By: Tim Malloy
I think the thing I love most about sports and specifically about cross country is that it’s like a play with no script. I’m never sure what the plot twists will be, or how the play will end until after the gun goes off. Well, not only did the Haddonfield boys write the script today at the Colonial Conference All Star Meet, they wrote history. For the first time in the history of this meet the Bulldawgs of Haddonfield Memorial took the first seven places. I asked Coach Nick Baker who has guided Haddonfield for 30 plus years what he thought of the performance today. He stated “I am very happy, not only with the varsity going 1-7 but also that the JV guys ran well. Every runner had a PR and some were significant.“ Among the significant performances yesterday was Haddonfield senior Tim Malloy’s third place finish. Malloy said, “I ran 16:34 last year here and today ran 15:54. I am pretty excited about my race.” Ben Potts who won in 15:15 was also pleased with his race. “I’d say I’m happy- I ran the third fastest time in course history, but I’m happier with my teammate’s performances”. Haddon Twp. head coach Dave Donahue, whose squad put 4 in the top 20 had this to say, “My guys are a little banged up, but we are excited however to be heading into the championship part of our season where any one of four teams in Group 1 could win states” Coach Donahue is referring to Mountain Lakes, Robbinsville, McNair, & his own Hawks of Haddon Twp.
On the girls side, it was a much tighter race. Haddonfield’s Mia Spinelli & Haddon Heights senior Rachel Quinn were tied for the lead with a 1000 meters to go. Assistant Coach Jason Russo of the lady Dawgs had this observation, “Those two have had some battles over years and it was clear that when they pulled away from third place that they both wanted to run PR’s and go for the individual win.” That individual win went to Mia Spinelli who ran a PR of 18:49. That was her fastest time since freshman year. Quinn was only 6 seconds back in 18:55. Mia had this to say about her race. “I’m very pleased- I broke 19 minutes for the first time which was a goal of mine this year.” When asked, Mia talked about some team goals as the Lady Dawgs head deeper into the championship part of the season. “As a team we are working on closing the gap between 1 thru 7 and running as a pack.”
I was curious to see how this history making performance by the Bulldawgs compared to previous years, so I asked Coach Baker. On a beautiful fall afternoon, with the leaves falling and his team scripting history, he summed it up perfectly. “Scary” Don’t be scared if history repeats itself for the Bulldogs this November.