photo courtesy of SJPixShooter
On an extremely windy weekend, NJ athletes were all over the state and the North East region of the US. Traveling out of state to the Brown Invitational (in Rhode Island) were sophomore sensation Edward Cheserek (St. Benedict’s) and Morgan Pearson (Delbarton). Both ran stellar races and both won their respective races with Cheserek running 15:00.8 good for #2 all-time on the Goddard Park course. The course record is held by Cory Thorne who ran 15:00.5 in 2004. Cheserek’s mile splits were 4:38, 5:06 and 4:46 to win by 5 seconds over John Murray (Shrewsbury, MA). Pearson controlled his entire race running a pace of 4:54 per mile finishing in 15:13.5 more than 40 seconds ahead of 2nd place.
Top in-state action came at the Burlington County Open @ Millcreek Park, Willingboro NJ. Megan Lacy (jr. Cherokee) all but obliterated the meet record that was held by Caitlin Orr (Lenape) who ran 18:45 a year ago, after running 17:53. Lacy smashed the meet and course record as the course record had stood since 1987 after Mary Hoernlein of Brick Twp ran 18:45 to win the SJ Group IV sectional race. The race was never close as 2nd went to Natalia Ocasio a sophomore from Lenape who finished in 19:17 who is more of a shorter distance runner (4:58.48 pr over 1600m). On the boys side Anthony Horten (Moorestown) and Connor Herr (Shawnee) battled the entire 3.1mile course with Horten pulling it out in the end finishing 2 seconds in front of Herr 16:24 – 16:26. For full results check out the Meet Page and for a more in-depth race recap check out Tim Malloy’s Race Recap.
Photo of Megan Lacy (right) courtesy of Good Doogie Photo
The Ridgewood team (boys and girls) had themselves a superb weekend running in the Big North Division Championships and the Ridgewood Invitational. The Big North Division meet is a meet that separates a teams runners, pitting the each teams 1-2-3 runners against each other, the 4-5 runners against each other and the 6-7 runners against each other. In the Varsity boys 1-2-3 race Ridgewood senior Patrick Rynkowski continued his stellar season by winning the race in 15:40 as he was the only runner to dip under 16:00 on the day. 2nd place in that race went to John Pujols of Hackensack who crossed the line in 16:04. The girls Varsity 1-2-3 race saw 4 of the states top runners do battle with Alyssa LaGuardia (Depaul Catholic) come out on top, finishing in 18:14. Rounding out the top 5 are :
2. Emily Dunne (Holy Angels) 18:29
3. Erin Thompson (IHA) 18:48
4. Jen Molke (Holy Angels) 19:11
5. Maureen Crimmins (Holy Angels) 19:30
The big story of this meet was how dominate the Holy Angles and Ridgewood 1-2-3 girls were. Holy Angels easily had the top overall time of the race with an overall time of 1:37.42 (19:32.4) with Ridgewood not far behind in 1:41:20.0 (20:16). At the Ridgewood Invitational, The Ridgewood boys team through out a slew of underclassmen and they didn’t disappoint. They won the meet beating St. Peter’s 60-67 putting their top 4 in the top 5 and their 5th finishing at 25th. On the girls side it was a 2 team battle. Ridgewood and Cornwall (NY) put all 10 of their varsity runners in the top 25 with Ridgewood coming out on top with 29 points taking Cornwall’s 39. Ridgewood’s top 4 were all in the top 10, the difference in the team scoring.
At the Jersey City Championships, the Dickinson boys team dominated the Lincoln Park course as they scored 18 points to beat McNair Academic who tallied 44. Jose Veras led the Dickinson squad running a meet best 15:51. The girls St. Dominic Academy team used a 2-3-4-5 finish to take the team title beating Dickinson who scored 53. St. Dominic was led by Sarah Sick who finished 2nd overall in 20:07. Dickinson’s Fawzia Kheir won the girls varsity race in 20:04
In the middle of the state at Thompson Park (the site of the Central Jersey Sectional Championships) was the XC Fall Classic as Tim Ball (jr, Piscataway, formerly of Bishop AHR) battled a tough Kyle Davis (North Brunswick) who has been running well all season to a 20 second victory with a time of 15:50 to Davis’ 16:10. This was Ball’s 1st race of the season as NJ rules say an athlete must sit out 30 days of the start of each season after a transfer of schools (a bogus rule in my opinion, but that’s neither here nor there).
Photos of Tim Ball (above) and Mater Dei and Metuchen, the boys and girls varsity "b" team champions courtesy of Marty Holleran
At the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Championships, we saw Matt McDonald (North Hunterdon) continue his winning way, notching another stellar performance, with a 15:51 finish, 20 seconds in front of 2nd place. In the girls varsity race, it was round 2 by NJ heavyweights, Voorhees and Hunterdon Central. Once again Voorhees takes team honors this time leaving no doubt as to who is a better team. Voorhees tallied 23 points as they put their top 4 in the top 5 led by Nisa Cicitta who won the race in 18:56.
In other County Championship action, specifically the Camden County Championships, Megan Venables (Highland Regional) has continued her dominant and undefeated season, crushing the competition as she crossed the line in 17:45. 2nd place was almost 2 minutes behind. Venables and Lacy are on a crash course for that one magical meet at the end of the NJ XC season. The Meet of Champions.