The whole idea of the Cherokee Night of Racing is to create an atmosphere conducive to fast times. No relays, no doubling back, no races until the sun goes down and the wind dies down.
The formula worked on April 16, when Cherokee sophomores Nick Falk and Jack Shea led six runners under 9:40 in the 3,200, Falk running 9:30.52 and Shea 9:32.22. Both massive PRs. Haddonfield’s Chad Evans (9:34.79) and Cherokee’s Justin Detone (9:35.08) also posted enormous PRs that evening, and the top 11 times from that race — all under 9:44 — are still the 11-fastest times on the 2015 New Jersey performance list.
The formula worked again Saturday night, with the focus on the 1,600 instead of the 3,200.
Haddonfield junior Greg Pelose and Timber Creek senior Dominick Munson ran the two-fastest times in the state so far this year, Pelose edging Munson 4:17.41 to 4:17.78. Eastern junior Nick Pschunder (4:19.73), Haddon Twp.’s Jake Dinerman (4:23.07), Cherokee’s Falk (4:24.42) and Haddonfield soph Austin Stoner (4:25.16) now form the rest of the top of the 2015 New Jersey performance list.
Munson led the pack through 800 meters in 2:09.51, with Pelose (2:09.71) and Stoner (2:09.92) next. Coming through 1,200 meters, Munson was at 3:13.1 and Pelose 3:13.3, with Stoner at 3:15.9. Pelose closed in 64.2 and Munson in 63.6. Pschunder actually closed the fastest, splitting 61.9 on his final lap.
New Jersey’s bizarre and ridiculous obsession with an endless ledger of relay meets for the first half of the season means most runners don’t get to run fast open times early. They’re either being hammered with dual meet after dual meet or running sprint medleys, 4-by-8s and DMRs throughout April and the first half of May.
The Cherokee Night of Distance is a way for coaches who care to get their kids good competition, a well-organized event and a chance at an early fast time.
Munson’s 4:17.41 is not far from his PR of 4:16.56, which he set at Group 3 states last spring. But Pelose’s 4:17.78 was a big PR from his 4:22.26, which he last spring on the same day Munson ran his. Munson raced that day at Egg Harbor, Pelose in the South Jersey Group 2 meet at Buena.
Pelose is the seventh Haddonfield runner — just since 2010 — to run sub-4:22. Six of them have broken 4:20. That’s crazy!
- 4:09.30 … Colin Baker, 2010
- 4:14.14 … Ben Potts, 2011
- 4:14.25 … Matt Nussbaum, 2011
- 4:15.92 … Jon Vitez, 2010
- 4:17.41 … Greg Pelose, 2015
- 4:19.98 … Greg Halla, 2013
- 4:21.99 … Alex Gigliotti, 2014