Mainland Regional senior Kevin Antczak won the Varsity A race at Shore Coaches Saturday afternoon in historic fashion.
With a late kick on the final straightaway, Antczak reeled in West Windsor-Plainsboro North senior Nick Johnson and crossed the line in 15:32.
That’s the fastest time by a South Jersey runner in 31 years at Holmdel and second-fastest ever, behind the legendary 15:16 that Jason DiJoseph of Paul VI ran to win the 1988 Meet of Champions.
It’s also No. 17 in course history.
The previous fastest time on Holmdel County Park’s legendary 5,000-meter course by an Atlantic County runner was Louis Corgliano’s 15:35 when he was third behind CBA’s Mike McClemens and Freehold Township’s Dylan Tarpey at the 2013 Meet of Champions.
The previous Mainland course record was Greg Hughes’ 15:39 when he was second to Mohamad Khadraoui of JFK Paterson at the 2003 Meet of Champions.
Antczak’s previous PR at Holmdel was a 16:01 when he was eighth at last year’s Meet of Champions. He ran 16:04 at last year’s Shore Coaches.
Antczak is Mainland’s first winner at Shore Coaches since Hughes won Group B in 2002 and 2003. Kurt Wayton (Group C in 1993) and Scott Keyser (Group C in 1995) also won individual titles for Mainland.
Luke Jackson of West Windsor-Windsor Plainsboro North was also credited with a time of 15:32 when he finished just behind Antczak. And Liam Murphy of Allentown won the Group C race in 15:32. So the three-fastest times in Shore Coaches history came on the same day!
The previous fastest time at Shore Coaches in Holmdel was a 15:33 in 2010 by Jeremy Elkaim of Livingston.
The meet moved from Brookdale Community College in nearby Lincroft to Holmdel County Park in 1979.
Cherry Hill East senior Oliver Adler and Cherokee senior Ethan Wechsler both also finished in the top 10, Adler in fourth in 15:58 and Wechsler in fifth in 16:00.
Adler’s time is second-fastest ever by a Cherry Hill East runner behind only Aaron Groff, whose Holmdel PR was a 15:37 at Group 4 states in 2015, when he was second behind 2016 Meet of Champions 3,200 winner Matt Grossman of Millburn. Wechsler has a 15:56 to his credit from last year’s Meet of Champs.