Members of the Ridgewood High School Athletic Hall of Fame are those that have made a lasting impact on the school’s sports program as either student players, coaches, or supporters. Often the student players have continued to influence their chosen sports after high school by ongoing participation in athletics.
Josh Kauke, 2010 Inductee
Josh Kauke, a 2000 graduate of Ridgewood High School, is a three-time State Champion in the 800-meter run and regarded as the best-ever in that event in Bergen County history.
Kauke made his mark in both indoor and outdoor track, first winning the 800-meter state title in spring track his junior year with a time of 1:53.27, coming from behind to stun the prohibitive favorite. Paul Schwartz described the performance in The Record’s Friday, June 4, 1999 edition with the words, “[Kauke] burst ahead of favored Eric Motzenbecker of Wall in the 800 meters and raced to an upset victory, one only he and those closest to him thought he could achieve.
That same spring, Kauke earned the Bernard Smith Award for outstanding running performance in the Bergen County Relays, and he went on to place fourth in the 800 at Foot Locker Nationals in North Carolina.
His senior year, Kauke ran a 1:57.42 to claim the 800 indoor track state crown and, come spring, topped that with a 1:50.19 to run away with the State Meet of Champions 800-meter title. The latter time broke the previous Bergen County record that had stood for 24 years, and the mark still endures today.
In addition, he helped the Maroons to a national championship in the sprint medley relay, combining with Dan Cooper, Andrew Dolgin and Steve Pawlowski for a 3:27.58 that still stands as an RHS record in the event.
Upon his graduation in 2000, Kauke’s 1:50.19 ranked as fifth-fastest in New Jersey history. That year, he was named All-American with the nation’s fifth-best time in the 800 meters. Olympian Alan Webb had the eighth-best time.
A soccer standout for much of his youth and early high school athletic careers, Kauke wound up winning dozens of league, county and state-sectional titles in track, setting records in the 400-, 800- and 1600-meter runs and in the relays. His effort of 1:52.04 in a Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League Meet broke the record held by 1993 Ridgewood graduate Bob Keino.
Kauke’s clocking of 1:53 in the 800 meters in the 1999 Bergen Meet of Champions is still the event record.
After graduating from RHS, Kauke went to Princeton University, where he had a solid four-year varsity career. He was All-Ivy League in indoor track in 2003 and 2004 and has the sixth-best indoor time in the 800 meters in Princeton history.
A great relay runner, he was part of the outstanding Princeton 4 x 800 squad that won IC4A National Championship in 2002. His relay teams in the indoor 4 x 800 and distance medley both hold Princeton records.
John Marshall, Jim Bruni, Mark Romeo, Jean Hughes, Chris Van Note, Nancy Hogan, RHS Football Team 1913, Don Taylor, Rachel Grygiel, John Cerf, Paul Tornatore, Michele Marangi, RHS Boys’ Lacrosse 1990-92
Craig Halyard, Tom Flatt, Tricia Pappalardo, Mike Henderson, Kandie Latham, Leigh Jester, Tom Dusel, Roger Sweeney, Linda Zabielski, Patty Capasso, Dennis Sullivan, Nick & Dottie Capasso, Track and Field (Bain-Daley-Oliver Era)
Kitty Batterson, Henry Blauvelt, Frank L. Bradley, Jr., Lucia Cancelmo, Chris DuFlocq, Renee DuFlon, RHS Girls’ Basketball 1922-1923, Harry Grundy, Jim Jones, Joe LeMay, Jen McDermott, Shannon McGarrigle, Tony Napier, Margaret Niemann, Vince Robertiello (Jamie Roberts), Damian Ross, Mike Springer
Paul Arrigoni, Pete Campbell, Doug Cook, Becky Deetz, Otis Grendler, Jodi Hartwig, Gene Links, Debbie O’Connell, Aimee McGuire, Walt Perdue, Tom Simos, Kazbek Tambi, Jack Van Yperen, Bob Whitaker, Margaret Scutro