Aziz Muhammad-Kane, Gavin Gallo, Cole Knoedler lift Highland to 7th SJ title, Peyton Shute flies to individual title with #5 time in course history!!!!!!

Junior Aziz Muhammad-Kane, senior Gavin Gallo and senior Cole Knoedler all finished in the top seven and paced Highland to its seventh sectional XC title and fifth in the last 10 years.

Highland outran Ocean City, 44-58, to win the South Jersey Group 3 title at DREAM Park in Logan Township, outside Glassboro.

Muhammad-Kane ran 15:46 and placed 2nd to Woodbury junior Peyton Shute, who won the race in 15:16. Gallo and Knoedler ran 6th and 7th in 16:04 and 16:05.

Senior Jake Smith was next across the line for Highland, placing 11th in 16:22, and sophomore 5th man Mason Wassell locked up the team title in 19th place in 16:59.

Highland previously won South Jersey Group titles in 1993 and 1994 and Group 3 in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2020.

Senior Nick Scarangelli and junior Matt Hoffman led Ocean City in 3rd and 4th place, Scarangelli in 15:48 and Hoffman 16:00.

Others in the top 10 included Clearview senior Cavan Agatone [5th in 16:01], Moorestown senior Colin Shand [8th in 16:07], Moorestown freshman Peter Simpson [9th in 16:10] and Delsea freshman Matthew Littlehales [10th in 16:12].

Simpson and Littlehales posted the fastest times ever by freshmen in the five years since DREAM Park was first used. The previous freshman course record was 16:26, set Tayshaun Wilson of Toms River North at last year’s South Jersey Group 3 meet. The fastest previous time by a South Jersey freshman was 16:48 by Williamstown’s Dylan Saber at last year’s Group 4 sectional race.

Shawnee junior Ryan Kaczur [14th in 16:36] and Mainland senior Elliot Post [15th in 16:37] also placed in the top 15.

Also qualifying for the state Group 3 meet next weekend at Holmdel County Park were Shawnee [119], Delsea [140] and Moorestown [143].

Cherry Hill East’s Alexis Tepper leads South Jersey in Group 4 sectional race!!!!

Cherry Hill East senior Alexis Tepper ran an all-course PR and the 6th-fastest time of the day Saturday at the South Jersey Group 4 race at DREAM Park in Logan Township.

Tepper ran 18:15 and placed 2nd to Toms River North freshman Jessica Abbott while also leading East to a 4th-place team finish.

Tepper’s previous 5,000 PR was an 18:26 on the same course last week at the Olympic Conference Championships, where she placed 2nd to Paul VI’s Shaelen McNally.

That 18:15 is No. 8 in course history.

Seven runners broke 19 minutes in perfect conditions on the flat, fast DREAM Park layout. Atlantic City senior Madeline Dischert placed 3rd in 18:22, Egg Harbor junior Michaela Schelmo ran 18;26 for 4th, Kingsway senior Nicole Lipieta was 5th in 18:42, Cherokee junior Kerry O’Day took 6th in 18:57 and Williamstown senior Alexa Fisher clocked 18:59 for 7th place.

Other South Jersey runners in the top 15 were Cherokee senior Kelsey Niglio [9th in 19:04], Cherokee sophomore Megan Niglio [10th in 19:27], Washington Township sophomore Kaylee Russen [11th in 19:49], Egg Harbor junior Taylor Rooney [12th in 19:57] and Washington Township senior Sophia Bostwick [13th in 19:57].

Toms River North edged Southern 77-83 to win the team title. Washington Township [109], Cherry Hill East [111] and Egg Harbor [124] qualified for the state Group 4 meet next weekend at Holmdel County Park.

Cherokee grad Justin Kelly wins NJAC title, leads Rowan to team triumph!!!!!

Cherokee’s Justin Kelly ran 25:09 over 8,000 meters at TCNJ’s Green Lane course in Ewing to win the New Jersey Athletic Conference title Saturday and lead Rowan to the team title.

Kelly won by 40 meters over Stockton senior Cooper Knorr from Manalapan, who ran 25:17 for 2nd place.

The team title was Rowan’s 24th overall and first since 2018.

Rowan finished with a 28-38 margin of victory over TCNJ, a bit of an upset considering that TCNJ is ranked 3rd in the USTFCCA NCAA Division 3 Metro Region and Rowan is 4th. Stockton, ranked 6th in the region, placed 3rd with 73 points.

Kelly’s performance capped a tremendous comeback after illness wiped out virtually all of his 2021 season after he transferred from Stony Brook (N.Y.).

Sophomore Jacob Riley from North Warren placed 4th for Rowan in 25:40, junior Brandon Jarrett of Woodbridge was 6th in 25:45, junior Dario Epifania from South Brunswick ran 25:46 for 7th and sophomore Cole Kolodziej of Washington Township placed 10th in 25:57.

Freshman Shane Vostenak of Pennsauken was Rowan’s 6th runner in 11th place overall with a 25:59, and Triton grad Noah Cziryak [12th in 26:04], Highland’s Ben Woodward [15th in 26:21] and Cumberland Regional’s Miguel Vera [18th in 26:31] all placed in the top 20 as well.

In the women’s meet, Rowan’s Anna Sasse, a sophomore from Williamstown, ran 23:12 over 6,000 meters and placed 4th, and Mainland Regional’s Savannah Hodgens, a freshman at TCNJ, ran 23:22 for 6th, helping the Lions win the team title, 35-43, over Stockton.

Sterling grad Jessie Klenk and Eastern’s Kierstin Clem took 11th and 18th for Stockton. Klenk ran 23:41 and Clem 24:03.

Maple Shade girls win first sectional title in 27 years, Meghan Lex wins 2nd straight individual title in S.J. Group 1!!!!!!

Junior Yaretzy Rodriguez-Parras was Maple Shade’s only top-10 finisher, but the Wildcats placed all five scorers between 8th and 21st and rolled to their first sectional title in 27 years.

Haddon Township senior Meghan Lex won her 2nd straight individual South Jersey Group 1 title.

For Maple Shade, Rodriguez-Parras ran 21:36 over 5,000 meters at DREAM Park in Logan Township for 8th place, senior Angelina Salcedo placed 12th in 22:16, sophomore Crystal Benito placed 15th in 22:30, sophomore Isabella Castro was 19th in 22:48 and senior Hanna Gross locked up the team title in 21st place in 23:15. Sophomore 6th runner Shanya Walton was two spots back in 24:13.

Maple Shade won its previous sectional titles in 1994 and 1995. The 1994 team outscored Schalick 35-64 and was led by Heather Selzer, Maabo Kludzke, Kathy Skaggs and Dana Eley in the top 10. The 1995 team topped Schalick 38-44, with Leisha Woodward, Cindy Thompson and Michelle Wilkiera in the top 10.

Maple Shade is the first school other than Haddon Township, Schalick and Pitman to win South Jersey Group 1 since Gloucester in 2004.

The Wildcats outscored 2nd-place Haddon Township 55-75, with Schalick [78], Audubon [88] and Wildwood [111] also earning trips to the state Group 1 meet next weekend in Holmdel.

Lex ran 19:10 and edged Wildwood sophomore Macie McCracken by seven meters. McCracken ran 19:12 for 2nd place.

Lex won last year in 19:43 on the same course. Her time Saturday is the fastest winning time in the S.J. Group 1 race on any course in 24 years, since Olympian Erin Donohue of Haddonfield won the 1998 sectional title in 17:44 at Kingsway.

Lex is also Haddon Township’s second repeat winner. Alicia Pipkin won SJ-1 in 2011 and 2012.

Also in the top 15: Haddon Township junior Genevieve Gentlesk [3rd in 20:24], Schalick sophomore Taylor Behrens [4th in 20:26], New Egypt senior Cassidy Burr [5th in 21:02], Wildwood sophomore Leiah Pawlus [6th in 21:22], Palmyra junior Cadence Anderson [7th in 21:29], New Egypt freshman Alana Burnett [9th in 21:50], Audubon senior Mary Kate Owens [10th in 21:50], Riverside sophomore Sydney Greenidge [11th in 22:08], Audubon sophoore Mary McGuire [13th in 22:17] and Schalick senior Jayla Gross [14th in 22:25].

Abigail Waddington becomes Clearview’s first sectional champ in 33 years and Pioneers roll to lowest SJ-3 score since 1990!!!!!!!!

Abigail Waddington became Clearview’s first sectional champion in 33 years and paced the Pioneers to their 2nd consecutive South Jersey Group 3 title.

Waddington, a senior, ran 18:01 over 5,000 meters at DREAM Park in Logan Township near Glassboro, leading eight runners under 19 minutes, including teammates Abigail Kotran, a senior, and Margaret Wisniewski, a junior.

Wassington’s time is No. 2 in course history, behind only the 17:52 Isabella Turner of Shawnee ran at the 2018 South Jersey Shootout. Her time was fastest of the day by three seconds over Jessica Abbott, the Toms River North freshman, who won the Group 4 race.

Clearview, ranked No. 4 in New Jersey, outscored Ocean City 31-86 for the team title. Mainland Regional [93], Moorestown [114] and Toms River South [135] also earned lanes at the state Group 3 meet next weekend at Holmdel County Park.

Clearview’s last sectional champion was Michele Owen, who won South Jersey Group 2 titles in 1986 on her home course in Mullica Hill, in 1987 at Cherokee and in 1989 at Westampton Tech and placed 5th at Mill Creek Park in 1988, when teammate Carrie Thompson won.

Waddington led all five Clearview scorers in the top 11, with Kotran running 18:35 for 4th place and Wisniewski 18:45 for 6th place. Junior Allison Roes placed 9th in 19:16 and senior Aubrey Donahue ran 19:47 for 11th.

Clearview’s 31-point total is the lowest in South Jersey Group 3 since 1990, when Paul VI won 24-64 over Ocean City. The Pioneers’ 55-point margin of victory over 2nd-place Ocean City is the largest in SJ-3 since Seneca won over Highland by 67 points with Nicole McGrainer and Lyndsy Horn in 2008 (54-121).

The Pioneers averaged 18:53, which is 3rd-fastest in course history. Haddonfield averaged 18:19 to win the Group 2 race on Saturday and averaged 18:51 to win Group 2 last year.

Sophomore Sofia Day and junior Gillian Lovett led Mainland in 2nd and 3rd place, Day in 18:12 and Lovett in 18:26.

Ocean City sophomore Maeve Smith [7th in 18:47], Delsea senior Lillie Widmer [8th in 18:49] and Highland senior Grace Wassell [10th in 19:45] rounded out the top 10.

The rest of the top 15 included Moorestown junior Julia Brock [12th in 19:54], Winslow sophomore Ava Millner [13th in 19:56], Ocean City sophomore Chloe Care [14th in 20:10] and Delsea sophomore Juliana Sieminski [15th in 20:13].

Liliah Gordon becomes Northern Burlington’s first sectional winner in 29 years at C.J. Group 3!!!!!!

Northern Burlington sophomore Liliah Gordon ran 18:26 at Thompson Park in Jamesburg to win her first sectional cross country title.

Gordon ran 18:38 last year on the same course and placed 2nd in the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional to senior Lily Shapiro of Colts Neck, who went on to win Meet of Champions titles last spring at 800 and 1,600 meters and is now at North Carolina.

This year, she raced away from the field and became the first Northern Burlington girl to win a sectional title in 29 years, since Colleen Sunderland ran 19:01 to win South Jersey Group 2 in 1993 at Kingsway.

Gordon won by 165 meters over Allentown senior Meghan Renter, who was 2nd in 19:04. Gordon will race next weekend at the state Group 3 meet at Holmdel Park. She was 2nd at states last year behind Shapiro before placing 8th at Meet of Champions.

Her time is 2nd-fastest ever by a South Jersey girl at Thompson Park. In 2009, Highland’s Megan Venables ran 18:22 at the Old Bridge Classic on the same course.

Burlington Township senior Maeve Timms ran 21:00 for 15th place to lock up the final qualifying spot for the state Group 3 meet.

Ryan Martinelli lifts Haddon Twp. to its 21st sectional title, 4th-most in state history!!!!!!

Senior Ryan Martinelli, junior Owen Dybus junior Jackson Sennhenn and senior Eric Aylmer all finished in the top 10 to lift Haddon Township to its 21st sectional cross country title.

Haddon Township outscored 2nd-place Audubon 40-88 to win South Jersey Group 1. Maple Shade [113], Schalick [145] and Wildwood [174] also advanced to states.

The last three times Haddon Township has won South Jersey Group 1, the Hawks have scored exactly 40 points.

Martinelli ran 16:42 over 5,000 meters at DREAM Park in Logan Township and placed 3rd, Dybus was 5th in 16:52, Sennheim took 8th in 17:07 and Aylmer ran 17:36 for 10th. Sophomore Manolo Foote locked up the team title in 14th place in 17:43, and freshman James Clauson made it seven runners in the top 20 with an 18th-place finish in 18:10.

This will be the 18th consecutive year Haddon Township has advanced to the state championships at Holmdel.

The Hawks also won South Jersey Group 2 in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1985 and 1986 in Group 1 and 1988, 1996, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019. Only Haddonfield [41 titles] has won more sectional titles in South Jersey history. Only Bernards [27] and Ridgewood [27] have also won more state-wide.

Glassboro junior Elijah Whitaker was the overall Group 1 winner in 16:09 – more on his race later – and Audubon junior Aiden Williams was 2nd in 16:13.

The rest of the top-15 looked like this: Pitman sophomore Ty Blackman [4th in 16:47], Wildwood junior Jorge Cruz Valle [6th in 16:58], Maple Shade senior Chad Cloke [7th in 17:04], Audubon senior Joseph Gaspari [9th in 17:25], Audubon senior David Amorosi [11th in 17:38], Paulsboro senior Derrik Horton [12th in 17:40], Schalick senior Gavin Thompson [13th in 17:40] and Maple Shade junior Aidan Cloke [15th in 17:49].


Led by junior Ava Thomas, Haddonfield turned in the most dominating performance in South Jersey sectional cross country history Saturday, sweeping the top five spots in the Group 2 race and packing all five scorers in an absurd 21 seconds to win its 13th straight sectional championship with one of the fastest team averages in state history.

Haddonfield, ranked No. 2 in New Jersey behind Union Catholic, became the first school in state history to win 13 straight sectional titles and the first to pitch a 15-point shutout in consecutive years.

Thomas won the race over 5,000 meters at DREAM Park in Logan Township in 18:06, with junior Riley Slootsky, freshman Riley Austin, senior Helene Usher and junior Audrey Naticchia following in 2nd through 5th, Slootsky in 18:15, Austin 18:23, Usher 18:26 and Naticchia 18:27.

Haddonfield’s absurd 18:18 average shattered the course record of 18:51 that the Bulldogs set last year. That’s the fastest team average on any course ever by any South Jersey team and possibly by any New Jersey team. We’re working on that.

What’s incredible is that Haddonfield swept the top five spots in the race with only two girls – Usher and Naticchia – who were part of last year’s 1-2-3-4-5 sweep.

Haddonfield finished with a 15-68 margin of victory over 2nd-place Sterling, which packed four runners in the top 15. Haddon Heights [93], Seneca [127] and Cedar Creek [136] also advanced to the state Group 2 meet.

Haddonfield’s team average of 18:19 is faster than any Haddonfield girl had ever run at DREAM Park before this race. That average time would have ranked No. 7 in course history as an individual performance coming into action on Saturday.

Here’s a look at the nine perfect 15-point scores in state sectional history. Haddonfield now has more shutouts since 1986 than every other school combined:

Bernards, Central Jersey Group 1, 1981
Bernards, Central Jersey Group 1, 1983
New Providence, North Jersey Section 2 Group 1, 1985
North Hunterdon, Central Jersey Group 3, 1985
Mount Olive, North Jersey North 2 Group 3, 1995
Moorestown, South Jersey Group 3, 2001
Haddonfield, South Jersey Group 2, 2005
Haddonfield, South Jersey Group 2, 2021
Haddonfield, South Jersey Group 2, 2022

Overall, Haddonfield has now won 30 South Jersey XC titles. In addition to the current 13 in a row, the Bulldogs won SJ-2 in 1979, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and SJ-1 in 1982, 1985, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997 and 1998.
Haddonfield has won a sectional title 17 of the last 18 years and going back to 1990, 25 of the last 33 years.

Sophomore Dylan Melcher placed 8th for Haddonfield in 19:46, giving the Bulldogs six of the first eight finishers. Scoring Haddonfield vs. the field, Haddonfield wins 15-43.

Cinnaminson senior Stephanie Renouf was the first non-Haddonfield finisher in 6th place in 18:56. Haddon Heights senior Ava Severino ran 7th in 19:41.

Also in the top 15 and headed for states are Haddon Heights sophomore Grace Duffy [9th in 19:54], Sterling junior Cara Coppolino [10th in 19:56], Cinnaminson junior Anna Marino [11th in 20:05], Sterling sophomore Jonalee Adams [12th in 20:11], West Deptford junior Isabella Mackey [13th in 20:22], Sterling sophomore Isabella Patruno [14th in 20:26] and Sterling sophomore Kaysie Luna [15th in 20:31].

Nick Kuenkel, Patrick DItmars 1-2 finish leads Cherokee to 4th straight sectional championship!!!!!

Junior Nick Kuenkel and senior Patrick Ditmars finished 1-2 – separated by 8-100ths of a second – and led Cherokee to its 4th straight sectional title and 12th overall.

Kuenkel and Ditmars both ran 15:22 over 5,000 meters at DREAM Park – 15:22.72 for Kuenkel and 15:22.80 for Ditmars – and Cherokee placed four in the top 10 to outscore Southern Regional 41-62.

Their 1-2 finish is the first in South Jersey Group 4 since Ethan Wechsler and Chase Miller of Cherokee went 1-2 in the 2018 race at Delsea.

Senior Conor Jacob placed 7th in 15:47 and junior Robert Poplau ran 9th in 15:52, giving the Chiefs four runners under 16 minutes. Sophomore Liam Tindall ran 16:34 for 23rd place to clinch the team title.

Cherokee – ranked 3rd in New Jersey – also won South Jersey Group 4 titles in 1988, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2011, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Kuenkel joins Marc Pelerin [2000], Alex Yersak [2005, 2006, 2007], Shawn Wilson [2012], Jack Shea [2016], Justin Kelly [2017] and Wechsler as Cherokee’s seventh individual sectional winner.

Other South Jersey runners in the top 15 and advancing to states next weekend at Holmdel County Park were Lenape senior Colin Hermack [3rd in 15:28], Williamstown senior Nicholas Krol [6th 15:47], Egg Harbor Township senior Ryan Taylor [8th 15:49], Washington Township senior Colin Keane [11th 15:59], Lenape sophomore Noah Manwaring [12th 16:00], Williamstown sophomore Dylan Saber [13th 16:00], Cherry Hill East junior Raine Guidarelli [14th 16:01] and Kingsway senior Cesar Pedro [15th 16:06].

Lenape scored 107 points to advance to states, as well as Cherry Hill East [115] and Williamstown [127].

George Andrus destroys course record, leads Haddonfield to 19th straight SJ championship!!!!!

Haddonfield senior George Andrus smashed the DREAM Park course record and beat the field by 250 meters, leading the Bulldogs to their 19th consecutive sectional XC championship.

Andrus ran 14:58 over 5,000 meters at DREAM Park in Logan Township, shattering the course record of 15:09 set by Triton’s Dennis Fortuna when he won the South Jersey Group 3 title last year.

He matched the fastest 5,000 on any course by a South Jersey runner since Josh Clark of Highland ran 14:58 at Goddard Park East in East Greenwich, R.I., at the Brown Invitational in 2015.

Haddonfield packed its five scorers 1-4-6-7-8 and outscored 2nd-place Cinnaminson 32-59 to win the South Jersey Group 2 title, with Haddon Heights 3rd with 77 points. Fifth-place Collingswood also advanced to next weekend’s state Group 2 meet.

Senior Robert DiMedio ran 15:48 and placed 4th for Haddonfield, and junior Matthew Sullivan, senior Ian Romea and senior Don Jellig ran 8th, 9th and 10th in 16:07, 16:08 and 16:20 for the Bulldogs.

Cinnaminson was led by seniors Alex Boyko and Matt McCarron in 3rd and 5th, Boyko in 15:46 and McCarron in 15:48.

Also in the top 10 were Haddon Heights senior Jack Bolling [2nd in 15:45] and Haddon Heights senior Colin Patterson [6th in 15:53].