The talk all week was about the highly anticipated, 1st ever cross county meet at Six Flags Great Adventure and boy did it live up to the hype. The entire atmosphere was embraced by all. From the location (Jackson might be the ultimate location for any meet as it is easily accessible from two major roads in NJ, the Turnpike and I-195), to the music during the races, to the fabulous announcing by Ian Brooks.
Getting to the races, the boys saw 5 people crack 16:00 led by Mike O’Dowd (Colts Neck) who had the fastest time on the day clocking 15:37. Of the 5 under 16:00 4 of them were in the same race. The Varsity B race that included O’Dowd. Cullen Davis (North Brunswick), Nick Ward (Indian Hills), and Khari Bowen (Monroe) were the others that finished under 16:00 in that race. In the boys varsity “A” race Southern Regional, ranked #9 in the state was upset by unranked Toms River North. Southern had their 1st and 2nd runners in before North had 1 and had 3 before North had 2, but the big difference was the 4th and 5th runners for both teams. North’s 4 and 5 runners finished 29th and 39th while Southern’s finished 40th and 57th. North’s 5-man spread was 10-18-22-29-39 for a total of 118 beating Southern by 6. Southern was led by junior Eric Dragonetti who finished in 7th place clocking a 16:23. Indian Hills, in the varsity “B” race had the fastest team time on the day running an average 16:37.6/man finishing with 58 points topping Colts Neck’s 80. Indian Hills was led by senior Nick Ward who finished 3rd in the race with a time of 15:47 a PR for Ward.
On the girls side the top performer was Dana Giordano (Bernards) as she ran 18:08 winining the varsity “D” race. Giordano’s time was 31 seconds faster than the 2nd place finisher in her race and 16 seconds faster than any other female athlete in all races. In the race of the day (the varsity girls “C”) the big matchup was Voorhees, who is ranked #5 vs. Red Bank Catholic who is ranked #6. Red Bank Catholic, without their number 5 runner was no match for the young Voorhees team. Voorhees finished with a total of 42 points to RBC’s 77. Voorhees was led by sophomore Nisa Cicitta who finished 2nd in the race with a time of 19:05. Voorhees and RBC were easily the two fastest girls teams on the day as they averaged 19:20.8 and 19:45.0/person.
In other action around the state saw Matt McDonald continue his winning ways finishing 1st in the varsity “A” race at the Stewart Invitational at Warinaco Park running 16:22 23 seconds faster than any other runner. In that same race Westfield dominated the team title totaling just 41 points with 4 top 10 finishers and their 5th was 20. The Summit girls team were the big winners of the day averaging 21:10/person and finishing with 26 total points that stemmed from their runners finishing 2-3-5-6-10. Summit was led by junior Katie Watson who ran 19:45 and took 2nd place overall.
Up at Garret Mountain, two of the states top runners put on shows. Samantha Jones (Randolph) and Alyssa LaGuardia (Depaul Catholic) ran 19:27 and 19:28 respectively (in different races). The big team battle came from Mountain Lakes and Mt. St. Dominic. Mountain Lakes needed a 6th man tie breaker to win the meet as they were tied at 5 runners 37-37 and Mountain Lakes 6th runner was 18th to Mt St. Dominic’s 25. The 1st 6 runners in the race were from either Mountain Lakes or Mt. St. Dominic. The race was led by newcomer Amanda Corbosiero from Mt . St. Dominic who was the only runner under 20:00 in the race clocking 19:55. There was a big upset on the boys side as Randolph (unranked) topped Ridgewood, who was ranked #5 in the state coming in, 58 to 64. Randolph was led by senior Collin Frost who finished 2nd to Jeramy Elkaim 15:49 to 15:57.
Results from out of the state included CBA taking on Haddonfield at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, NY the site of the NXN NE Regional meet. Christian Brothers Academy showed why they are US#6 and NJ#1 as they handled Haddonfield 52 – 79. Haddonfield finished 3rd behind Pembrooke, MA (NE#3). CBA put 5 runners in the top 18 to hold off Pembrooke by 3 points. CBA was led by senior Mike Mazzaccaro who won the race in 16:03.
The Cherokee girls team traveled to Virginia for the Maymont X-Country Festival in Richmond. Megan Lacy represented her school and NJ well running an astonishing 17:58, a PR, was the only runner under 18:00 on the day. In the race, Lacy beat Haley Pierce (Tatnall, DE) by 14 seconds. Pierce has a 10:17.52 3200m under her belt.
Don Bosco also traveled out of state and went up to the Warwick Wave Mania Invitational in Warwick, NY and grabbed a 2nd place team finish behind the host school Warwick Valley who is ranked #3 in Class AA in New York (ranking by Armorytrack.com). ‘Bosco was led by junior Christian Costelo who finished 3rd overall in 16:07.