Pre Season Edition
Also Receiving Votes: Colts Neck (10) Mtn. Lakes, Morris Hills (9)
WW-P No. (7) RBC (6) Lacey Twp. (5) Barnegat, Mendham (3)
Roselle Cath., Old Bridge (2) Cherokee (1)
# 1 Christian Brothers Academy (Lincroft)
The Colts of Christian Brothers Academy pick up where they left off last November...Ranked #1 in New Jersey. Additionally, they are coming into the 2011 season at the top of some of the National Ranking charts. Despite losing 2 of their top 3 (Mike Mazzaccaro & Dan Mykityshyn) Head Coach Tom Heath's charges may be a better team than the group that averaged 16:05.23 on the Holmdel course at the MOC. Led by senior George Kelly, 6 of the top 7 have broken 4:30 and 9:50. Based on LY, they boast a scary 37 second 1-5 gap.
Don't expect the rest of the state to roll over and hand the crown back to the Colts. The balance of the Pre Season Top Ten is filled with solid teams led by outstanding runners with great coaching. Only 2 of the teams making the pre season list this year did not run at MOC last year. Let's look at #'s 2-5
#2 -West Windsor-Plainsboro So.
With a top 3 (the Riff Bros, Dan & Jake and Dan Sheldon) that can start the scoring off in the low double digits, The Pirates will be a force to be reckoned with. Coach Kurt Wayton's crew will face stiff challenges at both the Sectional and Group levels, but they will be there and rarin' to go for the big one. A returning 16:39 avg for Holmdel portends good things for South.
#3 - Westfield -
Last year, despite missing time to injury, Blue Devil senior Jack Leahy ran 16:02 on Holmdel at Groups and picked up 4:18.93 and 9:25.25 PRs in the Spring. Leahy leads a vetern team as 5 of the top 7 returners are in their final year. With a sub 60sec gap they will need to tighten up between #3 and the #4-5 runners. Coach Jack Martin feels optimistic about Westfield's chances, but is cautious given how competitive Gr. 4 will be again this year.
#4 - Don Bosco Prep - Ramsey
The Ironmen will return a ton of experience as only one underclassman, soph Kyle Levermore appears among the top 7 returners. With CBA also in the Ecumenical "A" grouping, Coach Kevin Kilduff's crew has their work cut out for them. With Christian Costello up front, DBP has a nice supporting cast at 2-5.
#5 - Ridgewood
Talk about challenges. Ridgewood has the distinct honor of going against Don Bosco at the county level and WW-P So / Westfield at the Group level. Last year's 8th place MOC team will be competitive with senior Levi Jennings (NJ #11 returner) leading the way. Ridgewood mixes 5 juniors into their returning roster, so this may be a relodaing year for vetern coach Mike Glynn. Do not, however, sleep on these guys.
#6 - Freehold Twp
Returning Avg: 16:19
1-5 Gap: 1:25
Returning Holmdel Avg: 17:08
Top Returner: Kevin Summonte ('13) 16:19 SB @ Holmdel
#7 - Ridge
Returning Avg: 17:13
1-5 Gap: 48 sec.
Returning Holmdel Avg: 17:23
Top Returner: Tyler Gibbons ('12) 16:26 SB @ Holmdel
#8 - Haddonfield
Returning Avg: 16:52
1-5 Gap: 1:13
Returning Holmdel Avg: N/M
Top Returner: Greg Halla ('13) 16:25 SB @ Holmdel
#9 - Hillsborough
Returning Avg: 17:00
1-5 Gap: 18 sec
Returning Holmdel Avg: 17:25
Top Returner: Nichloas McFarland ('14) 17:04 SB @ Holmdel
#10 - Holmdel
Returning Avg: 16:42
1-5 Gap: 1:16
Returning Holmdel Avg: 17:32
Top Returner: Travis Fodor ('12) 17:09 SB @ Holmdel
Stop back tomoerrow to see who the NJRunners Poll selected as the top Girls teams in the Pre-season.