Jean Hughes RHS Athletic Hall of Fame 2014 Inductee

RHS Athletic Hall of Fame

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.

Jean Hughes, 2014 Inductee

Jean Hughes comes from a running family. Her brother was a star at Ridgewood High School as was her older sister. Jean was successful at an early age, having won the Ridgewood 5th grade Election Day run. However Jean’s background and early interest was but a small for shadow to a great career in competitive running that was to unfold. In addition, she has been a great ambassador and role model for her team and the running community in general. Jean has had great impact from her first varsity team in high school to her mentoring young female runners today.

Jean earned 12 letters in Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Spring Track while leading Ridgewood Track to “team of the century status” in 1988 and Ridgewood Cross Country to Undefeated dual, country, and sectional championship seasons. Between her high school, collegiate, and post-collegiate athletic career, she is one of the most versatile and accomplished cross-country and track & field athletes in Ridgewood High School and Bergen County History. She competed in every event from 400m relays through 5000m runs. She had speed and endurance, but maybe more importantly had a competitive intensity that was an inspiration to her coaches and teammates.

In addition to all of the team championships she was part of at Ridgewood High School, Jean earned first team All-Bergen County honors 8 times, All-State honors, and had one of the fastest times in the country in the 3200 meters in 1988 (10:43.8). She competed in the National Junior Championships against the best in the nation that year.

Her accomplishments at Ridgewood High School led to her earning a full athletic scholarship at Providence College where she competed in cross country and track for all 4 years. At Providence, Jean earned 12 letters, captained her Cross Country team to top finishes at the NCAA Division-1 National Championship and earned 1st Team Cross Country All-American honors in 1992 by finishing 16th in the National Championship. She also earned All Big East honors in Track.

After college, Jean competed for the Nike Running Club and finished the 1996 New York City Marathon as the 99th overall female and the 57th American. She remained active in the competitive running scene for a number of years, coached cross country and track, and started a youth track and field summer camp. Today, she continues to promote running with all her spirit and energy.

Jean Hughes Buono is an accomplished runner and coach, a Collegiate All American, married to a track coach, a mom to three great kids, and a mentor to young runners. Ridgewood High School is proud to have her joining our Athletic Hall of Fame.

Download: 2014 Banquet Book!


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