Clearview’s Bensaoud emerges as one of New Jersey’s top freshman XC runners!!!

Anas Bensaoud of Clearview has emerged this fall as one of the leading freshman runners in New Jersey this year.

As a middle schooler, Bensaoud placed second at the South Jersey Open Middle School race last fall, covering the 2,500-meter course at Delsea in 8:54.15.

He opened his scholastic career last month with a sixth-place finish in the Cherokee Challenge freshman race, where he ran 10:42 over two miles and was the top South Jersey finisher.

Then at the South Jersey Shootout, he skipped the freshman race in favor of the Varsity 1-2-3 race and was Clearview’s No. 2 runner, covering the 5,000-meter course at Rowan in 16:59. Senior Colin Gardina was the Pioneer’s top finisher that day in 10th with a 16:50.

Bensaoud placed 13th in the Tri-County Championships in 17:11, where he was Clearview’s No. 1 runner and the only freshman under 18:40, and Clearview placed fourth out of 17 schools.

Then this past weekend, Bensaoud got his first crack at the historic 5,000-meter layout at Holmdel County Park, and instead of racing in the freshman race, he ran in the Varsity A race with his teammates and finished 36th overall in 17:36, one second and two spots behind Gardina.

Bensaoud was the only freshman under 18 minutes in the Varsity A race and the No. 2 freshman in the entire meet behind only Edwin Klanke of St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, who ran 17:21 and placed 29th in the Varsity B race.

The only other freshmen under 18 minutes in the various Shore Coaches races were Will McGlynn of Westfield (17:41 in the JV A race) and Domenick Wallace of Morris Hills (17:56 in the Varsity C race).

Clearview runs in the Gloucester County Championships on Thursday afternoon in West Deptford.

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