Burlington: Kuenkel & Gordon Repeat, Cherokee Perfect Score!

Results | Photos | Team by Team

Make it two in a row for Nick Kuenkel of Cherokee HS and Liliah Gordon of Northern Burlington Regional! Cherokee also swept the team titles and the boys went 1-2-3-4-5 for a perfect 15! The Burlington County XC Open took the hill at Mill Creek Park on Friday, October 13th.

The Cherokee boys were led by Nick Kuenkel's 16:02, his second straight Burlington County Open win and the fourth straight year a Cherokee HS boy has won including Patrick Ditmars in 2021 and Nico Grilli in 2020.

Kuenkel is also the first to repeat since Austin Gabay of Cinnaminson won two straight during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. 

Following Kuenkel's lead in the second through fifth positions was senior Robert Poplau, sophomore Logan Bromley, junior Liam Tindall, and freshman Benjamin Realley. Displacers Benjamin Weiner and Anthony DiBattista finished eighth and 12th respectively.

The first finisher not wearing a Cherokee uniform was sophomore Peter Simpson of Moorestown in sixth at 16:45 and soon after was sophomore Yanni Ekatomatis of Shawnee in seventh at 16:51.88.

A bright future ahead for the Burlington County area as well with three sophomores, four juniors, and a freshmen in the top ten overall. That's eight returners from various teams back to compete in 2024. 

This is the 10th straight Burlington title for the Cherokee boys, Northern Burlington was the last non-Cherokee team to win back in 2013.

During this 10 year run the closest Cherokee has been to the perfect score at Burlington County was their 2019 victory when they went 2-3-4-5-6 for a score of 20. Cinnaminson's Austin Gabay throwing a very big wrench in that potential one through five run by winning that year's race.

Cherokee Boys Fast Five

1Nick Kuenkel12Cherokee HS16:02.111
2Robert Poplau12Cherokee HS16:18.682
3Logan Bromley10Cherokee HS16:20.623
4Liam Tindall11Cherokee HS16:24.794
5Benjamin Realley9Cherokee HS16:41.205

On the girls side Northern Burlington Regional junior Liliah Gordon continued her impressive 2023 campaign repeating as Burlington County champ with a time of 18:25.04.

Gordon is coming off an impressive run at the deep Great American XC Festival in North Carolina on October 7th where she placed 17th with a time of 17:53. This is Gordon's second major win of the season, she also won Varsity C at Shore Coaches.

An interesting note, over the past eight years four girls have won Burlington back to back including Gordon 2022-2023, Nicole Clifford of Cherokee 2020-2021, Kate Rathman of Cherokee 2018-2019, and Isabella Turner of Shawnee 2016-2017.

Back to present day, running second was Cherokee's Kerry O'Day at 19:02.89 followed by teammate Megan Niglio in third at 19:25.46. These two kicked off a scoring run that would eventually see Cherokee winning 35 to 56 over Moorestown HS

Cherokee averaged 20:15 and split 2:18 among their top five scorers. Following O'Day and Niglio were teammates Grace Wojciechowski in sixth, Alaina Bromley 12th, and Olivia Parkinson 15th. Their displacers were Maya Kumar and Gabrielle Urban.

This is Cherokee's fourth title the past five seasons, Moorestown won the title in 2022. 

Girls Top 5 Finishers

1Liliah Gordon11Northern Burlington Reg. HS18:25.041
2Kerry O'Day12Cherokee HS19:02.892
3Megan Niglio11Cherokee HS19:25.463
4Paige Cline11Shawnee HS20:03.984
5Anna Marino12Cinnaminson HS20:17.195

Boys Team Scores

1Cherokee HS151+2+3+4+5 (8+12)0:39 1-5 Split | 16:21 Avg
2Shawnee HS567+9+11+14+15 (23+27)0:40 1-5 Split | 17:12 Avg
3Rancocas Valley Reg HS9510+13+19+24+29 (32+33)1:20 1-5 Split | 17:49 Avg
4Northern Burlington Reg. HS13318+21+22+30+42 (59+67)1:29 1-5 Split | 18:22 Avg
5Cinnaminson HS16617+28+35+40+46 (60)1:49 1-5 Split | 18:47 Avg
6Lenape Regional HS19216+37+44+45+50 (66)2:05 1-5 Split | 19:02 Avg
7Moorestown HS2106+39+51+53+61 (63+64)3:34 1-5 Split | 19:11 Avg
8Burlington Co. Tech - Medford21725+26+43+55+68 (72+90)2:38 1-5 Split | 19:25 Avg
9Seneca HS27231+34+62+69+76 (77+80)3:08 1-5 Split | 20:08 Avg
10Bordentown Regional HS28838+48+54+65+83 (92)3:04 1-5 Split | 20:18 Avg
11Maple Shade HS29120+52+57+75+87 (91)5:03 1-5 Split | 20:34 Avg
12Delran HS31936+56+70+73+84 (85+86)3:32 1-5 Split | 20:52 Avg
13Pemberton Township HS32741+47+78+79+822:48 1-5 Split | 20:56 Avg
14BCIT Westhampton33349+58+71+74+81 (88+89)2:21 1-5 Split | 20:59 Avg

Girls Team Scores

1Cherokee HS352+3+6+11+13 (19+25)2:18 1-5 Split | 20:15 Avg
2Moorestown HS567+8+9+15+17 (20+23)1:02 1-5 Split | 21:03 Avg
3Shawnee HS844+12+16+18+34 (39+44)3:14 1-5 Split | 21:33 Avg
4Northern Burlington Reg. HS1011+14+22+26+38 (59)5:43 1-5 Split | 21:33 Avg
5Rancocas Valley Reg HS12110+21+28+30+32 (36+41)2:09 1-5 Split | 22:05 Avg
6Cinnaminson HS1715+31+33+49+53 (55+57)5:34 1-5 Split | 23:33 Avg
7Seneca HS19427+29+40+47+51 (54)3:29 1-5 Split | 23:54 Avg
8Lenape Regional HS21335+42+43+45+48 (50+52)1:58 1-5 Split | 24:38 Avg
9Bordentown Regional HS22124+37+46+56+586:34 1-5 Split | 25:17 Avg