Wildwood’s Leo Zaccaria runs hot mile anchor, Rider smashes school DMR record!!!

Leo Zaccaria ran a lifetime-best anchor split on Rider’s school-record distance medley Friday.

Zaccaria, who attended Cape May Tech and competed for Wildwood, ran 4:13.94 to anchor Rider’s DMR team at the Terrier Classic at Boston University.

Rider ran 9:51.64, which broke the school record of 9:51.98 set two years ago at the same meet on the same track.

Sophomore Tamrat Snyder of Gaithersburg, Md., led off for the Broncs with a 3:00.02 split for 1,200 meters, Jerome Boyer of Edison ran 47.19 for the 400 and Derian Stianche of Tamaqua, Pa., split 1:50.49 for 800 meters setting up Zaccaria.

When Rider set the school record two years ago, they also had a South Jersey anchor. Heredia, Boyer and Mazzie ran the first three legs, setting up Cinnaminson graduate Tom Long, who split 4:05.5 on his anchor leg.

Rider’s time is fastest in the Metro Atlantic Conference so far this year.

Rider’s 9:51.64 is so far this season in all of NCAA Division.

“The men were awesome tonight in the distance medley relay, breaking the Rider record and qualifying for the IC4A Championships,” said Rider coach Bob Hamer, the former Council Rock star.

“Snyder got things rolling and the guys behind him kept it going. Outstanding legs by Boyer and Stianche. Those two guys have worked so hard and believed in coach (Brett) Harvey and they were rewarded with a big race tonight. Steady improvement and then take advantage of the opportunities is something we always preach and these guys are a perfect example of that concept. Zaccaria was strong on the anchor. He has come a long way this year.”

Zaccaria is a heck of a story.

He had a PR of 4:29.39 for 1,600 meters in high school, which he ran indoors at the state Group 1 meet at the Bubble in 2019. His outdoor PR was 4:32.79 at South Jersey Group 1 sectionals at Washington Township in May of 2019, although he did run 1:57.56 at states as a senior.

He showed terrific progress last spring, running as fast as 3:58.99 for 1,500 meters, which is the equivalent of a 4:16.6 mile. 

This winter, he’s already run 1:54.85 for 800 metes and 4:16.48 for the full mile along with his 4:13 anchor Friday.

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