No. 1 CBA And No. 2 Union Catholic Square Off At Bowdoin

Here we go!!!

The first of several showdowns this season between the top two boys teams in the state will take place on Saturday when No. 1 ranked CBA and No. 2 Union Catholic square off across the border at the Bowdoin Park XC Classic in Wappingers Falls, N.Y.

That's not all!

This meet is packed with NJ heavyweights!!!

The top two girls teams from NJ will also be in action, but No. 1 Haddonfield and No. 2 Union Catholic will be in separate races. Haddonfield is in the Division 1 race at 10 a.m. and UC is in the Division 2 race at 11 a.m.

While the CBA-UC matchup (set for 11:30 a.m. in the Division 2 race) is the main event, there's another huge clash on the undercard between NJ juggernauts in the Division 1 race at 10:30 a.m. as No. 3 Westfield and No. 4 Haddonfield will go to-to-toe on the rugged 3.1-mile layout on the Banks of the Hudson, which serves as the Nike Northeast Regional Championship course in November.

The CBA-UC is the most eagerly anticipated matchup of the early season for obvious reasons. The last time these two met, UC defeated runner-up CBA, 67-84, to win the Meet of Champions title last fall..

CBA, which brings back six of their top seven and boasts a very tight pack (43 second 1-5 Holmdel spread), will send  Nick Sullivan, Jack Falkowski, Alex Kemp, Joe Barrett, Lucas Ward, Zach Shroba, and Ryan Schmitt to the line. The Colts have several other runners who can crack the lineup this season as CBA has one of its deepest squads ever.   

As for UC, the Vikings lost All Staters Shane Brosnan and Myles Plummer to graduation, but have plenty of firepower with five of their seven back. Junior Jimmy Wischusen, the preseason pick to win the Meet of Champions, leads the charge as he makes his season debut. Wischusen ran a Holmdel sophomore course record 15:36 last year, and a sophomore state record 8:56.41 in the 2-mile in the spring. Also racing Saturday for UC will be  Ryan Cichocki, Evan Weber, Caudell CajusteJosh Hunsinger,  Alessandro Tullo, and Aidan Cichocki.

On the girls side, Haddonfield, the defending Group 2 champs, bring back six of their top seven from a team that placed 5th at the Meet of Champions, return a 5-runner Holmdel average of 19:41, and has a 5-runner on track 3,200 average of 11:23, which are both the fastest in the state.

Coach Jason Russo's deep and tight pack, which features a 1-5 Holmdel compression of 50 seconds, includes, Helene Usher, Audrey Naticchia, Sabrina Miller, Riley Slootsky, Sarah Fetter, Ava Thomas, Ava Peifer, and Libby DeMichele.

Union Catholic should dominate the Division 2 race and they could score well under 30 points. The Vikings have a lethal frontal attack that consists of Peyton HollisKaleigh Gunsiorowski, and Courtney Kaiser, who went 1-2-3 at the Roxbury Invit. Talented freshmen Ella Solorzano and Jimmiea Kingjunior Leilani Gibson and senior Victoria Urbaez round out UC's lineup.