Highland’s Clark wins Meet of Champs with insane 15:33 — #2 Holmdel time in S.J. history!!!!!!!!!!!

He was seeded 16th. Think about that for a moment.

Highland Regional senior Josh Clark went into Saturday’s Meet of Champions with a respectable but certainly not electrifying Holmdel PR of 16:11, set at last year’s Meet of Champions, when he placed 14th. His 16:16 at states last weekend made him the No. 16 seed today, appropriately.

Yet there he was Saturday, sprinting away from a loaded field on the final straightaway  at the 44th annual Meet of Champions at Holmdel County Park with the fastest time by a South Jersey runner on the historic Holmdel course in 27 years.

Upset? Maybe. But Clark was undefeated this year and wasn’t challenged at sectionals or states, and he obviously had much more in the tank than he showed.

Clark, who also wrestles at Highland [who doesn’t?] and was a 9:14 two-miler in the spring, won Saturday in a blazing 15:33, No. 2 on the all-time South Jersey Holmdel list behind only legendary Jason DiJoseph of Paul VI, who ran 15:16 back in 1988.

And an astonishing 38-second PR at Holmdel.

Clark’s time is No. 16 in course history.

Here’s the updated all-time South Jersey list at Holmdel:

    • 15:16 … Jason DiJoseph [Paul VI], 1988
    • 15:33 … Josh Clark [Highland], 2015
    • 15:35 … Louis Corgliano [Hammonton], 2013
    • 15:37 … Aaron Groff [Cherry Hill East], 2015
    • 15:38 … Gregory Hughes [Mainland], 2003
    • 15:39 … Luke Petela [Haddon Twp.], 2014
    • 15:40 … Shawn Wilson [Cherokee], 2012
    • 15:40 … Brett Johnson [Ocean City], 2008
    • 15:40 … Steve Maine [Highland], 2013
    • 15:41 … Jon Vitez [Haddonfield], 2009
    • 15:42 … Ben Potts [Haddonfield], 2010
    • 15:42 … Shawn Hutchison [Bishop Eustace], 2014
    • 15:43 … Marc Pelerin [Cherokee], 2001
    • 15:43 … Miles Schoedler [Ocean City], 2010
    • 15:45 … Keith Krieger [Cherokee], 2002
    • 15:46 … Jack Shea [Cherokee], 2015
    • 15:47 … Urie Ridgeway [Bridgeton], 1988
    • 15:48 … Chris Platt [Haddonfield], 2001
    • 15:50 … Mike Myers [Eastern Reg.], 2000
    • 15:50 … Jon Anderson [Cinnaminson], 2003
    • 15:51 … Murad Campbell [Overbrook], 1998
    • 15:54 … Mike Mantini [Gateway], 1978
    • 15:54 … Paul Szulewski [Williamstown], 2010
    • 15:54 … Skip Stiles [Haddonfield], 2001
    • 15:54 … Aaron Groff [Cherry Hill East], 2014
    • 15:55 … Dominick Munson [Timber Creek], 2014
    • 15:55 … Breton Bonnett [Haddonfield], 2001
    • 15:56 … Kyle Kirk [Camden Catholic], 2012
    • 15:56 … David Forward [Shawnee], 2008
    • 15:57 … Nate Miller [Highland Reg.], 1998
    • 15:57 … Connor Herr [Shawnee], 2010
    • 15:59 … Anthony Dentino [Washington Twp.], 2010
    • 15:59 … Robert Edwards [Bridgeton], 2002

Some notes on Clark’s remarkable performance:

–> Clark’s 15:33 makes Highland the only South Jersey school with two runners at 15:40 or faster at Holmdel. Steve Maine ran 15:40 when he was third at the 2013 Meet of Champions.

–> Highland is now only the second South Jersey school with two Meet of Champions winners in the boys race. Nate Miller won the 1998 race. Paul VI also had two winners — Ron Faith in 1985 and DiJoseph in 1987 and 1988

–> Highland is one of only five schools in all of New Jersey with two individual champs. North Hunterdon has had four, and West Windsor-Plainsboro North, CBA and Paul VI have also had two.

–> With Haddon Township’s Luke Petela winning last year, this marks the first time since 2000 and 2001 that South Jersey has produced consecutive individual Meet of Champs winners. Then, it was Eastern’s Mike Myers in 2000 and Cherokee’s Marc Pelerin in 2001.

–> South Jersey runners won six of the first 17 titles but had only won three of 25 before Petela and Clark the last two years.

–> Cherry Hill East senior Aaron Groff and Cherokee junior Jack Shea made it three South Jersey runners in the top six, Groff crossing in 15:39 and Shea in 15:46.

–> This is the first time in meet history three South Jersey boys have run 15:46 or faster.

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