The Shore Athletic Club continued to host their annual cross-country series this year despite some challenges with COVID-19.
Secretary Erin O'Neill said, "On behalf of the club, we were very happy to be able to host the XC series. We knew our smaller community oriented events would be much more manageable to pull off compared to our much larger signature events like the Sheehan Classic and Jersey Shore Half Marathon."
She noted concerns with safely hosting community races. "There were some challenges this year as we had to make sure the courses did not overlap and the start/finish areas were large enough to spread out. We also had to accommodate more runners this year so that too was also new to us."
O'Neill noted the amount of participants this year. She said, "We've had 3 times the amount of participants that we have had in past years. Overall, it was a great experience and we are glad more could enjoy it during a trying time. We were especially grateful to our Monmouth University student-athletes who volunteered at every race!"
The first of the series was at Holmdel Park on September 26. Each Saturday, the races rotated to other courses in Monmouth County such as Thompson, Tatum, and Big Brook Parks. Finally, closing at Holmdel Park again on October 31. Overall, throughout the events the Shore Athletic Club averaged in first place as a team. In second place was the Old Bridge Road Runners and in third, the Freehold Area Running Club.
Three weeks later on November 21, the club hosted their annual Alumni race at Holmdel Park again. Traditionally, this race would follow the NJSIAA Meet of Champions; however, the high school elite race was cancelled this year due to safety concerns.
In the men's race, Damien Dilcher won with a blazing time of 15:57, followed by Evan Bush in 16:17. In third was Cooper Knorr who ran 16:21. On the women's side, Amanda Marino, who won all six races in the fall series, came in first with a time of 17:58. Following her was Ava Johnson in 19:34 with Kaylee Slade coming in close to her at 19:38.
The fall cross-country series has a unique history. Life-long Shore AC member John Kuhi said, "I have a group photo of our first group race at Thompson Park. We started the XC series the year before with individual team races, but that did not work out. Larry Bova and I were team captains of the Twin Light Harriers, with our home course at Hartshorne Woods."
More information on Shore AC at shoreac.org.
Recap written by John Spinelli.
2020 AGE GROUP WINNERS
OVERALL TEAM RESULTS
2nd place: Old Bridge Road Runners
3rd place: Freehold Area Running Club
9.26 - Holmdel Park
10.3 - Tatum Park
10.10 - Thompson Park
10.17 - Big Brook Park
10.24 - Tatum Park
10.31 - Holmdel Park