Once the rain stopped, the fast times started.
The Cherokee Night of 3200s is the first chance every spring for distance runners from South Jersey, North Jersey and Philly to run fast in good conditions, and this year’s edition didn’t disappoint.
The Haddonfield duo of junior George Andrus [9:12.32] and senior Seth Clevenger [9:12.99] picked up where they left off indoors, taking the top two spots in the boys race Thursday evening. Both ran sub-9:09 indoors and will race the 3,000 at Penn later this month. And both closed fast Thursday night, Andrus in 62.65 and Clevenger in 63.63.
But Woodbury sophomore Peyton Shute was only 15 meters behind the Haddonfield duo with a massive PR of 9:15.76 for 3rd.
Shute lowered his 3,200 PR believe it or not from 9:34.80, which he ran indoors at the Bubble in January, to the No. 6 time in Gloucester County history. His previous outdoor PR was 9:44.80, when he placed 5th at the state Group 1 meet at Pennsauken as a freshman last spring.
Shute was out in 4:40.91 [2:21.14, 2:19.87] and came back in 4:34.87, which is only five seconds off his outdoor 1,600 PR.
Despite the huge PR, running fast isn’t new to Shute, who lowered his Holmdel County Park time to 16:08 with a top-20 finish at the XC Meet of Champions.
Shute’s time is fastest by a New Jersey 10th-grader since Devin Hart of Point Pleasant Borough won the 2017 state Group 2 meet 4:09.49 at Northern Burlington. It’s No. 16 among all U.S. sophomores so far this spring, according to the MileSplit national database.
It’s also fastest by a South Jersey sophomore in 14 years, since Shawnee’s David Forward ran 9:10.28 at the 2008 Meet of Champions at South Plainfield. Shute broke the Woodbury school record of 9:20.99 set in June by older brother Brady Shute when he won the state Group 1 title at Pennsauken
All-time Gloucester County sub-9:20 list
9:01.9y … Mike Mantini [Gateway], 1979
9:06.2y … Greg Stremmel [Gateway], 1974
9:11.88 … Paul Szulewski [Williamstown], 2011
9:14.31 … Anthony Dentino [Washington Twp.], 2011
9:14.93 … Kyle Rakitis [Kingsway], 2021
9:15.76 … Peyton Shute [Woodbury], 2022
9:16.39 … Stone Caraccio [Kingsway], 2019
9:19.19 … Nick Costello [Delsea], 2012
Lots more from the Cherokee Night of 3200s coming later today!