Riddell, Gostovich tear up Delsea course as Haddonfield wins 16th straight SJ-2 title, advances to states for 44TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

Led by seniors Martin Riddell and Andrew Gostovich, the Haddonfield boys won their 16th consecutive sectional title Saturday, and the Bulldogs did it in record-setting fashion.

Riddell ran 15:33 and Gostovich 15:50 in a 1-2 finish, senior Stephen Kasko was 5th in 16:06 and soph Seth Clevenger 6th in 16:06, giving the Bulldogs four across the line before anybody else had two in. Junior Calev Clevenger ran 16:22 for 9th.

Haddonfield outscored Delsea 23-58 and averaged 16:00 on the 5,000-meter Delsea course, third-fastest in course history and fastest ever by a school outside Group 4.

This will be Haddonfield’s 44th consecutive year racing at states.

Haddonfield has won 39 sectional titles in all, the most of any program in the state. Since 1999, Haddonfield has won 20 of 21 in Group 2, with the only loss coming in 2003, when a Jon Anderson-led Cinnaminson team won 29-46.

Haddonfield also won Group 2 in 1995 and 1996 and Group 1 from 1997 through 1996, so that’s 24 titles in the last 25 years.

The last time Haddonfield didn’t finish first or second was 1994, when they were 3rd in Group 2 behind Pinelands and Haddon Township.

They’ve finished in the top three 38 consecutive years dating back to a 4th-place finish in Group 2 in 1981 behind Clearview, Moorestown and Delran. And they’ve advanced to states 45 straight years since 1975. In 1974 they were 9th at sectionals.

Haddonfield’s streak of 16 consecutive sectional titles is the longest in state history. Ridgewood’s current streak of 10 straight is the next-longest streak in history state-wide. The second-longest streak ever by a South Jersey school is eight straight by Haddon Township from 2008 through 2015 in Group 1.

Haddonfield’s 16:00 average breaks the course record of 16:08 for Group 2 set by Haddonfield in 2009. Haddonfield now owns the six-fastest course averages ever recorded at Delsea in Group 2 and six of the 18 total sub-16:20 averages in course history.

Delsea’s current 5,000-meter layout has been used since for sectionals, the South Jersey Open and the Knights of Columbus Meet (now the Robert Kiessling Invitational) since 2002.

Here’s a look at the fastest course averages ever run at Delsea:

15:49 … Mainland Regional, 2003, Group 4 [1st]
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]
16:19 … Cherry Hill East, 2019, SJ-4 [2nd]
16:20 … Toms River North, 2004, Group 4 [1st]
16:20 … Cherokee, 2017, Group 4 [2nd]

Riddell’s 15:33 is 16th-fastest in course history and makes him third-fastest in Haddonfield history at Delsea, behind Jon Vitez [16:23 in 2009] and Chris Platt [15:24 in 2002] as well as third-fastest ever in a Group 2 race.

Riddell ran 15:49 at Delsea last year. Gostovich becomes the 11th Haddonfield runner under 16 minutes at Delsea. Here’s a look at that list:

15:23 … Jon Vitez [Haddonfield] 2009 SJ-2 [1st]
15:24 … Chris Platt [Haddonfield], 2002 SJ-2 [1st]
15:33 … Martin Riddell [Haddonfield], 2019 SJ-2 [1st]
15:41 … Greg Halla [Haddonfield] 2012 SJ-2 [2nd]
15:49 … Martin Riddell [Haddonfield] 2017 SJ-2 [1st]
15:50 … Greg Pelose [Haddonfield] 2015 SJ-2 [1st]
15:50 … Andrew Gostovich [Haddonfield], 2019 SJ-2 [2nd]
15:54 … Ben Potts [Haddonfield] 2010 SJ-2 [1st]
15:54 … Derek Gess [Haddonfield] 2016 SJ-2 [3rd]
15:58 … Greg Eisenhower [Haddonfield] 2017 SJ-2 [2nd]
15:59 … Matt Nussbaum [Haddonfield] 2010 SJ-2 [2nd]

It wasn’t all Haddonfield.

Brady Shute of Woodbury-Gateway Co-Op had a terrific race, becoming the first runner from Woodbury or Gateway to break 16 minutes at Delsea and placing third, and Delsea senior Noah Deckert also broke up the Haddonfield pack, taking fourth in 16:05, an all-course 5,000 PR for him.

Others in the top 10 included Delsea junior Raja Brooks [7th in 16:20], Collingswood junior Josh Forrest [8th in 16:22] and Delsea junior Dawson Baptiste [10th in 16:30.


2 thoughts on “Riddell, Gostovich tear up Delsea course as Haddonfield wins 16th straight SJ-2 title, advances to states for 44TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

  1. Nick Baker November 10, 2019 / 12:02 pm

    Hi Roob, Thanks for all the interesting articles and info from yesterday’s races. Some more facts of interest from yesterday’s race was that this was the first time ever running the Delsea course for 5 of Haddonfield’s 7 runners. Only Riddell and Kasko have ever raced Delsea before. Riddell is the 5th boy from Haddonfield to make the list of three time sectional winners: Smith 1977-79, Gough 1984-86, Platt 2000-2002, Vitez 207-09, Riddell 2017-10.


    • sjtcaweb November 10, 2019 / 1:47 pm

      Interesting! I guess it’s the kind of course where you can run fast without ever having raced it since it’s so flat there’s not a ton of strategy. But that’s still impressive!


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