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

 

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