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.

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