XC 2008 - Week 2

The top meet in New Jersey will be the 13th Cherokee Challenge in Marlton. Run on the campus of Cherokee HS, this Class Race meet has grown into one of if not the biggest invitationals in the state. With a festive atmosphere and great competition, this well run event deserves its reputation. This year there are 85 schools entered (Team Entries) making this edition of the Challenge the biggest yet. NJRunners.com will be onsite to bring you all the action

Cherokee Coaches Steve Shaklee and Chris Callinan

host the 13th Cherokee Challenge.

Cherokee Challenge Preview

By: Tim Malloy

 Senior race:

If this were a horse race I would call it the “Feature” race. For the first time in its 13 year history of the Cherokee Challenge, two nationally ranked runners will compete in the same race. Robbie Andrews from Manalapan & Brett Johnson from Ocean City.  Both runners have tremendous speed as evidenced this past spring. Additionally, Brett just ran 14:47 on Tuesday in a dual meet.  WOW!!!   If the weather is not a factor, look for Chris Platt’s 2002 course record of 9:32 from Haddonfield to fall.

Others to watch

·         Ryan Garvin-Lenape

·         Ben Friedman-Moorestown

·         Dave Berger-Cherry Hill East

·         Josh Black-Haddon Heights

·         Mike Bowden-Northern Brlington

·         Chris Applegate-Cherokee

Prediction-Johnson over Andrews in a meet record.

Junior race:

If the senior race is the feature lets call this race the Bull Dawg

Classic.  Haddonfield will dominate this race w/arguably the best junior class in South Jersey. Boo Vitez the defending champ the last two years looks to repeat   His main competition will come from his teammates, Colin Baker, Ray Schlitt & David Twitchell.  All three finished in the top 11 last year.  Who could rain on Boo’s parade? – Possibly David Forward from Shawnee.

Others to watch:

·         Mike Rankin-Paul VI

·         Phil Wood-Lacey twp.

·         Mike Hagen-Ocean City

·         Steve Burkholder-Cherokee

Prediction-Vitez over Forward w/ Haddonfield placing 4 in the top 10!

Sophomore Race:

Sticking w/ the horse racing theme, let’s call this race the” Future”.  It is the deepest race of the day.  It won’t get the same attention as the Feature or the Classic but it will be just as entertaining.  Miles Schroeder (OC) will battle Hayes Rainer (Lenape) & Ben Potts (Haddonfield) for individual honors in what will be a war to the finish.  Last year the Dawgs frosh put 5 in the top 31 out of 240 kids.  It will take a bigger & faster effort to do the same in 2008.

Others to watch:

·         Matt Nussbaum-Haddonfield

·         Ethan Quanci-Haddonfield

·         Tivo Rivera – Kingsway

·         Brady Deckart-Delsea

·         Tom Hoban-Paul VI

·         Anthony Colusandro-Lacey

Prediction-Potts over Schroeder in the tightest race of the day.

Freshman race:

            This is the typically the biggest race of the day aka  the Juvenile.  Last year 240 freshmen boys toed the starting line.  In order to medal here (top 30) you have to get out fast, stay up, and finish strong.  Two to watch Connor Herr from Shawnee & Ryan Vance of Lenape.


A Fans Guide to the Races

Cherokee Challenge Course


Based on the start list, pre season predictions and last year’s results I have come up a brief outlook at what to expect this Saturday @ Cherokee.  Let’s call it the fans guide to the Challenge.

 First- Arrive early-there will over 2000 kids competing w/ over 60 buses so parking will be a premium.  


Second- Where to watch? The half mile mark is ideal; it’s very close to our tent.  You can see your son start; come by twice and than cut over to the finish if you hustle. For those less fleet of foot the top of the hill is also very good. You can see them battle up the hill and you can look across to see them finish.



Third- It’s a unique format in that it’s only 2 miles and is separated by Class. Results will be posted on:   NJRunners.com with pictures


Fourth- Enjoy the day!!  This year we will have kids running in every race.  Cherokee does a great job in keeping things moving along and it is turning out to be epic meet that is extremely exciting.  Always remember it could be worse- you could be at a soccer game watching the ball constantly being kicked out of bounds. Here is a look at each race.