It was clear early on that either Pt. Pleasant Boro’s Devin Hart, the South Jersey Group 2 XC champion, and Cinnaminson’s Michael Ungvarsky, the state Group 2 champ at 3,200 meters last spring, was going to win the state Group 2 XC title Saturday.
Hart edged Ungvarsky at Delsea last weekend in the South Jersey Group 2 race, but in the rematch, with a state title at state, Ungvarsky came out in front.
Ungvarsky, a Cinnaminson senior, and Hart, a Pt. Pleasant Boro sophomore, were both credited with 15:58 on the historic 5,000-meter layout at Holmdel County Park, with Ungvarsky prevailing to become Cinnaminson’s fourth individual state champion.
This is the first time in history two runners have finished under 16 minutes in a state Group 2 race at Holmdel.
Ungvarsky follows Dave Zamichielli in 1987, Bill Mason in 1998 and Jon Anderson in 2003, all in Group 2.
Ungvarsky ran one second faster at Holmdel at Shore Coaches, but his time was still fourth-fastest at the state Group 2 meet since it moved to Holmdel.
A gap of about 165 meters separated Ungvarsky and Hart at the finish line from third-place Jared Cooper of Mountain Lakes, who ran 16:31.
Cinnaminson and Cherokee are responsible for seven of eight state XC titles that Burlington County boys have won over the past 48 years, with Delran’s Rex Myers — a U.S. Junior National steeplechase champion — the only exception.
Here is a complete list of every Burlington County boy in history to win a state cross country title:
Walter Molineux [Moorestown], 1947, Groups 1-2-3 [13:25]
Rodman Zwirner [Moorestown], 1954, Group 1-2-3 [12:48]
Carl Budden [Rancocas Valley], 1961, Group 3 [12:34]
Barry Middleton [Moorestown], 1962, Groups 1-2 [12:39]
Ricky Jacques [Burlington Twp.], 1966, Group 1 [12:45]
Ricky Jacques [Burlington Twp.], 1967, Group 1 [12:11]
Bill Sampson [Burlington Twp.], 1968, Group 1 [12:42]
Dave Zamichielli [Cinnaminson, 1987, Group 2 [16:45]
Rex Myers [Delran], 1988, Group 2 [16:27]
Bill Mason [Cinnaminson], 1998, Group 2 [16:37]
Joe Halin [Cherokee], 1999, Group 4 [16:09]
Marc Pelerin [Cherokee], 2001, Group 4 [16:09]
Jon Anderson [Cinnaminson], 2003, Group 2 [16:19]
Shawn Wilson [Cherokee], 2012, Group 4 [15:40]
Michael Ungvarsky [Cinnaminson], 2016, Group 2 [15:58]