Bednar and Reed Shine at Wild Safari Invite

One of the biggest Invitationals in New Jersey was also one of the hottest this year. But that didn't slow down Pitman's Sebastien Reed or Charlotte Bednar from The Lawrenceville School, as both posted fast times near the end of the day when temperatures were well over 80 degrees at the Wild Safari in Jackson.

Reed was a repeat winner. After setting the course record of 15:39 here last year, the senior opened up a big gap early in the Varsity E Race to establish a new mark of 15:31, winning by 44 seconds. 

Bednar is wearing a different jersey than last year, but the results for the sophomore who finished 12th at Nike Cross Nationals last year look much the same: fast. Bednar ran away with the Varsity D Race in 17:41, the fastest time of the day by more than 40 seconds and just two seconds off the course record set by Meet of Champions winner Abby Loveys of Randolph here last year. Lakeland sophomore Angelina Perez finishing second in that race with the second fastest time of the day at 18:24. 

Boys Merge | Girls Merge

Before the 130+ teams and 4400 athletes from 7 states enjoyed the roller coasters at Great Adventure, a number of them put up impressive September performances. The North Rockland boys, ranked #12 in NY Class A, recorded the fastest five-man average on the day at 16:42. Led by Brian Onody (2nd at 16:16) and Daniel Shepherd (4th at 16:20), the Red Raiders put their top five in the top 30 to score 66 points and register a win over Riverside, VA (79 points, 16:47 average) and Southington, CT (116, 16:58).

The West Morris Central boys had the third-fastest team time of the day, averaging 16:51 to win the Varsity C Race. Luke Lusskin was one of five boys in the top nine overall for West Morris Central. He ran 16:29 to finish 2nd behind only NV-Demarest's Theodore Davis, the winner in 16:18.

Jacob Ireland came across the bridge from training at the Bronx's famous Van Cortlandt Park hills to grab the only other sub-16 minute time of the day. The Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy senior won the Varsity D Race in 15:59.

The host Colts Neck boys won the B Race as the only other team to average under 17:00. Led by Matt Bogdan's win in 16:14, Coach Jim Schlentz's squad averaged 16:58 to win the Varsity B Race, 60-67 over Fox Lane (NY).

Not to be outdone, the Colts Neck girls raced to the fastest team average of the day in winning their Varsity B Race. The Cougars averaged 19:50 over the loops and sand at Wild Safari, finishing 2-3-5-11-13 for an easy victory led by sophomore Lilly Shapiro (18:54) and senior Natalie Shapiro (18:57). Alli Crytser of Hanover (VA) won the B Race in 18:27.

The next fastest time of the day behind Bednar and Perez came from senior Julia Trethaway of West Morris Central in the Varsity C Race. The sixth place finisher from the Meet of Champions last fall won her third straight race this year by a big margin with an 18:25 effort. Team honors in the C Race went to Indian Hills. They averaged 20:06, the second-best time team of the day, to narrowly defeat North Jersey rival Summit (20:21 average) by a 61-66 margin.

Behind Bednar in the D Race, the Voorhees girls showed that they will also be a force to be reckoned with again this fall. With their top seven all in the top 30 overall, they took the team title with 60 points and a 20:31 average.

Many of the New Jersey schools will take on the hills of Holmdel Park at the annual Shore Coaches Invitational next week, with conference and county championships coming soon after that.

Race Winners

  • Freshman A Girls - Erin Lee -12:53
  • Freshman B Girls - Daniella Ruiz - 13:03
  • JV A Girls - Victoria McLoughlin - 21:54
  • JV B Girls - Lucy Gardner - 21:30
  • JV C Girls - Zoey Cassavell - 21:31
  • Varsity A Girls - Carly Woelfel - 18:54
  • Varsity B Girls - Alli Crytser - 18:27
  • Varsity C Girls - Julia Trethaway - 18:25
  • Varsity D Girls - Charlotte Bednar - 17:41
  • Varsity E Girls - Ava Jolley - 19:01
  • Freshman A Boys - Jared Povell - 10:22
  • Freshman Boys- Zachary Jersey - 10:44
  • JV A Boys - Mike Ditota - 17:38
  • JV B Boys - Bruce Lenes - 18:14
  • JV C Boys - Deion Jones - 17:43
  • Varsity A Boys - Ronan Stone - 16:13
  • Varsity B Boys - Matt Bogdan - 16:14
  • Varsity C Boys - Theodore Davis - 16:18
  • Varsity D Boys - Jacob Ireland - 15:59
  • Varsity E Boys - Sebastien Reed - 15:31