More congratulations are in order for the award-winning team from Stockton University -- K-9 Freya and her handler Lt. Tracy Stuart -- on their bang-up appearance on ESPN 2's K9 Detection Dog Challenge.

Stockton posted on Facebook to say that the South Jersey K9 team took second place in the explosives detection category on Monday's show with a score of 199, finishing just one point away from the top spot.

Our local canine duo was the only team from a higher education police department and the only explosive detection dog team from New Jersey to compete.

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This isn't the first time I have written about Stockton's Tracy Stuart and her K9 buddy Freya, the golden retriever.

In May 2021, the pair took 1st and 3rd place finishes at the United States Police Canine Association's 2021 National Detector Dog Trials held in Plainsboro, NJ.

Stuart and Freya have been a team since they completed the State Police K-9 Academy certification in July 2020.

Stuart says that since completing the Academy, the two have been protecting the Stockton campus and training daily.

"It's all about growing and developing not only her as an explosive detection dog, but also her and I as a team. That's the recipe that makes the magic. The canine and the handler really need to work together. There's a certain degree of synergy that has to happen so you can understand your dog and your dog can understand you."

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