Wechsler, Miller, Jackson lead Cherokee boys to 9th sectional title!!!

With three runners in the top six, the Cherokee boys won their ninth sectional XC title Saturday and posted the 4th-fastest time ever on Delsea’s 5,000-meter course.

Senior Ethan Wechsler ran 15:18, the 3rd-fastest time of the day and 3rd-fastest in course history, to place second, senior Chase Miller was 4th in 16:00 and senior Tyler Jackson took 6th in 16:11.

On coach Steve Shaklee’s birthday, the Chiefs then placed three more runners between 14th and 20th, with senior Michael Gavio 14th in 16:20, junior Brett Shea 16th in 16:22 and junior Nico Grilli 20th in 16:31. Junior Daniel Boria was 36th in 17:03.

Pete Hess of Toms River North set the course record of 15:18 in 2002. It was broken in the Group 3 race by Mainland’s Kevin Antczak, who ran 15:11, and then surpassed again by Southern’s Jackson Braddock, who won the Group 4 race in 15:15. Wechsler tied Hess for the No. 3 spot.

Wechsler’s time broke the Delsea sectional record for fastest second-place time held by Cherokee’s Keith Krieger, who was second to Hess in 2002 in 15:22.

Cherry Hill East senior Oliver Adler made it three at 15:36 or faster with his third-place finish. That’s the fastest 3rd-place time ever at Delsea in any sectional race. The previous fastest 3rd-place time was 15:37 by Steve Maine of Highland in 2013.

Cherokee outscored Cherry Hill East and Kingsway, 42-80. Cherry Hill East placed second on a 6th-runner tiebreaker. East’s 6th runner placed one spot and 2-10ths of a second ahead of Kingsway’s 6th man.

Cherokee won its first sectional title in 1988, then won four straight from 1997 through 2000. They’ve since won titles in 2007, 2011, 2016 and 2019.

Only Haddonfield (39), Haddon Township (19) and Cinnaminson (11) have won more sectional titles among South Jersey schools.

Cherokee averaged 16:02, 2nd-fastest on Saturday and 4th-fastest in course history.:

15:49 … Mainland Regional, 2003, Group 4 [1st] 4 under 15:46
15:59 … Kingsway, 2017, Group 4 [1st]
16:00 … Haddonfield, 2019, Group 2 [1st]
16:02 … Cherokee, 2019, Group 4 [1st]
16:04 … Cherry Hill East, 2014, Group 4 [1st]
16:08 … Haddonfield, 2009, Group 2 [1st]
16:09 … Toms River North, 2003, Group 4 [2nd]
16:09 … Cherokee, 2016, Group 4 [1st]
16:09 … Haddonfield, 2017, Group 2 [1st]
16:13 … Haddonfield, 2018, Group 2 [1st]
16:16 … Cherry Hill East, 2015, Group 4 [1st]
16:18 … Mainland Regional, 2002, Group 4 [1st]
16:18 … Haddonfield, 2013, Group 2 [1st]
16:18 … Kingsway, 2014, Group 4 [2nd]
16:19 … Kingsway, 2014, SJO-3 [1st]
16:19 … Haddonfield, 2014, Group 2 [1st]
16:19 … Cherokee, 2015, SJO-3 [1st]
16:20 … Toms River North, 2004, Group 4 [1st]
16:20 … Cherokee, 2017, Group 4 [2nd]

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