Shaelan McNally, Katie Sparks lift Paul VI girls to Olympic National team title!!!

Freshman Shaelan McNally and senior Katie Sparks finished 1st and 3rd to lead the Paul VI girls to the Olympic Conference National Division team title Saturday.

McNally ran 20:12 over 5K at DREAM Park in Logan Township, winning by about 165 meters over Eustace sophomore Arianna Cane, second in 20:52. Sparks ran 21:03 for third.

Paul VI also packed freshmen Gisella Croge and Madison Pedicelli and junior Kaitlyn McDonald 8th, 9th and 10th to round out their top-5, Croge in 22:20 and Pedicelli and McDonald with all-course 5K PRs of 22:58 and 23:07.

Paul VI finished with a 31-47 win over second-place Bishop Eustace, with Camden Catholic third at 64.

Also placing in the top-10 in the five-team race were freshman Carly Troy of Bishop Eustace [4th with 5K PR 21:15], Camden Catholic sophomore Casey Bednarek [5th in 21:48], Eustace sophomore Elena Cicchini [6th in 22:00] and Seneca senior Emma Daniels [7th in 22:16].

Aidan Groff leads Cherry Hill East to 3-point win in Olympic Conference American!!!!!

Senior Aidan Groff ran 16:05, and Cherry Hill East packed its five scorers in 49 seconds to win the Olympic Conference American Division XC title Saturday.

Cherry Hill East finished with a 42-45 advantage over Cherokee at DREAM Park in Logan Township, and Washington Township was third with 59 points. 

The 16:05 is an all-course 5K personal best for Groff, who ran 16:10 earlier this month at Buck Mill Park in Colts neck. His previous PR was 16:17, also earlier this month.

Groff moves up to No. 8 in course history and No. 2 in Cherry Hill East history, behind Oliver Adler’s 15:54 at last year’s Olympic Conference meet.

Senior Gabe Rodriguez was 5th in 16:23 and senior Aidan Eyre 10th in 16:37. East juniors Dylan Hagan [12th in 16:38] and Ethan Anderer [14th in 16:54] also scored, and 6th man sophomore Michael McCurdy was 15th in 16:55.

Seniors Nico Grillo and Brett Shea and sophomore Conor Jacob ran 2nd, 6th and 7th for Cherokee in 16:07, 16:24 and 16:33. 

Dylan Odud and Patrick Ditmars rounded out Cherokee’s pack, Odud in 13th in 16:52 and Ditmars 17th in 17:00. 

Jacob’s time was an all-course 5K PR by 28 seconds and Ditmars’ by 16 seconds.

Also in the top 10 were Washington Township senior Julian Lawson [3rd, 16:11, 18-second all-course PR], Shawnee senior John Ruona [4th, 16:14], Washington Township senior Cole Kolodziej [8th in 16:33] and Minuteman junior Chris Colavita [9th in 16:37, 22-second all-course PR].

Here’s what the all-time course top-10 should look like after the race:

15:12 … Ethan Wechsler [Cherokee], 2019

15:52 … Connor Melko [Bishop Eustace], 2018

15:53 … Brady Shute [Co-op Gateway/Woodbury], 2019

15:54 … Oliver Adler [Cherry Hill East], 2019

16:01 … Nico Grilli [Cherokee], 2020

16:01 … Chris Spisak [Cherokee], 2018

16:04 … Chase Miller [Cherokee], 2019

16:05 … Adan Groff [Cherry Hill East], 2020

16:07 … Tyler Jackson [Cherokee], 2019

16:10 … Jake Aylmer [Haddon Twp.], 2019

Renouf, Coller lead Cinnaminson girls to big dual meet win over Moorestown!

Sophomore Stephanie Renouf and junior Grace Coller swept the top two spots for Cinnaminson in a close BCSL dual meet win over Moorestown.

Cinnaminson went 1-2-5-9-10 to edge Moorestown by one point, 27-28. Moorestown finished 3-4-6-7-8.

Renouf ran 20:41 and Coller 20:50, but Moorestown had five of the next six finishers and got five across the line before Cinnaminson’s 4th. 

Seniors Kate Inglis [21:01], Anu Bezwada [21:15] and Maggie Goettle [21:49] all ran sub-22 for the Quakers and finished 3rd, 4th and 6th, and freshman Mary Laufer and senior Leah Rivenburg were just behind in 7th and 8th.

Junior Grace Ringer was Cinnaminson’s third runner with a 21:31 for 5th, and junior Erin Dolan was 9th and senior Morgan Wait 10th to clinch the team win.

Cinnaminson and Moorestown both also scored against Burlington Township, which didn’t field a full team but had sophomore Maeve Timms in 9th overall among the Cinnaminson and Moorestown runners.

Haddonfield boys run 58-second pack, take 4th in loaded Colt Invite!!!

The Haddonfield boys packed their five runners under a minute and placed fourth in a loaded field Wednesday at the star-studded Colt Invite.

Racing some of the top teams in the state, Haddonfield – ranked No. 8 in the state – scored 92 points with a 13-15-16-21-27 pack.

Haddonfield averaged 17:09 for its five scorers.

Eliminating one individual runner, senior Caleb Clevenger led the way for Haddonfield in 14th place in 16:49 over the legendary 5,000-meter Holmdel County Park course, with senior John Hurly and sophomore George Andrus just behind in 16th and 17th with 16:59 and 17:00.

A few spots back, junior Tobias Janssen was 22nd in 17:08, and Haddonfield’s fifth runner Wednesday was sophomore Ian Romea, 28th in 17:48.

No. 1 CBA won with 35 points, with No. 2 Ridge second at 61 and No. 6 Colts Neck just ahead of Haddonfield at 89.

With Shore Coaches, states and the Meet of Champions all cancelled this year, the Colt Invite was the only high school race scheduled for Holmdel County Park, home of the Meet of Champions since 1976 and states since 1979.

The Haddonfield girls, ranked No. 2 in the state, won the girls race. You can read about that here.

Haddonfield girls run #2 all-time S.J. Holmdel average in roaring to Colt Invite team championship!!!!!

Haddonfield made a case for itself as the top girls XC team in the state Wednesday, roaring to a commanding win in the Colt Invitational.

With five of the state’s top-20 teams in the field, No. 2-ranked Haddonfield went 2-3-4-11-14 to top second-place and No. 8-ranked Colts Neck 30-54. No. 3 Middletown South was third with 58 points. No. 1 Ridgewood did not compete.

Haddonfield averaged 19:43 on the legendary 5,000-meter Holmdel County Park course.

That’s the second-fastest average ever by a South Jersey school at Haddonfield behind only the 2013 Haddonfield team that averaged 19:35 at the Meet of Champions with overall winner Briana Gess [17:45], Shelby Cain [19:37], Alexa Gostovich [19:55], Julia Fonshell [20:17] and Meg Schroeder [20:25].

Kingsway averaged 19:45 at the 2017 Meet of Champions and Shawnee 19:49 at the 2013 M-of-C.

Colts Neck junior Lily Shapiro, second in the Meet of Champions 1,600 last winter and a top-10 Meet of Champions finisher last fall, ran 18:42 for the win.

But Haddonfield swept the next three spots, with seniors Sarah Naticchia, Payton Weiner and Allison Colflesh running 18:57, 19:08 and 19:34. Senior Lindsay Colflesh and sophomore Sabrina Miller ran 20:31 and 20:36 for 11th and 14th.

Naticchia’s 18:57 is a Holmdel PR. Her previous best on the historic layout was 19:03, when she placed 15th at last year’s Meet of Champions.

Weiner, Allison Colflesh and Lindsay Colflesh all shattered  their Holmdel PRs. Weiner took six seconds off her 19:13 from last year’s Meet of Champions and Colflesh shaved 31 seconds off her 20:05 from the same race. Lindsey Colflesh’s previous Holmdel PR was 20:33 at last year’s Shore Coaches.

Miller, a first-year XC runner, was racing at Holmdel for the first time.

Without a Shore Coaches, state meet or Meet of Champions, this was the only invitational scheduled this fall at Holmdel County Park.

Naticchia’s 18:57 is No. 7 on the all-time Haddonfield list at Holmdel. Haddonfield’s all-time Holmdel average of 18:18 is fastest in course history. That list includes Gess [17:45], Olympian Marielle Hall [18:17], Vanessa Wright [18:22], Olympian Erin Donohue [18:27] and Cain [18:41].

Haddonfield’s Holmdel B team now includes Meghan Malloy [18:50], Naticchia [18:57], Weiner [19:08], Allison Colflesh [19:34] and Elizabeth Sikkema [19:49]. Naticchia, Weiner and Allison Colflesh lowered the B team average from 19:21.6 to 19:15.6 and moved Haddonfield B up from 66th-fastest Holmdel team average to 53rd.

Only North Hunterdon, Ridgewood, Voorhees, Bernards and Randolph have faster all-time Holmdel B teams.

Here’s a look at every South Jersey girl that’s ever run 19 minutes or faster at Holmdel!

Here’s a look at every South Jersey girl that’s run 19 minutes or faster at Holmdel. If you see anybody missing, let me know!

17:27 … Megan Venables [Highland Reg.], 2010
17:40 … Michelle Rowen [Washington Twp.], 1982
17:44 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2008
17:45 … Megan Venables [Highland Reg.], 2010
17:45 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2013
17:50 … Megan Venables [Highland Reg.], 2010
17:52 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2010
17:52 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2009
17:55 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2009
17:55 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2010
17:55 … Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland], 2016
17:58 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2008
18:01 … Megan Venables [Highland Reg.], 2009
18:01 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2008
18:02 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2009
18:07 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2007
18:07 … Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland], 2016
18:08 … Holly Bischof [Bishop Eustace], 2010
18:09 … Holly Bischof [Bishop Eustace], 2010
18:11 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2010
18:12 … Brittany Sedberry [Ocean City], 2004
18:12 … Holly Bischof [Bishop Eustace], 2011
18:12 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2011
18:13 … Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland], 2015
18:14 … Megan Venables [Highland], 2009
18:15 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2013
18:16 … Marielle Hall [Haddonfield], 2009
18:17 … Marielle Hall [Haddonfield], 2009
18:18 … Theresa Cattuna [Cherry Hill East], 2006
18:18 … Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland], 2017
18:18 … Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland], 2016
18:19 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2007
18:19 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2011
18:20 … Devin Grisbaum [Ocean City], 2014
18:20 … Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland], 2015
18:21 … Holly Bischof [Bishop Eustace], 2010
18:21 … Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland], 2014
18:22 … Vanessa Wright [Haddonfield], 2004
18:23 … Vanessa Wright [Haddonfield], 2005
18:24 … Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2007
18:25 … Brittany Sedberry [Ocean City], 2004
18:25 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2015
18:26 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2011
18:27 … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 2000
18:28 … Grace Yoon [Cherry Hill East], 2016
18:20 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2011
18:29 … Rachel Vick [Kingsway], 2016
18:29 … Vanessa Wright [Haddonfield], 2005
18:30 … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 1999
18:33 … Devon Grisbaum [Ocean City], 2014
18:35 … Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland Reg.], 2014
18:35 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2016
18:36 … Michelle Rowen [Washington Twp.], 1981
18:36 … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 1997
18:36 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2013
18:38 … Casey Doyle [Shawnee], 2007
18:38 … Megan Venables [Highland], 2008
18:40 … Mindy Rowand [Sterling], 1984
18:40 … Dina Iacone [Washington Twp.], 2011
18:41 … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 2000
18:41 … Shelby Cain [Haddonfield], 2011
18:41… Theresa Catuna [Cherry Hill East], 2006
18:41 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2015
18:41 … Rachel Vick [Kingsway], 2016
18:43 … Amanda Goetschius [Delsea], 2005
18:43 … Brittany Sedberry [Ocean City], 2003
18:43 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2014
18:43 … Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2016
18:44 … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 1999
18:44 … Arianna McKinney [Highland], 2003
18:45 … Holly Bischof [Bishop Eustace], 2010
18:46… Theresa Catuna [Cherry Hill East], 2005
18:46 … Holly Bischof [Bischof Eustace], 2011
18:47 … Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2009
18:48 … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 1999
18:49 … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 1998
18:49 … Casey Doyle [Shawnee], 2007
18:49 … Meghan Malloy [Haddonfield], 2011
18:49 … Mara Schiffhauer [Seneca], 2013
18:49 … Olivia Shafer [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2019
18:50 … Dawn Cody [Paul VI], 1982
18:50 … Jamie Weisgerber [Woodstown], 1994
18:50 … Meghan Malloy [Haddonfield], 2011
18:50 … Megan Venables [Highland], 2008
18:51 … Jamie Weisgerber [Woodstown], 1994
18:51 … Amanda Goetschius [Delsea], 2006
18:52 … Lisa Burkholder [Cherokee], 2004
18:52 … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 2000
18:53 … Renee Tomlin [Ocean City], 2005
18:53 … Marielle Hall [Haddonfield], 2008
18:54 … Mindy Rowand [Sterling], 1984
18:54 … Madison Coppolino [Sterling], 2017
18:55 … Brittany Sedberry [Ocean City], 2003
18:55 … Olivia Shafer [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2019
18:56 … Arianna McKinney [Highland], 2004
18:57 … Michelle Rowen [Washington Twp.], 1981
18:57 … Lori Watson [Cherry Hill East], 1983
18:57 … Sarah Naticchia [Haddonfield], 2020
18:58 … Abbey Hartman [Ocean City], 1996
18:58 … Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 1998
18:58 … Arianna McKinney [Highland], 2003
18:59 … Monique Purcell [Holy Spirit], 1978
18:59 … Wendy Westphal [Highland], 1982
18:59 … Amanda Goetschius [Delsea], 2005
18:59 … Megan Venables [Highland], 2007
18:59 … Kara Bonner [Shawnee,], 2015
18:59 … Alyssa Condell [Timber Creek], 2016
19:00 … Katie Van Horn [Triton], 2004
19:00 … Caitlin Orr [Lenape], 2009
19:00 … Holly Bischof [Bishop Eustace], 2009

Princess Nwoga leads the way for Highland with 5K PR!

Junior Princess Nwoga ran a PR 20:04 and Highland placed four in the top six to win a close dual meet with Schalick at Camden County College in Gloucester Township.

Nwoga’s time was a huge 5K all-course PR, 47 seconds faster than she ran a week earlier in a dual meet on the same course.

She won by more than a minute over senior Julia Smith of Schalick, the South Jersey Group 1 champ both in the 1,600 last year and in XC.

Highland went 1-3-5-6-8, winning by a 23-33 margin.

For Highland, sophomore Grace Wassell placed third, senior Kate Goodman fifth, junior Heather Mattern 6th and sophomore Calista Jaensch eighth. 

Schalick’s top group also included junior Mia LaMarra in 4th, senior Chloe Gerstenbacher in 7th, junior Autumn Heaton in 9th and senior Tia Furbush in 11th. 

I want your XC dual meet results!!!

It’s a different sort of year, with no XC invitationals, no states, no Meet of Champions, no Nike, no Foot Locker and limited conference and county meets.

Thankfully we’ll have sectionals and it looks like some counties and conferences will hold championship meets, but there’s a new emphasis on dual meets this year because that’s really the only chance most runners will have to race with one or two exceptions.

I would love to run more dual meet results on the site, but I can’t do it if I don’t get them. So feel free to send me your dual meet results at FromTheBackstretch@gmail.com and I’ll get to as many of them as I can.

Thanks for your support!

Haddonfield’s freshmen girls sweep top three spots in dual meet victory!!!

Haddonfield’s Anne Earp ran a 5K PR Tuesday in a dual meet with Haddon Heights at Pennypacker Park.

Earp ran 19:33, lowering her all-course XC 5,000 personal-best from 19:44, which she ran two weeks ago on the same course. Her time is 12th-fastest by a freshman at Pennpacker, which has been in use for Colonial Conference meets for at least 15 years.

Freshman Ava Thomas ran 20:53 and freshman Riley Slootsky 20:59 as Haddonfield, racing without several of its regular runners, swept the top three spots. Thomas and Slootsky also both ran their fastest 5K times this year.

Sophomore Ava Severino was Haddon Heights’ first finisher, placing fourth in 21:20, six seconds faster than her previous 5,000 all-course PR.

Also scoring for Haddonfield were senior Georgia Nussey [5th in 21:29] and freshman Sarah Fetter [6th in 21:57].

Haddonfield won 17-45.

Shawnee boys pack 5 in 30 seconds at Olympic Conference batch meet!

Camden Catholic junior Billy Clewell led the way in a five-team Olympic Conference batch Saturday cruising to a 17:32 at DREAM Park in Logan Township.

Clewell, who ran 16:24 at DREAM Park last week, finished 12 seconds ahead of Cherokee freshman Nick Kuenkel, who was second in 17:44.

Team scoring was not kept and several top runners did not compete, but Shawnee went 4-5-10-11-12 and would have won with 42 points over Cherokee’s 46. Shawnee packed its first five in 30 seconds.

Sophomore Ryan Czechowski [17:58] and freshman Ryan Kaczur [18:15] led Shawnee in 4th and 5th, with seniors Robert Birdsall, Dylan Hansen and John Ruona all finishing together in 18:28.

Also in the top 10 were Eustace junior Anthony Faust [3rd in 17:50], Cherokee freshman Andrew Free [6th in 18:22], Eustace junior Ryan Carney [7th in 18:25, Camden Catholic sophomore Braelen Crump [8th in 18:26] and Cherokee freshman Julian Hatch [9th in 18:27].

Cinnaminson alum Austin Gabay runs huge 8K PR for Duke!!!

Duke freshman Austin Gabay ran a big 8K PR Friday, placing 11th in the Panorama Farms Invitational.

Gabay, a freshman from Cinnaminson, ran 24:26 and was Duke’s fifth runner on the Panorama Farms course in Earlysville, Va., just outside Charlottesville.

Host Virginia edged Duke, 26-33, for the team title.

In his first collegiate 8,000, Gabay ran 25:41 three weeks ago at the Virginia Tech Invite in Blacksburg, Va., so he ran 15 seconds per mile faster over the nearly 5.0-mile course.

Duke senior Mike Ungvarsky, also from Cinnaminson, also ran an 8,000 PR, finishing in 24:49. His previous fastest all-course 8K time was 24:55 at a meet in Greenville, N.C., in October of 2018.