RV’s Pierce makes eye-opening college debut for Villanova!!!!!!!!

Sterling Pierce, the indoor and outdoor Meet of Champions winner at 200 meters, had one heck of a college debut as a Villanova freshman.

Pierce, a spring graduate of Rancocas Valley, ran his first collegiate race at the Jack Pyrah Invitational at Haverford College and beat a a field of 36 sprinters to win the 60-meter dash.

Full results are here.

Pierce’s time of 6.99 ranks No. 5 in Villanova history and fastest in eight years, since Kevin Okolie ran 6.82 in 2008.

Here is the updated all-time Villanova top-10 in the 60:

Salaam Gariba – 6.65 (Feb. 7, 1992)
Kevin Okolie – 6.82 (Feb. 23, 2008)
Carlos Bedoya – 6.91 (Jan. 30, 2004)
Aaron Smith – 6.98 (Feb. 22, 2003)
Clarence Curry – 6.99 (Feb. 16, 2002)
Sterling Pierce – 6.99 (Dec. 12, 2015)
Antoine Johnson – 7.01 (Feb. 5, 2000)
Dashan Sanders – 7.01 (Feb. 19, 2008)
Austin Casey – 7.02 (Feb. 23, 2008)
Bryan Murphy – 7.03 (Feb. 22, , 2014)

Pierce also anchored Villanova’s 1,600-mer team, which ran 3:24.68 and placed second. Colin Winslow of Sayreville was also on that team.

A month in the season, Pierce ranks second in the Big East in the 60 behind Marquette junior Brandon Bell, who ran 6.93 at the Blue and Gold Invitational at Notre Dame.

The Wildcats are off until Jan. 8, when they host the Nova Open at the 200-meter hydraulically banked Mondo track at the new Ocean Breeze Track Complex on Staten Island.

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Shea caps huge season with top-10 finish at Nike Regionals!!!

Jack Shea started the year as Cherokee’s No. 2 runner, but he finished it as one of the state’s best.

Shea, a Cherokee junior, followed his fourth place at sectionals, fourth at states and sixth at the Meet of Champions with an eighth-place finish at the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast Regional Saturday at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, N.Y.

That made Shea an alternate for the Nike Cross Nationals on Saturday in Eugene, Ore.

Shea ran 16:05, finishing just 19 seconds behind winner Blaise Ferro of CBA and only 3.1 seconds behind the final individual qualifier for nationals, Kent Hall of Unionville, Pa.

Here’s the updated all-time New Jersey list at Bowdoin Park:

  • 15:35 … James Rosa [West Windsor-Plainsboro North], 2010
  • 15:41 … Jonathan Vitez [Haddonfield], 2009
  • 15:45 … Blaise Ferro [CBA], 2015
  • 15:47 … Tom O”Neill [Middletown North], 2013
  • 15:48 … Edward Cheserek [St. Benedict’s],  2010
  • 15:49 … Mik McClemens [CBA], 2013
  • 15:51 … Tim Bason [West Windsor-Plainsboro South], 2015
  • 15:52 … Aaron Groff [Cherry Hill West], 2015
  • 16:05 … Nick Pulimood [West Windsor-Plainsboro South], 2014
  • 15:56 … Joe Rosa [West Windsor-Plainsboro North], 2008
  • 15:57 … Jack Boyle [CBA], 2012
  • 16:00 … Dylan Tarpey [Freehold Twp.], 2013
  • 16:03 … William Bragg [CBA], 2012
  • 16:03 … Mike Mazzaccaro [CBA}, 2010
  • 16:05 … Jack Shea [Cherokee], 2015
  • 16:05 … Nick Pulimood [West Windsor-Plainsboro South], 2014
  • 16:06 … Sean Pohorence [Morris Hills], 2008

Cherokee had a very good day overall, packing three in the top 60 in the team scoring race and finishing 10th in the entire region. The Northeast Region encompasses New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire,.

Cherokee’s top four runners are all back next year — Shea, junior Nick Falk [38th in 16:48], sophomore Justin Kelly [65th in 17:08] and Brandon Marks [97th in 17:20].

Cherry Hill East’s Aaron Groff did advance to Eugene, and we’ll write more about him after the race, but we wanted to take a moment to write about Shea, since he’s quietly had a breakthrough season for the Chiefs.

Let’s focus on Shea’s Meet of Champions race.

Shea actually ran the 16th-fastest time ever by a South Jersey runner at Holmdel County Park and made Cherokee the only South Jersey school with four runners under 15:50 ever at Holmdel and only the second school from New Jersey.

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

 

  • 5:16 … 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

Josh Clark makes history … for himself AND for Highland!!!!!!!!!

Highland junior Josh Clark made history for himself and for his school Saturday when he blazed the challenging Van Cortlandt Park 5,000-meter course in an eye-opening 15:28.4 and placing fourth in the 39th annual Foot Locker Northeast Regionals.

We’ll have a bunch of lists farther down, but let’s take a look at what a monumental accomplishment this was for Clark:

–> By placing among the top 10, he advanced to the Foot Locker National Championships, scheduled for Dec. 12 at Balboa Park in San Diego.

–> Clark ran the fourth-fastest time ever by a South Jersey runner at Vanny and the fastest in 18 years, since Overbrook’s Murad Campbell ran 15:27.7 in the 1997 race.

–> That time is also 12th-fastest ever at Van Cortlandt by a New Jersey runner and 58th-fastest in course history.

–> Clark finished just 4 1/2 seconds behind overall regional winner Noah Affolder of Fort Drum, N.Y., who won in 15:23.9. It’s also only 11 seconds off the legendary South Jersey Vanny-record 15:17.6 run by Jason DiJoseph 27 years ago, a time once thought untouchable.

— He also joined Jerry Andrews in 1979, Kevin Pumphrey in 1985 and Nate Miller in 1998 as Foot Locker national qualifiers from Highland. To put that in context, every other South Jersey school combined has sent a total of nine boys to Foot Locker nationals.

–> In fact, only two other South Jersey schools have had more than one qualifier. Paul VI has had two, Jason DiJoseph and Ron Faith, both in the 1980s, and Cherokee has had two, Marc Pelerin and Shawn Wilson, both in the last 15 years.

–> The only New Jersey school other than Highland with more than two Foot Locker finaliss is North Hunterdon, which has had five — Brad Hudson, Andy Martin and Bill Babcock — who were all teammates in the mid-1980s on the greatest team ever assembled in NJ XC history — and more recently Brendan and Heffernan and Mat McDonald.

–> And Clark gave South Jersey a national qualifier for an unprecedented fourth straight year. Cherokee’s Shawn Wilson, Hammonton’s Lou Corgliano and Haddon Township’s Luke Petela also placed the last three years.

OK, it’s time for some charts and lists.

First, here’s a look at every Foot Locker qualifier from South Jersey and his performance at Northeast Regionals:

1979
N/A, Jim Smith, Haddonfield, N/A,
N/A, Jerry Andrews, Highland, N/A,
1985
2nd, Kevin Pumphrey, Highland Regional, 15:25. 6
6th, Ron Faith, Paul VI, (San Diego), 15:46
1986
6th, Jason DiJoseph, 10, Paul VI, 15:55
1987
4th, Jason DiJoseph, 11, Paul VI, 15:47
8th, Eric Lorenz, 12, Holy Cross, 15:50
1988
1st, Jason DiJoseph, 12, Paul VI, 15:17.6
1997
2nd, Murad Campbell, 11, Overbrook, 15:27
1998
5th, Nate Miller, 12, Highland Regional, 15:49
2001
6th, Marc Pelerin, 12, Cherokee , 15:40.1
2003
7th, Jonathan Anderson, 12, Cinnaminson, 15:30.4
2008
8th, Brett Johnson, 12, Ocean City, 15:50.1
2012
3rd, Shawn Wilson, 12, Cherokee, 15:42.5
2013
9th, Lou Corgliano, 12, Hammonton, 15:40.7
2014
2nd, Luke Petela, 12, Haddon Twp., 15:33.4
2015
4th, Josh Clark, 11, Highland, 15:28.4

Now let’s take a look at the all-time New Jersey list at Van Cortlandt, with South Jersey athletes in bold-face:

  • 15:15.5 … Craig Forys [Colts Neck], 2006
  • 15:17.6 … Jason DiJoseph [Paul VI], 1988
  • 15:18.0 … Brad Hudon [North Hunterdon], 1983
  • 15:19.8 … Cliff Sheehan [Westfield], 1980
  • 15:20.5 … Edward Cheserek [St. Benedict’s], 2011
  • 15:24.8 … Tom Fischer [Manalapan], 1981
  • 15:24.9 … John Carloti [Bernards], 1982
  • 15:25.6 … Kevin Pumphrey [Highland], 1985
  • 15:25.8 … Brian Leung [West Windsor], 2007
  • 15:26.9 … Mike Mykytok [Bound Brook], 1988
  • 15:27.7 … Murad Campbell [Overbrook], 1997
  • 15:28.4 … Josh Clark [Highland],  2015
  • 15:29.1 … Liam Mullet [Pingry Prep], 2014
  • 15:29.9 … Brandon Jarrett [Hillsborough], 2006
  • 15:30.3 … Andy Martin [North Hunterdon], 1984
  • 15:30.4 … Jon Anderson [Cinnaminson], 2003
  • 15:31.0 … John Coyle [CBA], 1988
  • 15:31.4 … Joe Dragon [High Point], 2015
  • 15:33.0 … Bill Babcock [North Hunterdon], 1984
  • 15:33.5 … Matt Grossman [Millburn], 2015
  • 15:33.4 … Luke Petela [Haddon Twp.], 2014
  • 15:35.1 … Mohamed Khadraoui [JFK-Paterson], 2003
  • 15:36.0 … Andrew Brodeur [Brick], 2007
  • 15:36.6 … Tyler Udland [Millburn], 2008
  • 15:37.0 … Iah Hahn [Lakewood], 1997
  • 15:37.0 … Jeffrey Perrella [Westfield], 2005
  • 15:38.2 …  Brendan Heffernan [North Hunterdon], 1991
  • 15:39.0 … Scott Meehan [Sparta], 2013
  • 15:40.1 …  Marc Pelerin [Cherokee], 2001 
  • 15:40.7 … Loui Corgliano [Hammonton], 2013

Curious what schools have sent more than one runner to Foot Locker [or Kinney before it] nationals? Here’s the full list. Only seven schools have done that.

North Hunterdon [5]: Brad Hudson, Andy Martin, Bill Babcock, Brendan Heffernan, Matt McDonald
Highland [4]: Kevin Pumphrey, Nate Miller, Jerry Andrews, Josh Clark
Westfield [2]: Cliff Sheehan, Jeffrey Perrella
Hunterdon Central [2]: Jim Herdman, Jon Fasulo
Paul VI [2]: Ron Faith, Jason DiJoseph
Cherokee [2]: Marc Pelerin, Shawn Wilson
Millburn [2]: Tyler Udland, Blake Udland