Aldridge 2nd, Coppolino breaks 19 minutes in Meet of Champions girls race!!!

Alyssa Aldridge didn’t get her third straight meet of Champions title, but she put together another tremendous race Saturday, finishing a close second to Monica Hebner of Northern Highlands.

Aldridge, who edged Hebner by two seconds in the state Group 3 race last weekend, ran 18:18, finishing about 20 meters behind Hebner.

Aldridge was bidding to become the first three-time winner since Monal Chokshi of Bridgewater from 1989 through 1991 and just the fourth overall.

In 2014, Aldridge finished second to Ocean City’s Devon Grisbaum, so this is four straight years she’s finished either first or second, and that’s incredible!

Full individual and team results can be found here:

Hebner is the first M-of-C girls winner not from South Jersey since Sarah Disanza of High Point High in Wantage Township in Sussex County in 2012 and only the second since 2009.

Meanwhile, Sterling senior Madison Coppolino ran a 30-second Holmdel County Park PR, placing 13th in 18:54. Her previous PR was 19:24 for third at states last weekend.

Coppolino’s time is fastest by a Sterling girl at Holmdel in 33 years, since Mindy Rowand ran 18:40 in 1984.

Here’s the all-time South Jersey list for Holmdel County Park (as always, please forward errors and omissions to me in the comments section):

17:28 Megan Venables [Highland Reg.], 2010
17:40 Michelle Rowen [Washington Twp.], 1982
17:44 Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2008
17:45 Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2013
17:54 Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland], 2015
17:55 Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2010
18:09 Holly Bischof [Bishop Eustace], 2010
18:12 Brittany Sedberry [Ocean City], 2004
18:17 Marielle Hall [Haddonfield], 2009
18:19 Theresa Catunna [Cherry Hill East], 2006
18:20 Devin Grisbaum [Ocean City], 2014
18:22 Vanessa Wright [Haddonfield], 2004
18:27 Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 2000
18:27 Grace Yoon [Cherry Hill East], 2016
18:28 Rachel Vick [Kingsway], 2016
18:38 Casey Doyle [Shawnee], 2007
18:40 Mindy Rowand [Sterling], 1984
18:40 Dina Iacone [Washington Twp.], 2011
18:41 Shelby Cain [Haddonfield], 2011
18:43 Amanda Goetschius [Delsea], 2005
18:44 Arianna McKinney [Highland], 2003
18:49 Mara Sschiffhauer [Seneca], 2013
18:50 Dawn Cody [Paul VI], 1982
18:50 Jamie Wisgerber [Woodstown], 1994
18:50 Meghan Malloy [Haddonfield], 2011
18:52 Lisa Burkholder [Cherokee], 2004
18:53 Renee Tomlin [Ocean City], 2005
18:54 Madison Coppolino [Sterling], 2017

With 3 in top 25, Kingsway boys race to close 2nd place in Meet of Champions!!!!!

Kingsway gave CBA everything it could handle Saturday before finishing a very close second in the boys Meet of Champions XC race.

In a battle of New Jersey’s two top-ranked teams, CBA packed its five among the top 22 scorers (top 41 overall) and finished with an 80-96 edge over Kingsway, which placed its five scorers among the top 31 scorers (top 51 overall).

Boys results can be found here:

Seniors Joe Grandizio, Kieran Burns and Jonathan Connor finished 17th, 21st and 22nd in 16:17, 16:20 and 16:22 for the Dragons. Senior Cade Hindley [50th 16:44] and sophomore Stone Caraccio [55th in 16:47] also scored for the Dragons. Caraccio had been Kingsway’s sixth man at sectionals and states.

The second-place finish is Kingsway’s best ever at the Meet of Champions. The Dragons were fourth two years ago. The best previous finish by a Gloucester County team at Meet of Champions before this current Kingsway run was Delsea’s sixth place in 1979.

Kingsway’s finish is the best by a South Jersey school since Haddonfield placed second in 2010 and matches the best since Mainland won the team title in 2003.

The Dragons were bidding to join Haddonfield [2001], Paul VI [1984, 1988, 1989, 1994] and Mainland [2002, 2003] as the fourth South Jersey school to win the Meet of Champions in its 46-year history.

Kingsway joins Haddonfield, Paul VI, Mainland, Holy Cross, Highland and Cherokee as the eighth South Jersey program with a top-two finish at the Meet of Champions.

Here’s a look at every top-5 finish in meet history by South Jersey teams:

2nd Kingsway
4th Haddonfield
3rd Cherry Hill West, 4th Kingsway, 5th Haddonfield
2nd Haddonfield
4th Haddonfield
4th Haddonfield
3rd Haddonfield
3rd Haddonfield
5th Cherokee
1st Mainland Reg., 5th Cherokee
1st Mainland Reg., 5th Cinnaminson
1st Haddonfield, 4th Cherokee, 5th Mainland Reg.
2nd Cherokee
2nd Paul VI, 3rd Cherokee, 4th Washington Twp.
2nd Cherokee, 3rd Washington Twp., 4th Shawnee
3rd Cherokee , 5th Shawnee
3rd Paul VI
1st Paul VI, 4th Highland Reg.
4th Paul VI
4th Paul VI, 5th Shawnee
5th Shawnee
2nd Paul VI
1st Paul VI, 2nd Highland, 5th Haddonfield
1st Paul VI, 3rd Highland, 5th Bridgeton
2nd Paul VI
3rd Paul VI
3rd Paul VI
1st Paul VI
2nd Holy Cross, 4th Paul VI
4th Paul VI
No Team Scoring

RV’s Alicia Belko, Moorestown’s Natalie Cooper on their way to NCAA Women’s XC Nationals!!!!!

Rancocas Valley graduate Alicia Belko of Stockton University and Moorestown graduate Natalie Cooper of The College of New Jersey, former BCSL Liberty Division rivals, both placed among the top six runners Saturday at the NCAA Division 3 Atlantic Region Cross Country Championships, earning automatic berths in next weekend’s national championships.

Cooper will be accompanied by the full TCNJ team, which earned an at-large bid to nationals after placing fifth out of 41 teams at Regionals.

Belko, a senior, placed third out of 285 runners with a time of 21:45 on the 6,000-meter Field of Dreams course at Haughton (N.Y.) College and Cooper, a junior, placed sixth in 21:57.

Junior Maddy Tattory from Delran was TCNJ’s No. 2 runner Saturday, in 24th in 22:45, with Monmouth Regional grad Gabby DeVito just eight seconds back in 32nd. Juniors Erin Holzbauer of Robbinsville [56th in 23:30] and Abigail Faith of Freehold [65th in 23:40] also scored for the Lions. DeVito was the third freshman across the line.

Also racing for TCNJ were juniors Emma Bean of Mainland Regional [109th in 24:25] and Olivia Shenkman of Smithown High in Nesconset, N.Y. [129th in 24:39].

Only the top two teams earn automatic bids, but TCNJ was selected as one of 16 at-large schools – two from each of eight regions. The top seven finishers whose teams didn’t qualify automatically earn auto individual bids.

This is TCNJ’s first trip to nationals since 2013.

The NCAA Division 3 championships are scheduled for Saturday at the North Farm Facility at Principia College in Elsah, Ill., just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

Veltre 3rd at Regionals, leading Rowan men to NCAA Division 3 XC Nationals!!!!!

Clearview graduate Dan “Fitch” Henry was Rowan’s #2 runner at Regionals 

Rowan senior Kevin Veltre placed third out of nearly 300 runners Saturday at the NCAA Atlantic Region Cross Country Championships, earning an automatic berth in the NCAA Championships.

One day later, Veltre learned that teammates will accompany him to Illinois this coming weekend.

Veltre ran 24:32.6 over 8,000 meters on the Field of Dreams course at Haughton (N.Y.) College to take third out of 290 runners at Regionals. The top-seven finish earned him an automatic bid to nationals. Rowan as a team placed fourth out of 42 schools.

Only the top two teams earn automatic bids, but Rowan – now ranked 25th nationally – was selected as one of 16 at-large schools – two from each of eight regions. The top seven finishers whose teams didn’t qualify automatically earn auto bids.

Veltre, a graduate of Brick Memorial, finished just 18 seconds behind overall winner Grant O’Connor of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, N.Y.

The NCAA Division 3 championships are scheduled for Saturday at the North Farm Facility at Principia College in Elsah, Ill., just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

In addition to Veltre, Rowan’s contingent at nationals will include junior Dan “Fitch” Henry of Clearview [18th at Regionals in 25:09], sophomore Matt Russo of Westfield [25th in 25:22], senior Nick Nocco from Southern Regional [41st in 25:38], sophomore Jose Figueroa of Highland [64th in 25:59], senior Alex Trapani of South Brunswick [95th in 26:21] and sophomore Jason Merman from Pitman [111th in 26:33].

Rowan scored 151 points at Regionals, finishing behind only nationally top-ranked SUNY Geneseo [61], RPI [98] and RIT [124].

By virtue of their top-35 finishes, Veltre, Henry and Russo earned USTFCCA (U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) All-Region Honors.

Putting Kingsway’s states performance into context: What does 1:21.54 mean?

After a weekend of research, we’ve come up with some pretty interesting info about Kingsway’s race at states Saturday.

The Kingsway boys won the state Group 4 title in remarkable fashion, packing five runners within 11 seconds from 16:16 to 16:27 and defeating the state’s No. 3-ranked team, Princeton, by a 52-91 score.

Kingsway’s 16:23 average — a 1:21:54.72 total for its five scorers — is crazy considering the Dragons didn’t have anybody run faster than 16:16. But this is what pack running does. Kingsway may have had the slowest first runner ever for a team that averaged sub-1:22 at Holmdel County Park, but it also probably had the fastest fifth runner … or close to it.

Jonathan Connor [8th in 16:17], Kieran Burns [11th in 16:20], Brian Mangiaracina [13th in 16:24], Cade Hindley [14th in 16:24] and Joe Grandizio [15th in 16:28]  finished with five of the six-fastest South Jersey times at states. They were broken up by Highland’s Ben Woodward, who ran 16:21 for seventh in the Group 3 race.

Years ago somebody compiled a list of the fastest single-season performances in Holmdel history, but that list has been lost to the sands of time and the shuttering of several track-related web sites. If anybody out there has the old list, please share it so Jim Lambert, Pat Montferrat and I can update it!

But for now, here’s what we can safely say:

–> Kingsway’s 1:21.54 is the 17th-fastest time ever run at Holmdel.

–> It’s fastest ever by any team in the state Group 4 meet. The previous best was a 1:22.04.70 by West Windsor-Plainsboro North in 2009.

–> It’s the fastest ever by any South Jersey school at the state meet. The previous record was Mainland Regional’s 1:22.05 in the 2003 Group 4 meet.

–> Overall, it’s fourth-fastest in South Jersey history, behind Mainland’s 1:21.38 to win the 2003 Meet of Champions and two Haddonfield performances – 1:21.38.40 for second in the 2010 Meet of Champions and 1:21.47.8 to win the 2001 Meet of Champions.

–> It’s the second-fastest by a public school at the state meet, behind only Colts Neck’s 1:21.35.63 in the 2016 Group 3 state meet.

–> Only six schools — CBA [eight times], Don Bosco [three times], West Windsor North and Haddonfield [twice each] and Colts Neck and Mainland [once each] — have ever run faster in any race at Holmdel.

–> It was the seventh-fastest time ever by a public school in any race at Holmdel County Park.

–> It was also seventh-fastest ever at any state meet, with the top five coming in Parochial A.

–> It broke the Gloucester County record of 1:22.52.92 set by Kingsway in 2014 (even with a 17:15 in the lineup that day). Joe Grandizio ran on both those teams.

Best of all?

Kingsway gets to do it all over again on Saturday and could very well move up on the list!

Here are the top 20 Holmdel performances I was able to find and followed by the top 20 South Jersey performances. There could be one or two missing, so if you see one please let us know!


1:19.19.09 … CBA, 2013, Meet of Champions [1]
1:20.13.51 … CBA, 2012, Parochial A [1]
1:20.22.63 … CBA, 2013, Parochial A [1]
1:20:26.12 … CBA, 2010, Meet of Champions [1]
1:20.58.82 … Don Bosco, 2013, Meet of Champions [2]
1:21.10.81 … West Windsor-Plainsboro North, 2008, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21.14.44 … CBA, 2005, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21.15.83 … West Windsor-Plainsboro North, 2009, Meet of Champions [3]
1:21.20.85 … CBA, 2014, Parochial A [1]
1:21.23.48 … CBA, 2010, Parochial A [1]
1:21.33.96 … Don Bosco, Parochial A, 2014 [2]
1:21.34.68 … CBA, 2015, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21.35.63 … Colts Neck, 2016, Group 3 [1]
1:21.38 …….. Mainland Regional, 2003, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21:38.40 … Haddonfield, 2010, Meet of Champions [2]
1:21.47.8 ….. Haddonfield, 2001, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21.54.72 … Kingsway, 2017, Group 4 [1]
1:21.56.61 … Don Bosco, 2012, Parochial A [2]
1:21.58.36 … CBA, 2014, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21.58.69 … CBA, 2016, Parochial A [1]


1:21.38 …….. Mainland Regional, 2003, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21:38.40 … Haddonfield, 2010, Meet of Champions [2]
1:21.47.8 ….. Haddonfield, 2001, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21.54.72 … Kingsway, 2017, Group 4 [1]
1:22.05 …….. Mainland Regional, 2003, Group 4 [1]
1:22.10.23 … Cherry Hill East, 2014, Group 4 [1]
1:22.36.50 … Cherry Hill West, 2014, Meet of Champions
1:22.40.09 … Cherry Hill West, 2015, Group 4 [2]
1:22.52.92 … Kingsway, 2014, Group 4 [2]
1:22.59.94 … Cherokee, 2000, Meet of Champions [2]
1:23.05.92 … Haddonfield, 2009, Group 2 [1]
1:23.07.58 … Haddonfield, 2009, Meet of Champions [4]
1:23.22.69 … Haddonfield, 2015, Meet of Champions [4]
1:23.26.98 … Mainland Regional, 2002, Group 3 [1]
1:23.29.78 … Haddon Twp., 2014, Meet of Champions [10]
1:23.30.28 … Haddonfield, 2014, Group 2 [1]
1:23.39.03 … Kingsway, 2014, Meet of Champions [4]
1:23.40.91 … Mainland Regional, 2002, Meet of Champions [1]
1:23.43.72 … Cherokee, 2004, Meet of Champions [5]
1:23.44.08 … Haddonfield, 2015, Group 2 [2]

Shawnee girls on their way to Meet of Champions for 18th time in school history!!!!!

The Shawnee girls placed fourth in the state Group 4 race and with an average time of 20:00.8 per scorer earned the top team wild-card and will race in the Meet of Champions for the 18th time in school history!

Shawnee scored 139 points, finishing behind North Hunterdon (82), Ridge (104) and Westfield (106) and finishing 17 points ahead of South Jersey No. 1 Kingsway, who was fifth.

The Meet of Champions is back at Holmdel County Park on Saturday.

Overall, Shawnee recorded the fifth-best average time of all the schools in the six races at Holmdel Saturday, behind North Hunterdon (19:32.4), Ridge (19:52.2), Group 3 winner Colts Neck (19:55.4) and Westfield (19:56.6).

Scoring the various state meets as one race, Shawnee again would be fifth with 333 points but within range of Ridge (265), Westfield (274) and Colts Neck (305), so the Renegades certainly have a chance to place very high next weekend.

At states, sophomore Isabella Turner ran 19:17 for Shawnee and placed eighth, with junior Grace Kearns 24th [19:59], senior Claire Rankin 29th [20:04], senior Laura Mavracic 36th [20:13] and senior Georgia Larzelere 54th [2031]. Junior Lauren Tenet ran 61st in 20:40 and sophomore Claire Hauser also broke 21 minutes at Holmdel, placing 74th in 20:58.

Shawnee has an incredible cross country tradition and made its first trip to the Meet of Champions 34 years ago, placing seventh in the 1983 meet.

The Renegades had a remarkable string of 14 consecutive top-six finishes in the Meet of Champions from 1990 through 2003, including titles in 1991, 1997, 2002 and 2003 – the first three under Mike Yurcho, the last one under Cliff Scott.

Dana Palumbo took over for Scott in 2006, and this will be the Lady Renegades’ fourth trip to the Meet of Champions under Palumbo and second in a row. Shawnee placed fourth last year, their best finish since 2003.

Shawnee and Kingsway were the only South Jersey girls teams to average less than 20:30 per scorer on Saturday.



Let’s go right to the record book. It’s the only way to really understand just how insane Kingsway’s performance was Saturday at the state Group 4 cross country championships.

–> The Dragons packed their five scorers in 11 seconds. ELEVEN SECONDS. That’s the tightest pack we could find in the state Group 4 meet as far back as available records go!!!

–> Kingsway scored just 52 points, the lowest score in Group 4 in more than 30 years!!!

–> Joe Grandizio, who has been Kingsway’s No. 1 runner in every major meet this fall, was the Dragons’ fifth runner Saturday but the Dragons still beat Princeton, the No. 3 team in the state, by 38 points!!!

This is one for the history books. Quite possibly the greatest performance ever by a South Jersey cross country team at the state meet.

Kingsway won its second state title and first since 2012 Saturday with an absolutely astonishing performance over the historic 5,000-meter course at Holmdel County Park.

You want pack running? Check this out:

16:17 – Jonathan Connor, 8th
16:20 – Kieran Burns, 11th
16:24 – Brian Mangiaracina, 13th
16:24 – Cade Hindley, 14th
16:28 – Joe Grandizio, 15th


Kingsway put five runners in front of Princeton’s third runner, and Princeton is defending Meet of Champions champs and ranked third in the state!

It looks like Kingsway’s average time is second-fastest ever by a South Jersey team at Holmdel behind Haddonfield’s 16:20 at the 2010 Meet of Champions.

As far as the state meet goes, the legendary 2003 Mainland Regional team led by Jimmy Wyner, Greg Hughes and Spenser Popeson, averaged 16:25 per man. Records aren’t available for average time before the mid-1990s but the course runs much faster now and you can tell from year-by-year results that nobody was that fast before then, so there’s a good chance Kingsway’s average time is fastest ever in the state Group 4 meet.

Kingsway’s 52 points match the lowest total in Group 4 since 1986, when Toms River North scored 47 points in a 47-103 win over Cherokee. In 1988, Cherokee also scored 52 to win the state Group 4 title by 10 points over district rival Shawnee.

The all-time single-year team list that was once maintained on a few now-defunct track and field web sites is no longer available. Christian Brothers, West Windsor-Plainsboro and Haddonfield have  run faster than Kingsway, but very few other schools have.

We’ll continue researching this and come up with an answer in the next 24 hours!

But either way, this was a legendary performance by Kingsway. Congrats to coach Christian Lynch and the Kingsway program for a remarkable afternoon at Holmdel!

Eustace’s Storti places 3rd in Parochial A, punches ticket for Meet of Champions!!!

Bishop Eustace junior Katy Storti placed third in the Parochial A XC championships Saturday at Holmdel, earning a lane in the Meet of Champions next Saturday.

Storti ran a Holmdel PR of 19:28, finishing behind only Pingry soph Nicole Vanesse, who ran 18:45, and Union Catholic junior Jerika Lufrano, who ran 18:51.

Storti’s third-place finish is best by a Bishop Eustace girl since Holly Bishof won the 2011 race in 18:45.

Eustace sophomore Rachel Orr also broke into the top-15, placing 13th overall in 20:26.

This will be Storti’s second trip to the Meet of Champions. She placed fourth at states as a freshman in 20:00 and went on to take 40th place at the 2015 Meet of Champions in 19:41.


Riddell, Eisenhower lead under-manned Haddonfield boys to 16th state XC championship!!!!!

Even with No. 1 runner Derek Gess still sick and unable to race, Haddonfield found a way Saturday to get past two-time defending champion Voorhees and win its 16th state cross country title and 10th since 2000.

The only schools to win more state titles than Haddonfield are Christian Brothers Academy of Lincroft (27 going into today) and Bernards (23). Among South Jersey schools, Haddon Township (10), Paul VI (7), Bishop Eustace (6) and Cherokee (5) have won the next-most.

Sophomore Martin Riddell and junior Greg Eisenhower both placed in the top six, and four other Haddonfield underclassmen finished in the top 30 to thwart Voorhees, which placed four runners in the top 14.

Haddonfield outscored Voorhees 53-69, and although Voorhees had a faster average (16:49 to 16:55), Haddonfield won with a 40-second pack between its first and fifth runners (and 41 seconds between 1 and 6).

Riddell placed third in 16:35 and Eisenhower sixth just seven seconds back. Junior Ethan Spellmeyer was 14th in 16:59, junior Sean Campiglia 20th in 17:06 and junior Griffin Weiner 26th in 17:15. Sixth man Stephen Kasko, a sophomore, ran 17:16 for 28th place overall. Senior Richie Glennon also raced for the Bulldogs.

Gess, a 1:55 half-miler last year and the Colonial Conference XC champ this fall, has been battling illness for two weeks and dropped out of the race at sectionals last weekend at about two miles.

Haddonfield won its first state title in 1978 in Group 2 and repeated two years later. The Bulldogs won four state Group 1 titles between 1985 and 1990 then, after nine years without a title, began the current run of 10 titles in 18 years in 2000 back in Group 2.

This championship was Haddonfield’s first since 2014. The Bulldogs haven’t gone more than three years without winning a state title since 1996 through 1999.


Aldridge sprints past Hebner in final straight to win 3rd straight NJ-3 title!!!!!

Mainland Regional senior Alyssa Aldridge won her third straight state Group 3 XC title Saturday morning, sprinting past senior Monica Hebner of Northern Highlands along the final straightaway.

Aldridge became the third girl ever and first in nine years to win three straight titles in Group 3. She’s actually also the first to win three straight in any group in nine years.

The two previous three-time winners in Group 3 are Jodie Bilotta, who won three straight for North Hunterdon from 1985 through 1987, and Melanie Thompson of Voorhees, who won three straight from 2006 through 2008.

Aldridge is the first three-time winner to go under 18:30 in all three wins since Meg Waldron of Bernards in Group 1 from 1980 through 1982.

Hebner, fifth in the 5,000 at nationals last spring with a 17:18, had not lost a XC race this fall and ran 18:32 at Shore Coaches, fastest time of the day.

Aldridge, who remains undefeated in an abbreviated fall season, won Saturday in 18:16. She ran 18:13 and 18:07 in her previous two Meet of Champions wins. Hefner ran a Holmdel PR 18:20 for second.

Aldridge and Hebner led a total of eight girls under 19 minutes on the tough 5,000-meter Holmdel course.

Aldridge has run as fast as 17:55 at Holmdel and will be seeking her third straight Meet of Champions title next Saturday on the same legendary Holmdel County Park course.

Here’s a list of all the girls in all groups who’ve won three straight state XC titles:

Hilary Noden [Hopewell Valley], combined groups – 1972, 1973, 1974
Janet Smith [J.P. Stevens], Group 4 – 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
Meg Waldron [Bernards], Group 1 – 1980, 1981, 1982
Jodi Bilotta [North Hunterdon], Group 3 – 1985, 1986 1987
Christi Constantin [Kittatinny Regional], Group 2 – 1986, 1987, 1988
Moral Chokshi [Bridgewater-Raritan West], Group 4 – 1989, 1990, 1991
Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], Group 1 – 1997, 1998; Group 2 – 1999, 2000
Vanessa Wright [Haddonfield], Group 2 – 2003, 2004, 2005
Melanie Thompson [Voorhees], Group 3 – 2006, 2007, 2008
Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland Regional], Group 3 – 2015, 2016, 2017