Shawnee grad Mark Miller runs 8K PR, places 5th in GMAC Championships for Hillsdale!!!!!

Shawnee grad Mark Miller, a junior Hillsdale College in Michigan, placed 5th in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference XC Championships, earning first-team all-conference honors.

Miller ran a PR 24:49 over the 8,000-meter course at Laurel School Butler Campus in Russell Township, Ohio, about 30 miles east of Cleveland. That’s Miller’s fastest 8,000 time for any course. His previous 8,000 PR was a 25:22 earlier this month in a race at Burke Golf Course in South Bend, Ind.

Miller had placed 16th in the GMAC Championships in each of his first two years at Hillsdale. He was third last spring in the steeplechase and 5,000 at the GMAC Track Championships on his home track in Hillsdale and second in the mile at the indoor GMAC Championships in Findlay, Ohio.

Miller ran 4:16.86 for 1,600 meters at Shawnee.

Teammate Joseph Humes won the race in 24:05, and Miller was the Chargers’ No. 2 runner. Walsh College outscored Hillsdale 35-46 to win the team title. Hillsdale defeated two schools — Malone and Cedarville – that were ranked above them in the most recent Midwest Region poll.

Hillsdale races a week from Saturday at the NCAA Division 2 Midwest Regionals in Evansville, Ind.

With its second-place team finish, Hillsdale went from unranked to No. 8 in the USTFCCA Midwest Region rankings.

Anas Bensauod becomes Clearview’s first Tri-County champ in 30 years! Kingsway edges Delsea for 3rd straight team title!

Junior Anas Bensaoud became Clearview’s first Tri-County Showcase individual winner in 30 years Wednesday.

Bensaoud covered the 5,000-meter course at Cumberland Regional in 15:59, finishing 35 meters ahead of Delsea senior Noah Deckert.

It was his first major county, conference, sectional or invitational title.

Bensaoud, 37th last year in the Meet of Champions, is Clearview’s first individual Tri-County Conference winner since Ted Bamford won the 1989 race.

It was his first time under 16 minutes on any 5,000-meter XC course. His previous fastest time was a 16:12 last fall in the same race on the same course.

Kingsway didn’t have a runner in the top 5 but packed its five scorers in 32 seconds to win its third straight team title.

Kingsway edged Delsea 50-53 in the closest team finish in 14 years, since Highland edged Kingsway 40-41 in the 2005 race at Cumberland.

Sophomore Kyle Rakitis and junior Aidan Smith finished 5th and 6th for Kingsway, both in 16:27, and senior Ayden Magee was 9th in 16:39. Seniors Stone Caraccio [12th in 16:53] and Evan Miles [16th in 16:59] rounded out the Dragons’ scoring five.

Sophomore Andre Littlehales followed Deckert across the line, giving Delsea a 2-3 finish. Jniors Dawson Baptiste and Raja Brooks ran 10th and 11th for the Crusaders in 16:40 and 16:43, and soph Brett Cronk placed 27th in 17:31.

Also in the top 10 were Pennsville senior Dan Wyshinski [4th in 16:15], Triton sophomore Dennis Fortuna [5th in 16:16] and Woodstown senior Xavier Seals [8th in 16:38].

Led by MaryKathleen McCurdy, Cherry Hill East girls win 4th Olympic XC title in 6 years!!!!!

The Cherry Hill East girls packed their five scorers in 61 seconds and won a close three-way battle at the Olympic Conference Championships.

Cherry Hill East won the American Division 35-44 over Cherokee, and Shawnee won the Patriot Division, 24-50, over Seneca.

In the overall meet, Cherry Hill East outscored Cherokee 57-65, with Shawnee third at 73. It’s Cherry Hill East’s fourth title in the last six years and sixth overall. East also won in 2005, 2006, 2014, 2016, 2018.

The Cougars, ranked No. 3 in South Jersey, showed incredible depth, with seven finishers in the top 22.

East had only one of the first 10 finishers but four of the next seven.

Junior MaryKathleen McCurdy led East in 4th place in 19:04, behind only Cherokee three-time winner Kate Rathman [18:26] and freshman Kate Ruona [18:32] and senior Claire Hauser [18:59] of Shawnee.

Shawnee and Cherokee both had three across before East’s No. 2, but East runners packed together in 11th, 12th and 13th to wrap up the team title.

Sophomore Madison McNiff ran 11th [19:45], freshman Alexis Tepper 12th [19:56] and senior Aliza Kotzen 13th [20:00] for East, with junior Isabel Slimm [17th in 20:06] clinching the title.

The 16-point gap between first and third makes this the closest three-way finish in Olympic Conference girls XC history. The previous closest three-way finish was a 17-point gap in 2014, when Cherry Hill scored 44, Cherokee 53 and Washington Township 61.

Since placing sixth at Shore Coaches, Rathman has finished first in the South Jersey Open, Burlington County Open and Olympic Conference Championships.

Rathman became the first three-time winner in meet history.

Previous two-time winners:

Eva Marie Berardi [Williamstown], 1978, 1979
Michelle Rowen [Washington Twp.], 1981, 1982
Claudine Evangelista [Triton], 1998, 1999
Theresa Cattuna [Cherry Hill East], 2005, 2006
Caitlin Orr [Lenape], 2008, 2009
Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2010, 2011

Olivia Shafer is overall winner, Ocean City girls win again at Cape-Atlantic XC meet!!!

Ocean City packed five runners in the top 10 and rolled to a 27-62 win over Mainland Regional Thursday in the Cape-Atlantic XC Championships. It was the Red Raiders’ third straight CAL title.

Egg Harbor senior Olivia Shafer was the overall winner, covering the 5,000-meter course at Millville in 18:57. It was Shafer’s second straight CAL XC title.

But five of the next nine finishers were from Ocean City.

Junior Alexa Palmieri and senior Casey McLees finished 2nd and 3rd in 19:34 and 19:53, senior Rebecca Millar ran 20:57 for 6th, junior Erin Hanlon was 8th in 21:15 and senior Emma Sardy ran 21:20 for 10th.

Junior Isabella Padula [16th in 21:45] and senior Reghan Handley [18th in 21:46] made it seven Red Raiders in the top 18.

Ethan Wechsler’s course record leads tight Cherokee pack to Olympic Conference title!!!!!

Ethan Wechsler broke his own course record at DREAM Park and the Cherokee boys won their fifth straight Olympic Conference American Division XC title and fourth straight overall title, their 12th overall.

Cherokee, ranked No. 1 in South Jersey and 3 in the state, outscored Cherry Hill East 21-38 to win the American Division.

This is the fourth straight year and ninth time in the last 19 years a Cherokee runner has won the individual title at the Olympic Conference meet.

Wechsler covered the 5,000-meter course in Logan Township in 15:12, and senior Chase Miller, junior Nico Grilli and senior Tyler Jackson packed 3rd through 5th from 16:04 to 16:07. Senior Michael Gave was 8th overall in 16:27.

According to the MileSplit database, the previous course record of 15:52 was set by Connor Melko of Bishop Eustace in last year’s Olympic Conference meet.

Cherokee averaged 16:00 for its five scorers, which is blazing even on a downhill course.

In all, Cherokee had nine of the first 20 finishers, all nine running 17:16 or faster.

Cherry Hill East, No. 3 in South Jersey, went 2-6-7-9-14 and averaged 16:23. Cherokee and Cherokee had six runners across the line and Cherry Hill East four across the line before the first runner from another school finished.

Also for Cherokee, junior Brett Shea placed 10th in 16:33 and junior Daniel Boria was 13th in 16:49.

Conor Jacob ran 17:02 for 18th and was the top freshman in the race. According to the MileSplit database, his 17:02 is a course record for freshmen, breaking the mark of 17:11 set by Boria two years ago at the South Jersey Shootout.

Senior Robert Hackney took 20th overall in 17:16, and sophomore Joseph Natoli and senior Matthew Campbell also ran sub-18, Natoli 28th in 17:44 and Campbell 31st in 17:52.

East senior Oliver Adler ran 15:54 for 2nd behind Wechsler. Junior teammates Aidan Eyre and Gabe Rodriguez took 6th and 7th in 16:20 and 16:21, and sophomore Ethan Anderer gave East four of the top nine at16:28. Sophomore Dylan Hagan ran 16:52 for 14th for East.

East showed its incredible depth, placing 11 runners in the top 26. Junior Aidan Goff, senior Paul Bruce, senior Maxwell Haught, sophomore Jacob Cheng, junior Mason Bulicki and freshman Michael McCurdy all finished between 16th and 26th and ran between 16:58 and 17:41.

The top non-Cherokee or Cherry Hill East finishers were Lenape senior Matt Richardson [11th in 16:37], Washington Township senior Jayden Greene [12th in 16:48] and Washington Township junior Cole Kolodziej [15th in 16:56].

Overall, Cherokee and Cherry Hill East runners accounted for 22 of the first 31 spots.

Camden Catholic won the National Division, 31-45, over Bishop Eustace, and Shawnee won the American, 37-43, over Timber Creek. The other individual winners were Shawnee senior William Pellegrino [16:43] and Eustace senior Shane Vostenak [16:50].

Scored unofficially as a merge among the three divisions, Cherokee wins 21-41 over Cherry Hill East, with Washington Township [157], Shawnee [161], Timber Creek [172] and Camden Catholic [174] all finishing within 17 points of one another.

Doane Academy wins BCSL Independence XC race, first XC conference title in school’s 181-year history!!!!!

Connor McHugh, Doug Soriano and Trent Post placed 4th, 5th and 6th to lead Doane Academy to the first conference XC title in school history.

Doane Academy, located along the Delaware River in Burlington City, just north of the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, outscored Palmyra 34-35 to win the Independence Division race at the BCSL meet at New Egypt Wednesday afternoon.

Doane Academy is in its first year in the BCSL. It was admitted this year to the conference along with STEM Civics Charter School of Ewing.

The BCSL is now comprised of 22 schools and split into four divisions. This was the first year the Independence Division was contested along with the Liberty, Patriot and Freedom.

Doane Academy, dating back to 1837, is one of New Jersey’s oldest high schools. The school has fielded a XC team off and on over the years but has never belonged to an official conference. The school was admitted into the NJSIAA in 2012.

On Wednesday, Palmyra went 1-2 in the Independence race, with sophomore Dominic Belton and junior Pat McCarron. Riverside senior Nils Fontaine was third, but Doane packed its five scorers between 4th and 11th.

Backing up McHugh, Soriano and Post were junior Frank Paz in 8th and senior Hasan Pyarali in 11th. Sixth man Jimmy Zhang took 12th.

Freshman Kate Ruona leads unprecedented 1-2-3 Shawnee sweep, and Renegades win Olympic Patriot title!!!!

Freshman Kate Ruona led a 1-2-3 Shawnee sweep, and the Renegades won the Olympic Conference Patriot Division title, 24-50, over Seneca.

Ruona ran an all-course 5,000 PR of 18:32 over 5,000 meters at DREAM Park in Logan Township, and senior teammates Claire Hauser and Isabella Turner took second and third, Hauser in 18:59 and Turner in 19:24.

Ruona’s time is fastest at the new DREAM Park layout by a freshman and was second-fastest of the three division races Wednesday, behind only Kate Rathman’s 18:26 to win the American Division race.

It’s the first time Shawnee has gone 1-2-3 since the Renegades joined the Olympic Conference in the early 1990s.

Freshman Sydney Kiernan and sophomore Madison Kovelovski placed 8th and 10th for Shawnee in 20:59 and 21:24.

Scoring Shawnee against the field, the Renegades win 24-31.

Seneca was led by junior Emma Klouchek in 4th [19:41], senior Chelsea Richards in 7th [20:57] and senior Morgan Hough in 9th [21:03].

Also in the top 10 were sophomore Vanessa Marinero and freshman Juliana Grasso of Timber Creek in 5th and 6th, both running 20:43.

Rathman, Clifford go sub-19 and lead Cherokee girls to their first BurlCo XC title in 9 years!!!

Senior Kate Rathman ran the second-fastest time in course history, and sophomore Nicole Clifford wasn’t far behind, and their 1-2 finish led the Cherokee girls to their first Burlington County Open XC title in nine years.

Rathman ran 18:45 and Clifford 18:57 in the first 1-2 Cherokee finish in meet history, and the Lady Chiefs outscored Shawnee 39-49 for their fourth team title.

Rathman also became the third Cherokee girl to win back-to-back County Open XC titles. Monica Olkowski won in 1988 and 1989 and Megan Lacy in 2010 and 2011.

Rathman’s 18:45 lowered her PR on the 5,000-meter Mill Creek Park layout by nine seconds. Only Lacy’s 17:53 from 2010 is faster in course history.

Rathman’s 18:54 is 8th-fastest in course history and makes her the 4th-fastest girl on the course, behind only Lacy, Rathman and Shawnee’s Deanna Germano in 1985.

The same basic course has been used since 1985, although there have been minor changes that have made it faster. The meet was held at Cherokee from 1994 through 1998.

Cherokee previously won Burlco XC titles in 2004, 2009 and 2010.

Senior Alyssa Blackmon and freshman Kelsey Niglio placed 9th and 10th overall for Cherokee in 20:33 and 20:34, and junior Kayla Adams made it five across the line in 17th place at 21:21.

They were backed up very closely with seniors Riley Gleason and Jaden Sweely, who placed 20th and 21st in 21:39 and 21:40.

The Shawnee trio of freshman Kate Ruona and seniors Isabella Turner and Claire Hauser went 3-4-5, Ruona setting a freshman course record of 18:58 [more on that later], Turner in 19:20 and Hauser in 19:27.

Also in the top 10 were Seneca junior Emma Klouchek [6th in 20:08], Cinnaminson senior Brooke Adams [7th in 20:12] and Northern sophomore Keira Mansure [8th in 20:23].

Here’s a look at all the 1-2 finishes in meet history:

2019: Cherokee – Kate Rathman [18:45], Nicole Clifford [18:57]
2016: Shawnee – Isabella Turner [19:18], Kara Bonner [19:30]
2001: Moorestown – Meghan Hughes [19:29], Colleen Hughes [20:03]
2000: Moorestown – Kelsey Rinehart [19:48], Julia Kuder [20:01]
1996: Shawnee – Lisa Setter [19:16], Nikki Thiemann [19:33]
1995: Shawnee – Karen O’Neil [19:22], Lisa Setter [19:37]
1994: Shawnee – Liz Moore [18:15], Karen O’Neil [18:34] (short course)
1993: Shawnee – Liz Moore [19:23], Karen O’Neil [20:00]
1987: Rancocas Valley – Bonnie Stemmer [20:37], Kris Miragliuolo [20:48]
1986: Shawnee – Lisa Syvertson [19:09], Chris Danks [19:57]
1985: Shawnee – Deanna Germano [18:54], Chris Danks [20:01]
1984: Shawnee – Michelle DiMuro [19:32], Deanna Germano [19:54]
1982: Shawnee – Sue Walker [19:03], Michelle DiMuro [19:24]
 17:53 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2010
18:45 … Kate Rathman [Cherokee], 2019
18:53 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2011
18:54 … Katie Rathman [Cherokee], 2018
18:54 … Deanna Germano [Shawnee], 1985
18:55 … Isabella Turner [Shawnee], 2017
18:56 … Caitlin Orr [Lenape], 2009
18:57 … Nicole Clifford [Cherokee], 2019
18:58 … Natalie Ocasio [Lenape], 2012
18:58 … Kate Ruona [Shawnee], 2019
19:02 … Kate Rathman [Cherokee], 2017
19:04 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2009
19:05 … Caitlin Orr [Lenape], 2008
19:07 … Mara Schiffhauer [Seneca], 2013
19:09 … Lisa Syvertson [Shawnee], 1986
19:14 … Paige McCauley [Seneca], 2012
19:16 … Kara Bonner [Shawnee], 2013
19:16 … Jenna Darcy [Shawnee], 1999
19:17 … Natalia Ocasio [Lenape], 2010
19:18 … Lisa Burkholder [Cherokee], 2005
19:18 … Isabella Turner [Shawnee], 2016
19:19 … Mara Schiffhauer [Seneca], 2012
19:19 … Joey Webb [Seneca], 2013
19:19 … Claire Hauser [Shawnee], 2017
19:20 … Genevive Cickacage [Moorestown], 20153
19:20 … Isabella Turner [Shawnee], 2019

Schalick grad Sam Gerstenbacher of Elizabethtown records huge 8,000 PR, #2 in conference history!!!!!

Samuel Gerstenbacher PR’d again Saturday, running the second-fastest 8,000-meter run on any course by a Landmark Conference runner.

Gerstenbacher, an Elizabethtown senior from Schalick, ran 24:30 over 8,000 meters in the Inter-Regional Border Battle hosted by Rowan at DREAM Park in Logan Township, only about 25 miles from his hometown of Pittsgrove Township.

Gerstenbacher’s previous 8,000 PR on any course was 24:54 at the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh two weeks ago.

The only faster 8,000 ever by a Landmark Conference runner was registered by Dillon Farrell of Moravian in 2014. Farrell, from North Wales, Bucks County, ran 24:24 when he placed 17th at the NCAA Division 3 Championships at the Golf Center at King’s Island in Mason, Ohio.

Gerstenbacher placed 8th overall Saturday in a field of 256 runners.

Gerstenbacher is off until Nov. 2, when he races in the Landmark Conference meet at Colmar Manor (Md.) Park.

After placing fourth in the conference meet as a freshman, Gerstenbacher has won it the last two years.

The only three-time winner in meet history is Paul Thistle of Susquehanna in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Thistle, a graduate of Wissahickon High School in Lower Gwynedd Township, Montgomery County, went on to win the 2013 Penn Relays Olympic Development steeplechase.


Ocean City girls win 10th straight Cape May County meet with near-sweep broken up by Middle Twp. freshman!!!

Sofia Jurusz of Middle Township broke up an Ocean City sweep with a fifth-place finish, but the Red Raiders still scored a near-perfect 16-69 win over Middle in the Cape May County Championships Friday.

Senior Casey McLees ran 19:02 to win the 5,000-meter race at the Cape May Zoo in Lower Township.

Junior Alexa Palmieri, senior Rebecca Millar and senior Emma Sardy completed the Ocean City sweep of the first four spots, Palmieri in 19:29, Millar in 20;16 and Sardy in 20:22. Junior Erin Hanlon placed sixth in 20:34.

Ocean City junior Isabella Padula and senior Reghan Handley both also finished in the top 10, giving the Red Raiders seven of the top nine finishers. Padula was 8th in 21:16 and Handley 9th in 21:19.

Jurusz ran 20:26 for fifth, her fastest time this year on any 5,000-meter course.

Also in the top 10 were junior Lindsay Robbins [7th, 20:49] and senior Jayne Seitz [10th in 21:26] of Cape May VoTech in Middle Township.

The team title is Ocean City’s 10th in a row and 30th in the last 33 years. Wildwood Catholic won in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

It’s the 22nd time the Red Raiders have scored fewer than 20 points in winning the county title.

Let’s take a look at Ocean City’s most frequent winning scores:

15 points: 11 times [1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2002, 2014]
16 points: 2 times [2003, 2019]
17 points: 3 times [2004, 2013, 2005]
18 points: 3 times [1990, 1995, 2015]
19 points: 3 times [1996, 2012, 2017]
20 points 1 time [1999]
22 points: 1 time [2016]
25 points: 2 times [2010, 2011]
27 points: 1 time [2000]
28 points: 2 times [1998, 1999]
29 points: 1 time [2018]
32 points: 1 time [1997]