Weekend #3 - What Happened at the Races

2100 XC - Week 3 Roundup


CBA Rolls at Bowdoin / Cheserek Erases CR at Garret Mtn. / Voorhees Scores at the Safari


My initial impressions of the 2011 edition of the CBA XC team may be proving themselves. I and many others proposed that this team, despite losing a guy like Mike Mazzaccaro, might be a better squad than the one that ran a Holmdel team average record of 16:05.3 last year. If their performance at the Bowdoin XC Classic  is any indication of things to come, then you've got to ask yourselves "how low can the mark go?". The US #1 Colts tore through Bowdoin Park, the venue for the NXN Regional Championships on Saturday with an impressive 16:30.2 team average, scoring 26 points versus a field that included a number of quality teams like NJ rivals Westfield, Don Bosco Prep, Ridgewood as well as a very good Pembroke (Ma) team. Individual winner George Kelly led a parade of blue clad Colts over the line as they wenrt 1-3-4-8-10 (Mike McClemens - Tim Gorman - Aaron Libertore - William Bragg) with a scary 20 second 1 to 5 gap. Not to pile on, but CBA put all 7 of its runners in the top 20 when they added finishers at 13th and 18th places.

New Jersy #4 Don Bosco, coming off their win at the Regis Invite last week at VCP, took the silver. The ironmen scored 72 points (16:54 avg) behind a 7-9 finish from their top 2 Christian Costello (16: 31) and Ryan Tucker (16:40). Westfield (NJ #3) and Ridgewood (NJ #5) ran to 4th and 5th place finishes respectively. Interestingly, no Girls teams from New Jersey traveled to this meet.


Edward Cheserek's first 3 races this year put him on three courses with outstanding, dare say All Timer, CRs. The junior from St. Benedict's Prep put one notch in his holster Saturday when he took down the record for the Garret Mtn. Reservation layout with an other worldly 14:53 in the "B" race at the Passaic Co. Coaches Invitational. Edward's mark displaces the 15:16 set in 2003 by 2 time MOC winner Mohamed Khadroui. Cheserek will continue his quest this Saturday when he takes on Holmdel Park and the legendary mark of 14:56 of Joe Rosa from 2009. In depth coverage of the PCCI can be found Here and in Matt Murphy's North Jersey Report to be posted later today.


Memo to the thin skinned suits at Six Flags Great Adventure...He was only kidding!! More about that later. The second edition of the Six Flags Wild Safari Invitational was a rousing success despite a glitch with the timing system. Jim Schlentz put together a high quality, multi state event that attracted well over 4,000 entries. The lure of a romp through the safari section of the park and some time in the amusement park brought teams from far and wide. They were not just there for fun though as the racing was of a high quality, even with the somewhat sloppy conditions caused by the heavy rains earlier in the week.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Varsity races started with an astounding 16:53 CR by Julie Macedo of the Charter School of Wilmington in the "A" race. Macedo is the defending Delaware large school state XC champion. Washington Twp. sr Dina Iacone was 3rd in this race with the fastest time of the day among the Jersey Girls (18:09). In other races, Jersers took wins in the Boys A,B,C events as Steven Flynn of Edison won the "A" race with the 2nd fastest time of the day (15:49). Ben Malone of Pascack Valley (15:53) took Gold in the "B" race and Harrison Brakewood a senior from Voorhees was the "C" race victor (15:54). The fastest time of the day, 15:44,  was recorded by the winner of the "D" race. Brendan Wortner of Dobbs Ferry (NY).  Indian Hills was the only team champ on the boys side as they scored 73 points (17:00 avg) to win the "B" race. Despite Bernards senior Dana Giordano being the only individual winner on the Girls side, New Jersey was still well represented in the top times list here.


The Top 7 performances on for each gender were rewarded with a Go to the Head of the Line pass to the newest roller coaster in the park. The Green Lantern  

BOYS: Top 7 Times                                                                                      
15:44 -- Brendan Wortner- D Race (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. '12)
15:49 -- Will McDuffie - D Race (Collegiate, N.Y. '12)
15:49 -- Steven Flynn - A Race (Edison '12)
15:53 -- Ben Malone - B Race (Pascack Valley '13)
15:54 -- Ryan Phillips - D Race (Regis, N.Y. '12)
15:54 -- Harrison Brakewood - C Race (Voorhees '12)
15:54 -- Chris Eltringham - C Race (Ramsey '12)

GIRLS: Top 7 Times
16:53 -- Julie Macedo - A Race (Charter School of Wilmington, Del '12)
17:56 -- Meghan McGovern - A Race (North Penn, Pa. '12)
18:09 -- Dina Iacone - A Race (Washington Twp. '12)
18:10 -- Dana Giordano - C Race (Bernards '12)
18:16 -- Megan Young - D Race (Nanuet, N.Y. '13)
18:17 -- Brianna Feerst - D Race (Pt. Pleasant Beach '12)
18:19 -- Nisa Cicitta - C Race (Voorhees '13)

In the Girls team racing, NJ #1 Voorhees took the "C" race with 39 points and the fastest team average on the day (19:14) off of a 2-4-7-10-16 finish led by Roller Coaster qualifier Nisa Cicitta's 18:18. Lenape, a team which will soon show up in the NJ TopTen followed up a great performance at Briarwood with the win in the "A" race. Lenape, behind a 4-6 finish by Natalia Ocasio and Emily McGee scored 71 points for the win (19:27 avg). Top NJ teams in the other two races were Colts Neck with a 5th in the "B" race and Haddonfield taking Silver in the "D" race.


Warinanco Park (Elizabeth) and the NJCTC hosted the 53rd edition of the Stewart Memorial Invitational. Phillipsburg's Jon Harper continued his winning ways by taking the "A" race with a time of 16:34.19 over the 5250m championship course. His mark was the top time of the day, edging "B" race winner Blake Udland of Millburn (16:34.41) by fractions. Hillsborough, in its invitational debut took the team title in the "A" race with 73 points. The Raiders were led by soph Nick McFarland's 4th place, 17:20 performance. In the "B" race, Udlands teammates backed him up, going 5-7-12-18 for the win. Jack Mahoney captured the Gold in the "C" race as the senior from Madison ran 17:09 to earn a 5 sec win over Nick Lukas of Verona. With just 5 runners toeing the line, Metuchen took the team win with 64 points.                                                                                                                            In the Girls "A" race, Bridgewater-Raritan, one of our "sleeper" teams put 3 in the top 5 and took the race with 49 points. B-R was led by the 1-4 finish of Marissa Ruskan winning at 20:02 and Meri Steinmetz (20:39). Only 4 points back in second was Howell with scoring of 6-9-11-12-15. The "B race was captured by Chatham's Tara Hanley who recorded the top time of the day with a 19:31 performance. Team champ Summit then put the next 2 runners over the line with Gillian McIlroy (2nd / 20:44) and Maggie MacDonald (3rd / 20:52) and ended the day with 35 points and the winner's medals. Caroline Wolfe (20:52) of Hanover Park scored a 23 second win over 2nd placer Heather Sweeney of Verona (21:15) in the "C" race as Whippany Park took the team win with a 3-4-5-9-14 effort. 


A few Jersey harrier squads ventured out of state this weekend and had some good resulrs at the Warwick Valley Big Purple XC Wave Mania (got winded just typing it), Morris Hills took second in its race behind host Warwick Valley. The Knights scored 90 points with jr Travis Ellis getting 11th in 17:08 followed by sr. Nicholas Patterson in 12th (17:16). In the other Varsity Boys race, Allen Eke picked up the Silver medal, running 16:41 while Pope John XXIII took the team title on the strength of a 6-7-10-17-24 finish for 64 points 



One last thing. Those of you that know me and have followed NJRunners over the years know that I do not often pull out the soapbox. However there was something that occured on Saturday that I cannot let pass without comment. Rich Bevansee, who covers our sport for the Star-Ledger and its on line arm wrote a humorous, totally tongue in cheek preview piece for the Six Flags Wild Safari Invitational. In it he made references to the "wild animal" aspect of the meet, none of which was serious. Well, the powers that be at Great Adventure got a little twisted by it and pressured Rich's editor to pull the piece. To add injury to injury, the President of the amusement park, confronted Mr. Bevensee and opined that if Rich were not covering the event that he would have had him removed from the park.

Rich Bevensee has covered sports in New Jersey honorably and well for over 25 years. I am a fan of his work and have gotten to know him during the time that I have been associated with NJRunners.com. The people at Great Adventure showed very little class and no sense of humor with their temper tantrum this weekend.