Venesa Hugley was an athlete ahead of her time. Prior to 1972 the NJSIAA had a ban on girls running track with the boys program. Venesa competed in summer AAU programs and qualified for the Junior Olympic National Competition . As a member of the Philadelphia Hawks she competed in the Penn Relays and several prestigious events at Madison Square Garden and she bested Florence Joyner (Flo Jo) in head-on competition several times.
Venesa came out for the Glen Rock boys team in 1973. There were really no opportunities for her to compete with girls in the league or county that year. One girl on a team of 80 boys was a trying situation. In 1974 Glen Rock added several more girls to the team . Led by Venesa Glen Rock placed second in the Bergen County Girls Championships that season.
Senior year was a banner year for Venesa . She set a meet and state record in the 100 yard dash (11.1 seconds) at the North Section B Championships. In the following weeks she broke the state and meet records (10.9 seconds) at the Group B Championships and became the All Group Champion with a meet record of 11.0 seconds. In the Bergen County Girls Championships Venesa won the 100 yard dash, Long Jump and anchored the winning 440 yard relay. Her 10.9 seconds at the State Meet was also a Bergen County Girls ‘ record. She also held the Bergen County Girls’ long jump record.
Venesa was listed on the 1974 National HS Honor Roll with the fastest time in the 100 yard dash (10.9 seconds) in the country. She went on to compete for Douglas College, qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the 400 yard dash. She lives in Stone Mountain, Georia with her son Robert Wingo, Jr. and will soon retire after a long career with Amica Insurance.