A look at the fastest South Jersey teams in Holmdel County Park history!!!!!

Years ago on the old DyeStat New Jersey track message board there was a list of the fastest schools in Holmdel County Park history, using each school’s five-man average.

The DyeStat message boards are long gone, but I saved a copy of that list before they were shut down, and I took a stab at updating the top South Jersey schools on there.

Eventually, I’d love to have a list of all the South Jersey schools with a cross country program and at some point before next fall I’ll put together a girl’s list as well. I know a lot of coaches or alums maintain these lists so if you have one feel free to post it in the comments section here.

And if you see any mistakes or omissions in this initial top-10 list please let me know. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I can expand it to 20 schools and then 30 and keep it going.

Here we go!

1 Cherokee
78:52 Total
15:46.4 Average
15:40 … Shawn Wilson [Group 4], 2012
15:44 … Marc Pelerin [Meet of Champions], 2001
15:46 … Keith Krieger [Group 4], 2002
15:46 … Jack Shea [Meet of Champions], 2015
15:56 … Ethan Wechsler [Meet of Champions], 2018

2 Haddonfield
79:05 Total
15:49.0 Average
15:42 … Jon Vitez [Meet of Champions], 2009
15:43 … Ben Potts [Meet of Champions], 2010
15:49 … Chris Platt [Meet of Champions], 2001
15:55 … Skip Stiles [Meet of Champions], 2001
15:56 … Breton Bonnette [Meet of Champions], 2001

3 Highland
79:29 Total
15:53.8 Average
15:33 … Joshua Clark [Meet of Champions], 2015
15:41 … Steve Maine [Group 4], 2013
15:57 … Nate Miller [Meet of Champions], 1998
16:03 … Kevin Pumphrey [Shore Coaches], 1985
16:15 … Jay Wassell [Meet of Champions], 1995

4 Ocean City
79:55 Total
15:59.0 Average
15:41 … Brett Johnson [Group 3], 2008
15:44 … Miles Schoedler [Shore Coaches], 2010
16:03 … John Fennekohl [Meet of Champions], 2006
16:10 … Ryan Birchmeier [Group 3], 2007
16:17 … John Richardson [Group 3], 2002

5 Paul VI
80:03 Total
16:00.6 Average
15:17 … Jason DiJoseph [Parochial A], 1988
16:08 … Ron Faith [Meet of Champions], 1984
16:09 … Tom Keefer [Meet of Champions], 1991
16:13 … Joe Cranston [Meet of Champions], 1989
16:16 … Pete Dougherty [Meet of Champions], 1990

6 Cinnaminson
80:10 Total
16:02.0 Average
15:51 … Jon Anderson [Meet of Champions], 2003
15:57 … Michael Ungvarsky [Shore Coaches], 2016
16:01 … Austin Gabay [Shore Coaches], 2018
16:08 … Steve Grabowski [Meet of Champions], 2005
16:13 … Matt Poskus [Meet of Champions], 2006

7 Mainland
80:13 Total
16:02.6 Average
15:39 … Greg Hughes [Meet of Champions], 2003
16:01 … Kevin Antczak [Meet of Champions], 2018
16:06 … Jimmy Wyner [Meet of Champions], 2003
16:07 … Scott Keyser [Meet of Champions], 1995
16:20 … Kurt Wayton [Group 3], 1993

8 Eastern
80:28 Total
16:05.6 Average
15:51 … Mike Myers [Meet of Champions], 2000
16:05 … Dan Deichert [Meet of Champions], 2001
16:06 … Karl Savage [Group 4], 1996
16:10 … Nicholas Pschunder [Group 4], 2014
16:16 … Barry Shea [Shore Coaches], 1984

9 Cherry Hill East
80:41 Total
16:08.2 Average
15:37 … Aaron Groff [Group 4], 2015
16:02 … Bruce Miller [Shore Coaches], 1981
16:18 … Dan Helfand [Group 4], 2014
16:19 … Bill Stewart [Meet of Champions], 1982
16:25 … Ben Dillon [Group 4], 2013

10 Shawnee
80:42 Total
16:08.4 Average
15:57 … David Forward [Shore Coaches], 2008
15:58 … Connor Herr [Meet of Champions], 2010
16:13 … Peter Murray [Shore Coaches], 2010
16:14 … Adam Ambrus [Group 4], 2000
16:20 … Matt Talbot [Group 4], 1984

With Riddell and Eisenhower in the top 20, Haddonfield boys take 3rd in loaded field at Nike Cross Nationals!!!!!

Junior Martin Riddell placed 11th and senior Greg Eisenhower 18th to lead Haddonfield to an impressive third place in the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast Regional Saturday.

Riddell ran 16:19 and Eisenhower 16:28 over 5,000 meters at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., and Haddonfield finished behind only Christian Brothers Academy of Lincroft and Bishop Hendricken of Warwick, R.I.

Senior Ethan Spellmeyer ran 16:50 for 32nd and junior Stephen Kasko was four seconds back in 34th place. Derek Gess ran 16:13 for 63rd Senior Griffin Weiner and junior Grayson Fasolo gave the Bulldogs all seven runners in sub-17:30.

No. 6 nationally CBA won with 99 points, just nine more than No. 16 Bishop Hendricken. Haddonfield, ranked No. 22 nationally, scored 134 for third.

Cherokee was 10th with 356 points, with juniors Ethan Wechsler and Chase Miller finishing 15th and 25th in 16:28 and 16:49.

Kingsway also raced and was paced by senior Kieran Burns and junior Ayden Magee in the top 60 in a field of nearly 300 runners.

The Kingsway girls placed 11th, with sophomore Ashlynne Burke and juniors Allison Pierontoni and Emily Pierontoni placing 27th, 50th and 54th.

Mainland’s Antczak, Cinnaminson’s Gabay finish in top 25 at Foot Locker Northeast Regionals at Vanny!!!!!

Juniors Kevin Antczak of Mainland Regional and Austin Gabay of Cinnaminson placed 16th and 23rd Saturday in the Foot Locker Northeast Regional Championships.

Antczak and Gabay finished 8th and 10th among underclassmen over the historic 5,000-meter course at Van Cortlandt Park. Antczak ran 16:02 and Gabay 16:16. The cutoff to make the top 10 and earn a trip to Foot Locker nationals was 15:41.

Jack Stanley of Mendham, the Meet of Champions runner-up, won the race in 15:30, and Liam Murphy of Allentown, third in the M-of-C, was fourth in 15:38. Meet of Champs winner Devin Hart of Point Pleasant also qualified for Foot Locker nationals, placing fifth also in 15:38.

Foot Locker Nationals are scheduled for Dec. 8 at Balboa Park in San Diego.

More results coming as soon as they’re available!

Moorestown’s Natalie Cooper earns All-America honors for TCNJ at NCAA Division 3 nationals!!!!!

Moorestown graduate and College of New Jersey senior Natalie Cooper earned All-America honors with an eighth-place finish in the NCAA Division 3 championships in Oshkosh, Wisc.

Cooper ended her career in style, running 21:14 over 6,000 meters on the Lake Breeze Golf Club course, finishing just 19 seconds behind winner Paige Lawler of Washington University in St. Louis.

She earned All-America honors for the second straight year, becoming the first Lion woman to earn cross country All-America honors in consecutive years since Toms River East graduate Noel Whitall in 1998 and 1999.

Her eighth-place finish was best by a TCNJ woman since Whitall placed second in the 1998 meet. Whitall now teaches in the Brick Township school district.

“Natalie’s goal coming into the season was to place in the top ten at nationals, and she did just that,” TCNJ coach Justin Lindsey said. “She went with the leaders early and never lost contact.”

Ethan Wechsler’s 15:56 makes Cherokee 6th school in state history with 5 sub-16 runners at Holmdel County Park!!!!!

Cherokee joined Haddonfield as only the second South Jersey school with five sub-16 runners at Holmdel Saturday when junior Ethan Wechsler broke the 16-minute plateau at the historic 5,000-meter Holmdel County Park course in Monmouth County.

Wechsler ran 15:56 to place fourth overall and first among South Jersey runners at the 47th annual Meet of Champions.

He’s the first Cherokee runner in 16 years to finish in the top five at Meet of Champs and the third overall. Keith Krieger was second to Mohamed Khadraoui of JFK Patterson in 2002, and Marc Pelerin won the 2001 race.

Wechsler’s previous Holmdel PR was a 16:06 at Shore Coaches. He ran 16:47 at Holmdel last year.

Cherokee and Haddonfield are among only six schools state-wide that have had five runners stop the clock at 15:59 or faster at Holmdel.

The others are Christian Brothers Academy, which has had 13 sub-16 runners, along with North Hunterdon (6), West Windsor-Plainsboro South (6) and Westfield (5).

Cherokee 15:46
15:40 … Shawn Wilson [2012 Group 4]
15:43 … Marc Pelerin [2001 Meet of Champions]
15:45 … Keith Krieger [2002 Group 4]
15:46 … Jack Shea [2015 Meet of Champions]
15:56 … Ethan Wechsler [2018 Meet of Champions]

Haddonfield 15:48
15:41 … Jon Vitez 15:42 MOC 2009
15:42 … Ben Potts 15:43 MOC 2010
15:48 … Chris Platt 15:49 MOC 2001
15:54 … Skip Stiles 15:55 MOC 2001
15:55 … Breton Bonnette 15:56 MOC 2001

There have been 34 South Jersey sub-16 runners at Holmdel since the course was first used in the 1980s.

15:16 … Jason DiJoseph [Paul VI], 1988
15:33 … Josh Clark [Highland], 2015
15:35 … Louis Corgliano [Hammonton], 2013
15:37 … Aaron Groff [Cherry Hill East], 2015
15:38 … Gregory Hughes [Mainland], 2003
15:39 … Luke Petela [Haddon Twp.], 2014
15:40 … Shawn Wilson [Cherokee], 2012
15:40 … Brett Johnson [Ocean City], 2008
15:40 … Steve Maine [Highland], 2013
15:41 … Jon Vitez [Haddonfield], 2009
15:42 … Ben Potts [Haddonfield], 2010
15:42 … Shawn Hutchison [Bishop Eustace], 2014
15:43 … Marc Pelerin [Cherokee], 2001
15:43 … Miles Schoedler [Ocean City], 2010
15:45 … Keith Krieger [Cherokee], 2002
15:46 … Jack Shea [Cherokee], 2015
15:47 … Urie Ridgeway [Bridgeton], 1988
15:48 … Chris Platt [Haddonfield], 2001
15:50 … Mike Myers [Eastern Reg.], 2000
15:51 … Jon Anderson [Cinnaminson], 2003
15:51 … Murad Campbell [Overbrook], 1998
15:54 … Mike Mantini [Gateway], 1978
15:54 … Paul Szulewski [Williamstown], 2010
15:54 … Skip Stiles [Haddonfield], 2001
15:55 … Dominick Munson [Timber Creek], 2014
15:55 … Breton Bonnett [Haddonfield], 2001
15:56 … Kyle Kirk [Camden Catholic], 2012
15:56 … Ethan Wechsler [Cherokee], 2018
15:56 … David Forward [Shawnee], 2008
15:57 … Nate Miller [Highland Reg.], 1998
15:57 … Connor Herr [Shawnee], 2010
15:57 … Michael Ungvarsky [Cinnaminson], 2016
15:59 … Anthony Dentino [Washington Twp.], 2010
15:59 … Robert Edwards [Bridgeton], 2002

Any corrections or omissions, please contact me in the comments section! Thanks!

R.V. graduate Alicia Belko runs away with NCAA Division 2 Atlantic Region title!!!!!

Rancocas Valley graduate Alicia Belko ran away with the individual title Saturday in the NCAA Division 2 Atlantic Region Championships.

Belko, a California of Pennsylvania senior and transfer from Stockton University, covered the 6,000-meter course at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh in 23:24, beating second-place finisher and teammate Alyson Pierce by 150 meters.

Edinboro had five in the top 21 to edge California 64-87 in team scoring, but Belko and her Vulcans  teammates are on their way to the NCAA Division national championships as well.

Belko and Co. will be back on the same Bob O’Connor Golf Course at Schenley Park on Dec. 1 for nationals.

Belko is the second NCAA regional winner in program history. Julie Friend won the title last year.

Belko is working toward her masters in exercise science at California.

At R.V., Belko placed fourth at indoor sectionals in the 3,200 in 11:30.61 and 11th at states but never ran cross country.

Haddonfield places five in top 30 on the way to second place in Meet of Champions!!!!!

Junior Martin Riddell and senior Greg Eisenhower placed 14th and 15th and all five Haddonfield scorers placed in the top 30 (in team scoring) Saturday as the Bulldogs challenged top-ranked CBA before placing second in the 47th annual Meet of Champions.

Riddell and Eisenhower crossed the line together in 16:10. Senior Derek Gess was 36th overall (2oth in team scoring) in 16:36, senior Ethan Spellmeyer took 50th (26th) in 16:48 and junior Stephen Kasko was 51st (27th) in 16:51.

Christian Brothers outscored Haddonfield 68-86. Kingsway and Cherokee placed third and sixth with 164 and 185 points.

The second-place finish was Haddonfield’s best since the 2010 team placed second.

This was the seventh straight year Haddonfield reached the Meet of Champions and the 32nd time in the last 39 years.

Haddonfield has now finished in the top 10 at the Meet of Champions a remarkable 17 times:

1st – 2001
2nd – 2010, 2018
3rd – 2006, 2007
4th – 2008, 2009, 2015
5th – 1989, 2014
6th – 2017
7th – 2013
8th – 1980, 1986
9th – 1990
10th – 1995, 2000

Overall, it was tremendous day for South Jersey individuals, with nine of the top 21 finishers.

Other South Jersey runners in that group were junior Ethan Wechsler of Cherokee (4th in 15:56), Mainland junior Kevin Antczak (8th in 16:01), Cinnaminson junior Austin Gabay (13th in 16:10), Bishop Eustace senior Connor Melko (16th in 16:11), Delsea senior Colin Kane (19th in 16:23) and Camden Catholic senior Richard Castaneda (20th in 16:23), with Kingsway senior Kieran Burns just out of the top 20 in 21st (16:24).

Williamstown’s Mike Dowd of Rowan College [Gloucester County] places second in JUCO nationals!!!!!

step0001.pngWilliamstown High School graduate Mike Dowd, a sophomore at Rowan College Gloucester County, ran 27:18 in wet, cold and windy conditions to place second in the JUCO XC Division 3 nationals.

Dowd finished behind only Daniel Taylor of Sandhills College in Pinehurst, N.C., who ran 26:32 over the 8,000-meter course at Stanley Park in Westfield, Mass.

Dowd placed eighth as a freshman so he’s now a two-time National Junior College Athletic Association All-America.

The versatile Dowd ran 2:01, 4:31 and 9:51 for the Braves and was also a 57.51 intermediate hurdler.

Rowan placed sixth in team scoring with 221 points. Freshmen Noah Cziryak from Triton [19th in 28:34] and Jake Kolodziej of Washington Township [22nd in 28:47] also placed in the top 25 for the Roadrunners.


Connor Melko becomes Bishop Eustace’s first state XC champion in 35 years!!!!!

Connor Melko won his fourth state title Saturday, his first in cross country, when he ran away from the field in the state Parochial B race at Holmdel County Park.

Melko, a Bishop Eustace senior ran 16:50 over the hilly, water-logged 5,000-meter course, beating the field by 22 seconds. Jeremy Bronstein of Dwight Englewood was second, more than 100 meters back.

Melko won state indoor titles in the 800 and 1,600 as a sophomore and in the 1,600 last year.

It had been 35 years since a Bishop Eustace runner won a state title. Paul Rabon won Parochial B in 1982 and 1983.

Eustace placed second in the team race with 103 points, behind only Newark Academy, which won with 54 points.

Melko is the first South Jersey runner to win Parochial B states in 19 years, since John Sheperd of Wildwood Catholic won the 1999 race in 17:25 on the same course.

Tim Callinan of Sacred Heart (1997) and Mike DeLaney of Wildwood Catholic (1998) along with Rabon are the only other South Jersey winners of this race.

Schalick grad Samuel Gerstenbacher punches ticket to NCAA D-3 National Championships!!!!!

Schalick graduate Samuel Gerstenbacher, an Elizabethtown junior, earned a trip to NCAA Division 3 nationals Saturday when he placed seventh in the Mideast Region Championships at DeSales College in Upper Saucon Township, Lehigh County.

Gerstenbacher covered the 8,000-meter course in 26:10, finishing just 15 seconds behind overall winner Harley Moyer of Washington & Jefferson.

The top seven finishers not from teams that qualify for nationals earn at-large bids, so Gerstenbacher will race at NCAA Division 3 nationals at Lake Breeze Golf Club in Oshkosh, Wisc., on Saturday.

Gerstenbacher finished 42nd at regionals as a freshman and 29th last year, so that’s very steady improvement for the Elmer native.

At Schalick, Gerstenbacher ran 4:20.31 for 1,600 meters and 1:56.33 for 800 meters on the track. In XC, he had a terrific senior year, with titles at the Shore Coaches, South Jersey Open and Salem County Championships and a seventh at the state Group 1 meet.