Kingsway girls 22, Everybody Else Combined 33!!! Dragons roll!!!!!!

The Kingsway girls didn’t just roll over second-place Clearview in the Tri-County Conference championship race, they rolled over the field.

Led by overall winner Rachel Vick, Kingsway went 1-3-5-6-7 to score 22 points on the 5,000-meter course at Cumberland Regional High School Thursday.

Clearview was second with 38 points, finishing 2-4-9-11-12. Clearview and Kingsway were responsible for 13 of the first finishers 17.

Scored against the field, Kingsway wins 22-34, with the field going 2-4-8-9-10.

Kingsway got all its runners in at 19:31 or under and in the span of 50 seconds, a pretty good pack considering that Vick won by 30 meters.

Following Vick across the line for Kingsway were sophomore Alexis Mullarkey [third in 18:56] and then the pack of juniors Destiny Stanford and McKenzie Nugent [both 19:29] and freshman Morgan Robinson [19:31] in fifth, sixth and seventh.

Clearview had itself a pretty good race too, packing its five scorers from second place to 12th. Sophomore Julia Rothstein [second in 18:49], senior Megan Jones [fourth in 19:13], senior Emily Schaeffer [ninth in 19:50] and senior Ava Fritz [12th in 20:09].

Kingsway got all seven of its runners in the top 20, with freshmen Lauren Krott and Laurel Hannigan placing 14th and 16th in 20:30 and 20:46.

The title was the second in a row for Vick, who was fourth as a freshman.

Kingsway is ranked No. 4 in New Jersey and No. 1 in South Jersey. Next for the Dragons is the South Jersey Group 4 race at Delsea a week from Saturday. Kingsway hasn’t won a sectional title in 22 years. The Dragons won five titles from 1987 through 1993.

Sectionals should be a terrific showdown between Kingsway and Shawnee, both ranked among the top five in the state and No. 1 and No. 2 in South Jersey.

Gravlin gives Cherokee Olympic Conference XC title on 6th-man tiebreaker!!!!!!

Even for a tiebreaker, this race was ridiculously close.

With their first five runners across the line at the Olympic Conference XC Championships Friday at Gloucester County College, Cherokee and Cherry Hill East were in a dead heat.

Cherokee went 2-4-6-12-20 for 44 points.

Cherry Hill East went 1-7-9-10-17 for 44 points.

Any race that comes down to a sixth-runner tiebreaker is thrilling, but in this one, the sixth men from Cherokee and Cherry Hill East came across the line next to each other.

Cherokee senior Steve Gravlin was 21st overall in 16:53.62, and East junior Marc Meltzer was 22nd in 16:57.10.

And that was the difference. We knew Cherokee and Cherry Hill East were very even, but this was ridiculous.

Cherokee’s five scorers were juniors Jack Shea [2nd in 15:26] and Nick Falk [4th in 15:46], sophomores Justin Kelly [6th in 16:14] and Brandon Marks [12th in 16:25] and senior Michael Zurzolo [20th in 16:49].

Cherry Hill East countered with overall winner Aaron Groff in 15:13.29, followed by seniors Cole Parsons [7th in 16:15.09] and Isaiah Jean-Baptiste [9th in 16:19], junior Tyler Parsons [10th in 16:21.69] and senior Ryan Federline [17th in 16:44].

The team title was Cherokee’s first since 2011.

Three in a row for the Shawnee girls at Burlington County Open!!!

Once upon a time, the Shawnee girls dominated Burlington County cross country. Not to mention South Jersey and the entire state.

Shawnee won 16 consecutive county XC titles from 1983 through 1998 and added two more in 2002 and 2003. During that span, the Renegades also won an astounding 15 sectional titles, eight state titles and four Meet of Champions titles — three more than every other South Jersey school combined.

Now the Shawnee girls are starting some new streaks. On Friday, they won a close three-team battle with Seneca and Moorestown to win their third consecutive County Open XC title at Mill Creek Park in Willingboro.

Shawnee finished with 31 points, Seneca with 47 and Cherokee 80.

This is the first time anybody has won three straight Burlco Open titles since Moorestown from 1999 through 2001, and it’s the first time Shawnee has won three straight in 17 years — from 1996 through 1998.

The Renegades placed all five scorers among the top 13 Friday, led by junior Kara Bonner, who ran 19:29 and won comfortably over Northern Burlington’s Ashley Dunteman, second in 19:44. Soph Claire Rankin placed third for Shawnee, also under 20 minutes, with soph Georgia Larzelere fifth, freshman Grace Kearns ninth and soph Laura Mavracic 13th.

Next for Shawnee is sectionals, where they will shoot for their third straight South Jersey Group 4 championship. Shawnee is ranked No. 6 in the state and No. 3 in South Jersey, behind Kingsway and Haddonfield.

Mainland’s Aldridge destroys loaded field in Rhode Island Invite!!!!!!!

Mainland Regional sophomore Alyssa Aldridge continued her assault on cross country courses throughout the Northeast Saturday, obliterating a loaded field in the 33rd annual Brown Invitational in Rhode Island.

Aldridge ran an insane 17:07 over the flat 5,000-meter Goddard Park East course in East Greenwich, R.I., finishing a whopping 125 meters ahead of Elisabeth Danis of Coe-Brown Academy in Northwood, N.H.

Aldridge led four girls under 18 minutes, with another 14 under 19 minutes, in the Championship race.

The winning time is fastest in this annual meet since at least 2008, or as far back as results are listed on the Rhode Island Milesplit web site.

It’s third-fastest in course history, according to track historian Jim Lambert, and only 15 seconds off the course record of 16:52, set in 2003 by Nicole Blood of Saratoga Springs [N.Y.] High.

Aldridge placed fourth in the Group 3 state meet last year and second to Ocean City’s Devin Grisbaum in the Meet of Champions at Holmdel.

Cherokee boys register lowest County Open team score in 11 years!!!!!!

With all five scorers in the top 14, the Cherokee boys posted the lowest team score at the Burlington County Open in 11 years Friday, outscoring second-place Lenape 33-85.

The 33 points are the lowest winning score since Cherokee scored 22 to win the 2004 title by more than 100 points over Lenape. That team was led by Tom Yersak, Greg Bredeck, Sean McLaughlin and Vinny Marziano, who finished second through fifth. Paul McFadden and Matt Dolan gave the Chiefs six of the first nine finishers. That Chiefs group had a trim 27-second span from first through fifth.

This team didn’t pack quite so tightly, but it was certainly an impressive performance by a team with just one senior in its top five and just two in the varsity race.

Junior Nick Falk won his second consecutive individual title, covering the 5,000-meter Mill Creek Park course in 16:15, some 27 seconds faster than his winning time last year.

Falk became the first repeat winner since Shawnee’s David Forward in 2008 and 2009 and Cherokee’s first repeat winner since Alex Yersak in 2006 and 2007.

Cherokee’s next four finishers were junior Jack Shea [third in 16:21], sophomore Justin Kelly [sixth in 16:44], senior Michael Zurzolo [ninth in 17:00] and sophomore Brandon Marks [14th in 17:06].

The team title was Cherokee’s second in a row, the first time the Chiefs have won consecutive County Open team titles since they won three straight from 2007 through 2009.

In all. the Chiefs have won 17 team titles –1988, 1989, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015. Since 1995, they’ve won 15 of a possible 21.

Here’s a look at the repeat winners in meet history:

Eric Lorenz [Holy Cross]
1986 – 16:07
1987 – 16:08

Jason Capelli [Rancocas Valley]
1992 – 16:25
1993 – 16:45

Brad Bisinger [Lenape]
1996 – 16:53
1997 – 16:15

Adam Ambrus [Shawnee]
1999 – 16:19
2000 – 16:42

Alex Yersak [Cherokee]
2006 – 16:36
2007 – 16:47

David Forward [Shawnee]
2008 – 16:04
2009 – 16:12

Nick Falk [Cherokee]
2014 – 16:42
2015 – 16:15

Briana Gess obliterates the state record at historic Van Cortland Park!!!!!!!!!!

Of all her insane accomplishments running for Haddonfield, this one might be the most insane.

Briana Gess, a Foot Locker qualifier and a Meet of Champions winner both on the track and on the trails, destroyed the New Jersey record on the historic 2.5-mile Van Cortland Park cross country course when she won the Eastern race at the 43rd annual Manhattan Invitational.

Gess covered the hilly course near the Bronx Zoo in an astonishing 14:10.4, placing third in the fastest race ever run at Vanny.

Jessica Lawson of Corning East won the race in a course-record 13:53.9, breaking the record of 13:55.3 set in 2007 by Carley Seymour of Central Cambria. Kaitlyn Neal  of Fayetteville-Manlius in New York was second in 14:04.6, seventh-fastest time in course history, and Gess was third with the 13th-fastest time in course history.

Gess broke a state record at Van Cortland that had stood for three decades!

In 1985, Karen Ahearn of Bernards ran 14:12.8, and that stood as the New Jersey course record until this past weekend.

Gess also broke her own South Jersey course record of 14:25.6. The top three South Jersey times ever run on the 2.5-mile Vanny course belong to Haddonfield Bulldogs. Vanessa Wright ran 14:30.4 in 2004, and Olympian Erin Donohue ran 14:42.2 in 1998.

Here is a look at the updated all-time New Jersey list at Van Cortland. The list is culled from the all-time list maintained by Kyle Brazeil and posted on the MileSplit New York web site:

All-Time Top 20 New Jersey Van Cortland List

  • 14:10.4 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2015
  • 14:12.8 … Karen Ahearn [Bernards], 1985
  • 14:12.8 … Melanie Thompson [Voorhees], 2008
  • 14:13.1 … Janet Smith [J.P. Stevens], 1983
  • 14:16.0 … Ashley Higginson [Colts Neck], 2006
  • 14:20.7 … Jodie Bilotta [North Hunterdon], 1986
  • 14:23.2 … Meg Waldron [Bernards], 1982
  • 14:25.5 … Mackenzie Barry [Mendham], 2012
  • 14:30.4 … Vanessa Wright [Haddonfield], 2004
  • 14:35.8 … Marin Warner [Holmdel], 2014
  • 14:37.2 … Anne Marie Letko [North Hunterdon], 1986
  • 14:37.3 … Anna Murphy [Oak Knoll], 2007
  • 14:37.5 … Cate Guiney [Middletown South], 1998
  • 14:37.9 … Megan Curham [Villa Walsh],  2012
  • 14:39.0 … Stacy Bilotta [North Hunterdon], 1983
  • 14:39.9 … Jill Smith [Southern Regional], 2008
  • 14:41.2 … Theresa Gschwind [Summit], 1981
  • 14:42.2 … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 1998
  • 14:42.5 … Devin Grisbaum [Ocean City], 2014
  • 14:42.7 … Sarah Pagano [Immaculate Heart], 2008
  • 14:43.3 … Jesse Mizzone [Passaic Valley], 2001


Tremendous pack running leads Pennsville to SJ Open team title!

Pennsville packed its five scorers within 36 seconds of each other Saturday on the way to a commanding team title at the South Jersey Open over the 5,000-meter sectional course at Delsea.

Pennsville is proving it’s not just one of the best South Jersey Group 1 schools but one of the best teams in South Jersey period.

The Eagles were one of just five schools — in any division – to average sub-17. They outscored second-place second-place Schalick 35-86 to win the Division 1 title.

Schalick went 1-2 behind Sam Gerstenbacher and Cosmo Pirozzi, who ran 16:27 and 16:36, but Pennsville had five of the next nine finishers — and actually six of the next 11.

Adam Quann led Pennsville in third place in 16:36, with Justin Smith fifth [16:54], Zak Carpenter sixth [17:01], Zachary Pope 10th [17:12] and Timothy Shields 11th [17:12].

Thomas Bardon was a non-scoring but bumping 12th [17:23], and the Eagles’ seventh runner, Austin Green, also finished in the top 25.

Scoring Pennsville against the field, it’s a fairly close meet, with the field winning by a 22-35 margin.

Here are all the individuals who ran 16:30 or faster today at Delsea:

15:38.16, Nicholas Pschunder (Eastern), 1st, Division 3
15:44.66,JP. Flavin (Toms River North), 2nd, Division 3
15:49.75, Isaiah Corbelo (Rancocas Valley), 3rd, Division 3
15:56.61, Nick Falk (Cherokee), 4th, Division 3
16:02.95, Jack Shea (Cherokee), 5th, Division 3
16:11.10, Joe Grandizio (Kingsway), 6th, Division 3
16:13.33, Justin Farley (Toms River North), 7th, Division 3
16:14.66, Joseph Dougherty (Hammonton), 8th, Division 3
16:26.66, Justin Kelly (Cherokee), 9th, Division 3
16:29.25, Vipul Bhat (Eastern), 10th, Division 3
16:26.00, Mitchell Wileczek (West Deptford), 1st, Division 2
16:27.00, Decin Hart Point Pleasant Boro), 2nd, Division 2
16:28.00, Jimmy Macpherson (Sterling), 3rd, Division 2
16:28.00, A.J. Kilpatrick (West Deptford), 4th, Division 2
16:27.91, Sam Gerstenbacher, (Schalick), 1st, Division 1

and all the teams that averaged 17:30 or faster:

16:19.80, Cherokee [1st, Division 3]
16:34.21, Kingsway, [2nd, Division 3]
16:38.67, Toms River North [3rd, Division 3]
16:57.60, West Deptford [2nd, Division 2]
16:59.50, Pennsville [1st, Division 1]
17:02.60, Delsea [1st, Division 2]
17:03.40, Hammonton [4th in Division 3]
17:13.64, Eastern [8th in Division 3]
17:18.85, Lenape [5th in Division 3]
17:21.85, Shawnee [6th in Division 3]
17:21.29, Hammonton [7th in Division 3]
17:22.80, Paul VI, [3rd, Division 2]
17:23.08, Rancocas Valley [10h, Division 3]
17:28.13, Moorestown [9th, Division 3]
17:30.60, Point Pleasant Borough [5th in Division 1]

And, as always, click over to Tomahawk for complete results, including the freshmen and JV races:

Mainland’s Aldridge DOMINATES Holmdel County Park!!!!!!

Alyssa Aldridge photo courtesy of Dennis Smyth.
Alyssa Aldridge photo courtesy of Dennis Smyth.

It had been almost a quarter of a century since a Mainland Regional girl won a race at the Shore Coaches Invitational.

Alyssa Aldridge ended that streak on Saturday.

Aldridge, a Mainland Regional soph, ran a personal-best 18:20.0 over the hilly and historic Holmdel County Park 5,000-meter layout, winning by about 250 meters over Katie Delidow of Millburn in the Girls B race at the Shore Coaches Invite.

Aldridge’s time is fastest by a South Jersey girl at Shore Coaches since Megan Lacy of Cherokee, now running for Stanford, ran 18:19 in the Girls A race in 2011.

The only other Mainland girl to ever win a Shore Coaches race was Julie Schick, who ran 20:15 to win the Girls B race in 1991.

Aldridge beat her previous Holmdel PR by under two seconds. She ran 18:21.94 for second to Ocean City’s Devin Grisbaum last year in the Meet of Champions.

Also under 20 minutes from South Jersey at the largest non-championship meet of the year were Kara Bonner of Shawnee [19:41], Ashley Dunteman of Northern Burlington [19:46], Alexis Mullarkey of Kingsway [19:48], Julia Rothstein of Clearview [19:50], Briana Roberts of Pennsauken [19:53] and Claire Rankin of Shawnee [19:56].

Aldridge’s time is No. 11 in South Jersey history at Holmdel County Park. Here’s a look at every South Jersey who’s run 19:00 minutes or faster at Holmdel, either at Shore Coaches, states or Meet of Champs [or at Central Jersey sectionals, when they were held there]:

  • 17:40 …… Michelle Rowan [Washington Twp.], 1982
  • 17:43.1 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2008
  • 17:44.78 .. Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2013
  • 17:50.0 … Megan Venables [Highland], 2010
  • 18:11.6 … Brittany Sedberry [Ocean City], 2004
  • 18:12.0 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2010
  • 18:12.02 .. Holly Bischof [Bishop Eustace], 2011
  • 18:16.5 … Marielle Hall [Haddonfield], 2009
  • 18:18.2 … Theresa Catunna [Cherry Hill East], 2006
  • 18:19.26 .. Devin Grisbaum [Ocean City], 2014
  • 18:20.0 … Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland Reg.], 2015
  • 18:22.0 … Vanessa Wright [Haddonfield], 2004
  • 18:28.0 … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 2000
  • 18:38.2 … Casey Doyle [Shawnee], 2007
  • 18:40 …… Mindy Rowand [Sterling], 1984
  • 18:40 …… Dina Iacone [Washington Twp.], 2011
  • 18:40.22 .. Shelby Cain [Haddonfield], 2011
  • 18:43.1 … Amanda Goetschius [Delsea], 2005
  • 18:44.4 … Arianna McKinney [Highland], 2003
  • 18:48.79 .. Mara Schiffhauer [Seneca], 2013
  • 18:49.87 .. Meghan Malloy [Haddonfield], 2011
  • 18:50 …… Dawn Cody [Paul VI], 1982
  • 18:50 …… Jamie Wiesgerber [Woodstown], 1994
  • 18:52.2 … Renee Tomlin [Ocean City], 2005
  • 18:52.3 … Lisa Burkholder [Cherokee], 2004
  • 18:58 …… Lori Watson [Cherry Hill East], 1983
  • 18:58 …… Abbey Hartman [Ocean City], 1996
  • 18:59 …… Wendy Westphal [Highland], 1982
  • 19:00.2 … Caitlin Orr [Lenape], 2009
  • 19:00.9 … Katie Van Horn [Triton], 2004