How much has Richie Castañeda improved?
A year ago, he ran 17:48 at the Camden County Championships and placed seventh. On Friday, on the same 5,000-meter course at Timber Creek Park in Lindenwold and Glocuester Township, he ran 16:51, ran away with the individual title and led Camden Catholic to the team title at the Camden County championships.
Castañeda and Matt Coffey, two seniors, finished 1-2 to lead the Irish to a 33-60 win over Paul VI.
Coffey took second in 17:09, a 32-second improvement of his own over his race at Timber Creek Park last fall.
Senior Ray Derman and junior Matt Denton gave Camden Catholic four finishers in the top 10. Derman ran 17:28 for sixth and Denton 17:38 for ninth. Senior Denny Kelly clinched the team title with a solid 15th-place finish in 18:03.
The team title is Camden Catholic’s second in a row.
How well did Camden Catholic race? Scoring against the field, they would have lost only by six points. That’s with Camden Catholic going 1-2-6-9-15 for 33 points and the field going 3-4-5-7-8 for 27 points.
Camden Catholic’s 33-point total is the lowest at the Camden County meet in five years, since Cherry Hill East won the 2013 meet with 27 points.