Matthew Littlehales of Delsea opened up his high school career Saturday morning with a win in the freshman race at the 26th annual Cherokee Challenge.
Littlehales covered the 3,200-meter course in 10:12, 3rd-fastest in meet history in the freshman race and just three seconds off the meet record.
Triton’s Robert Rawls ran 10:09 in 2007 and Matt Nelson of Barnegat ran 10:09 in 2009.
Littlehales edged Parker Warkentine of Conestoga High in Tredyffirin, Pa., in Chester County. Warkentine ran 10:14.
As an 8th-grader last year, Littlehales won the middle school race in 7:51 over 1 ½ miles.
Other South Jersey runners in the top 10 were Dominic Burgio of Williamstown [5th in 10:57] and Peter Simpson of Moorestown [9th in 11:12].