1-2 finish by Nicole Clifford & Kerry O’Day leads Cherokee girls to 2nd straight Burlington County title!!!

Junior Nicole Clifford and freshman Kerry O’Day finished 1st and 2nd and Cherokee placed all seven runners in the top 10 and won its second straight Burlington County Open XC title.

It’s the first time since 2009 and 2010 Cherokee has won consecutive county championships.

Cherokee’s 20 points is the lowest score Cherokee has ever recorded at a Burlington County Open and the lowest by anybody since Moorestown scored 17 in 2001 on its way to winning the Meet of Champions. Cherokee’s previous low score was 36 when the team led by Megan Lacy and Meghan Charbeneau won the 2010 Open.

The only other lower scores are Holy Cross [19 in 1980] and Shawnee’s perfect 15 in 1996, 16 in 1995 and 17 in 1990.

The title is Cherokee’s fifth. The Chiefs also won in 2004, 2009 and 2010.

Clifford ran 19:50 and O’Day 19:53 to lead the way for Cherokee. It was the Chiefs’ second straight 1-2 finish. Last year at Mill Creek Park, since-graduated Kate Rathman won and Clifford was second.

The rest of Cherokee’s pack included sophomore Kelsey Niglio [4th in 20:12], freshman Olivia Parkinson [5th in 20:14], junior Noelle Falzone [8th in 20:49], freshman Alaina Bromley [9th in 20:55] and freshman Allison Rathman [10th in 20:58].

Parkinson has lowered her all-course 5K PR over a minute in her last two races. Falzone also PRd, dipping under 21 minutes for the first time, and Rathman ran a 31-second all-course PR.

Cherokee finished with a 55-point margin of victory over Shawnee, who was second with 75. Moorestown [89] was third and Cinnaminson [98] was fourth.

Sophomore Stephanie Renouf and junior Grace Coller gave Cinnaminson two in the top 10. Renouf ran 20:06 for 3rd and Coller 20:27 for 6th. Moorestown senior Kate Inglis [7th in 20:32] gave the BCSL three in the top 10.

Shawnee, racing without injured Kate Ruona, took second with an incredible 11-second gap separating its five scorers.

Junior Kyra Birdsall, junior Madelyn Valasek, sophomore Sydney Kiernan, junior Madison Koveloski and senior Jillian Anderson placed 13th through 17th in 21:25 through 21:36.

Wassell edges Fortuna, Haddonfield wins first title in 42 years at Camden County meet!!!

Cole Wassell became Highland’s first individual winner in nine years, and Haddonfield won its first team title in 42 years Saturday morning at the Camden County XC Championships.

Wassell ran 16:22, and Haddonfield packed five runners in 28 seconds at the Camden County meet at Timber Creek Park.

Wassell edged Triton junior Dennis Fortuna by 40 meters to become Highland’s first individual winner since Steve Maine won the 2011 race at Gloucester County College.

The 16:22 looks like a 5K all-course XC PR for Wassell, according to the MileSplit database.

For Haddonfield, junior Tobias Janssen took 4th to lead a close Haddonfield pack that all finished between 16:39 and 17:07.

Senior John Hurly was 7th in 16:46, senior Caleb Clevenger 8th in 16:47, sophomore George Andrus 10th in 16:53 and senior Sean Eisenhower 13th in 17:07.

The team title was Haddonfield’s first in the Camden County meet since 1978, when individual winner and Foot Locker finalist Jim Smith led Haddonfield to a 43-50 team victory over Eastern at Pennsauken.

Most years, Haddonfield does not send its varsity to the Camden County meet, instead using the Colonial Conference All-Star Meet as a final tune-up for sectionals, states and the Meet of Champions. But this year, there are no states or M-of-C.

Haddonfield finished with a 42-67 margin of victory over Cherry Hill East, with Haddonfield third at 82.

Fortuna took second in 16:30, the highest finish by a Triton runner since Robert Rawls won the 2010 meet.

Collingswood senior Josh Forrest ran 16:35 for third, and Audubon senior Zachary Williams was fifth in 16:43. 

Williams’ finish was the best by a Audubon runner at the Camden County meet in 39 years, since Bob Douglas ran 15:33 for their at the 1981 meet at Camden County College.

Also in the top 10 were Highland senior Tom Raws [6th in 16:45] and Cherry Hill East senior Gabe Rodriguez [9th in 16:51].

Nico Grilli, Brett Shea lead Cherokee to 7th straight Burlington County title!!!

Seniors Nico Grilli and Brett Shea ran 1-2 to lead Cherokee to its seventh straight Burlington County Open XC title.

It’s also Cherokee’s 19th team title in the last 24 years.

Grilli ran 16:28 and Shea 16:41 over the 5,000-meter course at the Rancocas Valley Athletic Complex in Eastampton.

It was the first time the race was held at a site other than Mill Creek Park in Willingboro in 40 years. It was held at Burlington County College in Pemberton from its inception in 1970 until 1979.

For Cherokee, senior Dylan Odud ran 17:03 for 7th, sophomore Patrick Ditmars 17:17 for 12th and sophomore Conor Jacob 7:24 for 13th.

Cherokee outscored second-place Shawnee 56-35, with Moorestown third with 85 points. 

The second place is Shawnee’s best finish since 2006, when the Renegades won the team title 56-63 over Seneca. Third place is Moorestown’s best team finish since it was second to Cherokee in 2014.

Senior John Ruona led second-place  Shawnee in third with a 16:48, and senior Robert Birdsall [14th in 17:29] and junior Alex Campagna [18th in 17:38] were also in the top 20.

Ruona’s 3rd-place finish is the best by a Shawnee runner at the County Open since Connor Herr won the 2011 race.

Moorestown placed sophomores Paul Kresloff [5th in 17:00] and Colin Shand [8th in 17:13] in the top 10.

Kresloff’s finish is the highest at the County Open by a Moorestown runner since Joe Inglis took 4th in the 2012 race.

Also in the top 10 were junior Rancocas Valley Andre Faigal [4th in 16:55], Cinnaminson sophomore Alex Boyko [6th in 17:01] and Lenape junior Jake Buniva [9th in 17:15] and sophomore Colin Hermack [10th in 17:15].

Brady Shute breaks 16, Kingsway boys race to 9th straight Gloucester County title!!!

Junior Kyle Rakitis placed second to Gateway/Woodbury’s Brady Shute and Kingsway raced to a close team win over West Deptford at the Gloucester County XC Championships.

The title is Kingsway’s ninth in a row.

Shute ran 15:59 over 5,000 meters at West Deptford Park to become the first repeat winner from Gateway since Paul Greenhalgh won the 1983 and 1984 titles.

According to the New Jersey Milesplit venue performance list, Shute’s time broke the course record of 16:15 set by Haddonfield’s Derek Gess at the Colonial Conference All-Star Meet in 2018.

Rakitis ran 16:16 for second, junior Ryan Allen and senior Aidan Smith took 8th and 9th for the Dragons in 17:19 and 17:20. Senior Ethan Gray and junior Thomas Driscoll rounded out Kingsway’s top-5 in 12th and 19th.

Kingsway won a wild four-team battle with 49 points, with West Deptford second with 54, Clearview with 67 and Co-Op Gateway-Woodbury fourth with 68.

It was the closest four-team finish since 1994, when Clearview [83] edged Williamstown and Kingsway [84] by one point, with West Deptford fourth with 96.

Also in the top 10 were Clearview senior Anas Bensaoud [5th in 16:53], Gateway-Woodbury freshman Peyton Shute [6th in 16:57], Williamstown senior Josh Jackson [7th in 17:12] and Gateway-Woodbury sophomore Michael Torelli [10th in 17:29].

Pierontoni, Helkowski lead Kingsway girls to 6th straight Gloucester County title!!!

Sophomore Aubrey Pierontoni and junior Allison Helkowski finished 1st and 2nd, leading the Kingsway girls to their sixth straight Gloucester County XC title.

Pierontoni ran 19:45 and Helkowski 19:56 at West Deptford Park, and Kingsway out-scored second-place Clearview, 25-59. 

Senior Sydney Watts, sophomore Nicole Lipieta and freshman Cassidy Dunk also scored for Kingsway, Watts in 6th in 20:29, Lipieta in 7th in 20:47 and Dunk in 9th in 20:54.

Kingsway had a 69-second gap from its first through fifth runners.

Clearview senior Katherine Byrne and sophomore Abigail Waddington ran 3rd and 5th, Byrne in 20:06 and Waddington in 20:19. Freshman Eleanor Race (12th in 21:22), senior Ava Grelli (19th in 22:16) and sophomore Abigail Kotran (20th in 22:17) also scored for Clearview.

Also in the top 10 were Delsea senior Carly Nicholson [4th in 20:15], West Deptford junior Hope Siner [8th in 20:53] and West Deptford senior Corinne Dorsett [10th in 21:01].

Lily Malone leads Mainland girls to sweep in Cape Atlantic dual meet!

Mainland junior Lily Malone ran 20:03 to lead a 15-50 win over Oakcrest Monday in a Cape Atlantic League dual meet at Mainland.

Mainland, with four freshmen among its top six finishers, swept the top eight spots and improved to 3-0.

Freshman Claudia Booth finished second in 20:35, junior Savannah Hodgens was third in 21:15 and freshmen Gillian Lovett [22:02] and Chloe Malone [22:27] also scored for Mainland.

Sophomore Sydney Luff, freshman Julia Moore and senior Mary Kate Merenich made it eight straight Mustangs across the finish line.

Junior Abigail Tunney was Oakcrest’s first finisher, taking 9th in 23:18.

Naticchia, Weiner, Colflesh lead Haddonfield to mind-blowing 18:33 team average at Pennpacker!!!!!

Haddonfield seniors Sarah Naticchia, Payton Weiner and Allison Colflesh ran three of the fastest times in the long history of the Pennypacker Park 5K course in a Colonial Conference batch meet Tuesday.

Naticchia ran 17:50, Weiner 18:05 and Colflesh 18:21 to move into the No. 3, No. 6 and No. 9 spots on the all-time course list, according to New Jersey MileSplit. 

Haddonfield’s top five averaged an astonishing 18:33, which is a huge course record.

Naticchia’s time trails only Foot Locker finalist Briana Gess [16:57 in 2013] and Olympian Marielle Hall [17:49 in 2008] at Pennypack Park.

It’s Naticchia’s fastest XC 5,000 ever on any course and her first time under 18 minutes. Her previous PR was an 18:18 at the Cougar Invitational at Buck Mill Park in Colts Neck behind Colts Neck’s Lilly Shapiro, the 2019 Meet of Champions runner-up.

Weiner’s 18:05 is her fastest 5K by 15 seconds. She ran 18:20 as a freshman in 2017 at the Colonial Conference All-Star Meet on the same course.

Colflesh’s 18:21 is also an all-course PR. She ran 18:29 as a freshman at that same Colonial Conference All-Star Meet and also at the Cougar Invite last week.

Haddonfield freshman Anne Earp, in only her fourth varsity race, placed fourth in 19:09, a 24-second PR over 19:33 at DREAM Park last week. That 19:09 is No. 19 in course history and 4th-fastest this year by any New Jersey freshman on any course.

Haddonfield’s fifth runner was senior Lindsay Colflesh, who placed sixth in 19:20. Her previous PR was a 19:29 on the same course last month.

Collingswood senior Sophie Steidle, the state Group 2 indoor 1,600 champ, ran 19:12 for fifth.

In all, Haddonfield had eight runners under 20 minutes, and all eight either set or tied their lifetime PRs over 5,000 meters for all XC courses.

Junior Jess Goode ran 19:25, sophomore Sabrina Miller 19:26 and senior Olivia Stoner 19:49. Goode’s previous 5K PR was 19:42 earlier this month, Miller’s was 19:38 earlier this month and Stoner tied her PR set last fall on the same course. 

Haddon Township junior Regan Shemeley also recorded a massive all-course 5K PR with her 19:29. Her previous fastest time was a 20:16 last week. She led Haddon Township to second place in the six-team batch meet.

Six other runners broke 21 minutes: Haddonfield freshmen Ava Thomas [20:18] and Riley Slootsky [20:29], Haddonfield senior Georgia Nussey [20:41], Haddonfield sophomore Helene Usher [20:41], Haddon Heights sophomore Ava Severino [20:46] and Haddonfield freshman Sarah Fetter [20:52].

Haddonfield’s first five freshmen – Earp, Thomas, Slootsky, Fetter and Ava Peifer – averaged 20:48 and placed 4-11-12-16-26 and would have placed if competing as a separate entity. 

West Deptford’s Zack Rhoda edges Haddonfield trio in fast dual meet

West Deptford senior Zack Rhoda edged a pack of three Haddonfield runners in a fast Colonial Conference dual meet Tuesday.

Rhoda ran 16:24, with junior Tobias Janssen, senior Caleb Clevenger and senior Sean Eisenhower crossing the line between 16:25 and 16:31.

Seven runners dipped under 16:45 over the 5,000-meter course at West Deptford Park.

Haddonfield, ranked No. 8 in the state, averaged 16:33 and won 22-37, packing its five scorers within 19 seconds.

West Deptford’ junior Jacob Cobb took 5th in 16:34 before senior John Hurly [16:38] and sophomore George Andrus [16:44] completed Haddonfield’s scoring.

Also in the top 10 were Haddonfield sophomore Ian Romea [8th in 17:28] and West Deptford senior Tommy Thomasson [9th in 17:33] and Zackery Assero [10th in an all-course PR 17:42].

With 5 in the top 10, Paul VI boys race to Olympic Conference National title!!!

Some terrific pack running delivered the Olympic Conference National Division boys XC title to Paul VI Saturday.

Paul VI won with a lineup including two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior, with two sophomores rounding out their pack of seven.

Sophomore Joe Wigginton, freshman Will Mrozinski, sophomore Owen King, freshman Braden Tedesco and junior Adam Boberick all finished between 5th and 10th in the 41-runner field at DREAM Park in Logan Township, and PVI emerged first in a close three-team race.

Paul VI finished with 38 points, Camden Catholic was second with 46 and Bishop Eustace right behind with 54.

The top four runners were Camden Catholic junior Billy Clewell, Eustace juniors Anthony Faust and Ryan Carney and sophomore Braelen Crump from Camden Catholic.

But five of the next six runners were from Paul VI, and they earned the team title without a runner in the top four.

Clewell ran 16:57, finishing 50 meters in front of Faust, who was second in 17:06. Carney ran 17:51 and Crump 17:57 before the wave of Paul VI runners began crossing the line.

Wigginton ran 18:02, Mrozinski 17:04, King 18:26, Tedesco 18:49 and Boberick 18:57. They were broken up only by Camden Catholic Warren Derman, seventh in 18:10.

Only two of the top 21 finishers were seniors.

Cherokee girls place 5 in top 9 and race to Olympic American championship!!!

The Cherokee girls placed all five scorers among the top nine finishers and tallied just 29 points in winning the Olympic Conference American Division XC title Saturday.

Cherokee, ranked No. 15 in the state, packed its top five in 44 seconds, averaging 20:09 over the 5K layout at DREAM Park in Logan Township.

No. 16 Cherry Hill East placed second in the six-team field with 43 points followed by Eastern [92] and Shawnee [95].

Scoring against the field, Cherokee would have been a close second at 26-29.

Cherry Hill East sophomore Alexis Tepper was the overall winner in 19:37, but junior Nicole Clifford and freshman Kerry O’Day took 2nd and 3rd in 19:47 and 19:50 for Cherokee, with sophomore Kelsey Niglio [7th in 20:19] and freshmen Olivia Parkinson [8th in 20:20] and Alaina Bromley [9th in 20:31].

For O’Day, this was her first time under 20 minutes on any course and a PR by 42 seconds. Her time is No. 2 among freshmen in the three years the course has been used, behind Kate Ruona’s 18:32 for Shawnee last year. Parkinson’s time was a 55-second all-course PR.

Also in the top 10 were Washington Township senior Maura Keane [4th in 20:01], Cherry Hill East senior MaryKathleen McCurdy [5th in 20:06], Cherry Hill East junior Madison McNiff [6th in 20:14] and Eastern senior Morgan Bromley 10th in 20:41.

Shawnee’s leading runner was junior Kyra Birdsall [13th in PR 21:11] and Lenape was led by junior Grace Boltz [25th in 22:09].