They were heard loud and clear as they burned up the trails at historic Holmdel Park with red hot performances on a sun-splashed day to highlight the boys action.
MORE: MERGE REPORT
Union Catholic, ranked No. 4 in NJ, received seven Holmdel PR's and turned in the top team performance of the meet by cramming its top five runners in the top nine and averaging a school record 16:31, the fastest of the day, to run away with the F Division race, 25-84 over runner-up Haddon Heights. UC also finished first in the team merge, 153-262 over No. 1 ranked Ridge.
Senior Shane Brosnan, who closed in 5:06 for the last 1.1, led the charge for UC by finishing first in 15:50, which equals the fastest time ever run by a Union County runner on the venerable 3.1-mile layout. Sophomore Jimmy Wischusen was second in 16:07, Myles Plummer was fifth in 16:27, Caudell Cajuste placed eighth in 17:04, and Ryan Cichocki finished ninth in 17:05.
Brosnan's 15:50 matched the Union County course record that Cliff Sheehan of Westfield ran in 1980, and Jeff Perrella of Westfield matched in 2005.
Union Catholic coach Mike McCabe, whose team will surely move up in the state rankings this week, was very pleased with how his guys raced.
"I was happy with how the guys executed the race plan,'' said McCabe. "It was a strong team effort.''
One of UC's biggest goals this season is to win a state championship. McCabe knows there is a lot more to be done, and that winning the first state title in school history will be very tough.
"I think it will be very difficult to win the state championship,'' said McCabe. "CBA is a very good team with terrific coaching. We will take it day to day and work to improve.''
Individually, all the pre-race buzz was around how low Langon and Jackson Barna of Ridge go.
But unfortunately, the Georgetown-bound Barna, who blasted a course record 14:41 at Ocean County Park last month, rolled an ankle going down the bowl. He didn't want to risk making it worse, so he dropped out.
In the very next race, Langon hammered out a Somerset County course record 15:30, N0. 16 in course history, to blitz the competition in the A Division race. Langon ran 5:10 for the first mile, 5:10 for the second mile, and dropped another 5:10 for the last 1.1. The former Somerset County record for Holmdel was 15:39, which was set when Bobby Papazian of Gill St. Bernard's won the 2004 Meet of Champions.
- Ridge, ranked No. 1 in the state, still managed to win the B Division team title without Barna, edging Skyland Conference and No. 5 ranked North Hunterdon, 84-86. Ridge went 6-12-1-21-28 and averaged 16:58, and North Hunterdon's top 5 finished 8-13-16-22-27 and averaged 17:01.
- No. 2 ranked Haddonfield, led by senior Seth Clevenger's victory in 15:55, won the E Division race. The Dawgs went 1-5-7-13-15 and averaged 17:01 on the way to a 41-120 victory over Cinnaminson. It's the 12th team title for the Dawgs at this meet.
- Clevenger, who is coming back after missing the XC season last year with a hip injury, won a great duel with Voorhees senior Jack Tavaglione, second in 16:01. Tavaglione's time is the third fastest in school history at Holmdel behind Chris Romero (15:41 in 2017)) and Brad Hudson (15:55 in 1982).
- Jacob Heredia of Clifton put together his best race ever at Holmdel and he moved up to No. 2 all-time in Passaic County history by winning the B Division race in 15:55. The only runner from Passaic County to ever run faster at Holmdel is Mohamed Khadraoui of Paterson Kennedy, who ran 15:22 to win the 2003 Meet of Champions title.
- No. 9 Manalapan came up with a huge win the Braves crammed three runners in the top 11 and averaged 17:02 on the way to a 101-114 victory over No. 7 Westfield. No. 3 Christian Brothers Academy, running without its No. 1 runner Jack Moran (college visit), was third with 125, and No. 6 Cherokee placed fourth with 133.
- Junior Colin Riley, who lost a shoe near the one-mile mark and stopped to put it back on, still became the fastest runner from Dayton on the Holmdel course when he won the G Division race in 16:37.
- Audubon averaged 18:02 and captured the G Division team title, 85-112, over Lawrenceville.
- Dennis Fortuna of Triton matched his PR for any course when he ran a school course record 16:02 to win the D Division race as he became the first winner from his school at this meet.
- No. 8 Summit overcame a 1-2 finish from West Windsor-Plainsboro North to score a 81-123 over WWN to win the C Division race. Summit put six runners head of WWN's fourth runner to secure the title. Nikhil Makker of WW North won the race in 16:26.
- No. 14 ranked Chatham packed three runners in the top six and averaged 17:33 to defeat Rumson, 51-95, in the D race.