe (Montclair High School)
Fencing (Girls) Julia Thompson (Montclair Kimberley Academy)
Fencing (Boys) Logan Rechler (Newark Academy)
Field Hockey (Girls) Julia Russo (West Essex Regional High School)
Football-Offense Daniel Webb (Montclair High School)
Football-Defense David Orduson (Malcolm X Shabazz High School)
Football-Defense Willie Matthews (Montclair High School)
Lacrosse Griffin Westlin (Seton Hall Prep)
Soccer (Girls) Natalie Nevins (West Orange High School)
Soccer (Boys) Maurice Williams (West Orange High School)
Softball Mia Faieta (Cedar Grove High School)
Swimming (Girls) Marie Fagan (Columbia High School)
Tennis (Girls) Anna Brylin (Millburn High School)
Tennis (Boys) Michael Sun (Livingston High School)
Track (Girls) Shelby Bigsby (Montclair High School)
Track (Boys) Akeem Lindo (East Orange Campus High School)
Volleyball (Girls) Hunter Coppola (Verona High School)
Volleyball (Boys) Jacob Siwek (Livingston High School)
Wrestling Anthony Clarizio (Cedar Grove High School)