Aldridge 2nd, Coppolino breaks 19 minutes in Meet of Champions girls race!!!

Alyssa Aldridge didn’t get her third straight meet of Champions title, but she put together another tremendous race Saturday, finishing a close second to Monica Hebner of Northern Highlands.

Aldridge, who edged Hebner by two seconds in the state Group 3 race last weekend, ran 18:18, finishing about 20 meters behind Hebner.

Aldridge was bidding to become the first three-time winner since Monal Chokshi of Bridgewater from 1989 through 1991 and just the fourth overall.

In 2014, Aldridge finished second to Ocean City’s Devon Grisbaum, so this is four straight years she’s finished either first or second, and that’s incredible!

Full individual and team results can be found here: http://www.lfracing.com/cross-country/2017-xc-season/njsiaa-xc-meet-of-champions-11-18/

Hebner is the first M-of-C girls winner not from South Jersey since Sarah Disanza of High Point High in Wantage Township in Sussex County in 2012 and only the second since 2009.

Meanwhile, Sterling senior Madison Coppolino ran a 30-second Holmdel County Park PR, placing 13th in 18:54. Her previous PR was 19:24 for third at states last weekend.

Coppolino’s time is fastest by a Sterling girl at Holmdel in 33 years, since Mindy Rowand ran 18:40 in 1984.

Here’s the all-time South Jersey list for Holmdel County Park (as always, please forward errors and omissions to me in the comments section):

17:28 Megan Venables [Highland Reg.], 2010
17:40 Michelle Rowen [Washington Twp.], 1982
17:44 Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2008
17:45 Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2013
17:54 Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland], 2015
17:55 Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2010
18:09 Holly Bischof [Bishop Eustace], 2010
18:12 Brittany Sedberry [Ocean City], 2004
18:17 Marielle Hall [Haddonfield], 2009
18:19 Theresa Catunna [Cherry Hill East], 2006
18:20 Devin Grisbaum [Ocean City], 2014
18:22 Vanessa Wright [Haddonfield], 2004
18:27 Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 2000
18:27 Grace Yoon [Cherry Hill East], 2016
18:28 Rachel Vick [Kingsway], 2016
18:38 Casey Doyle [Shawnee], 2007
18:40 Mindy Rowand [Sterling], 1984
18:40 Dina Iacone [Washington Twp.], 2011
18:41 Shelby Cain [Haddonfield], 2011
18:43 Amanda Goetschius [Delsea], 2005
18:44 Arianna McKinney [Highland], 2003
18:49 Mara Sschiffhauer [Seneca], 2013
18:50 Dawn Cody [Paul VI], 1982
18:50 Jamie Wisgerber [Woodstown], 1994
18:50 Meghan Malloy [Haddonfield], 2011
18:52 Lisa Burkholder [Cherokee], 2004
18:53 Renee Tomlin [Ocean City], 2005
18:54 Madison Coppolino [Sterling], 2017

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With 3 in top 25, Kingsway boys race to close 2nd place in Meet of Champions!!!!!

Kingsway gave CBA everything it could handle Saturday before finishing a very close second in the boys Meet of Champions XC race.

In a battle of New Jersey’s two top-ranked teams, CBA packed its five among the top 22 scorers (top 41 overall) and finished with an 80-96 edge over Kingsway, which placed its five scorers among the top 31 scorers (top 51 overall).

Boys results can be found here:http://www.lfracing.com/cross-country/2017-xc-season/njsiaa-xc-meet-of-champions-11-18/

Seniors Joe Grandizio, Kieran Burns and Jonathan Connor finished 17th, 21st and 22nd in 16:17, 16:20 and 16:22 for the Dragons. Senior Cade Hindley [50th 16:44] and sophomore Stone Caraccio [55th in 16:47] also scored for the Dragons. Caraccio had been Kingsway’s sixth man at sectionals and states.

The second-place finish is Kingsway’s best ever at the Meet of Champions. The Dragons were fourth two years ago. The best previous finish by a Gloucester County team at Meet of Champions before this current Kingsway run was Delsea’s sixth place in 1979.

Kingsway’s finish is the best by a South Jersey school since Haddonfield placed second in 2010 and matches the best since Mainland won the team title in 2003.

The Dragons were bidding to join Haddonfield [2001], Paul VI [1984, 1988, 1989, 1994] and Mainland [2002, 2003] as the fourth South Jersey school to win the Meet of Champions in its 46-year history.

Kingsway joins Haddonfield, Paul VI, Mainland, Holy Cross, Highland and Cherokee as the eighth South Jersey program with a top-two finish at the Meet of Champions.

Here’s a look at every top-5 finish in meet history by South Jersey teams:

2017
2nd Kingsway
2016
None
2015
4th Haddonfield
2014
3rd Cherry Hill West, 4th Kingsway, 5th Haddonfield
2013
None
2012
None
2011
None
2010
2nd Haddonfield
2009
4th Haddonfield
2008
4th Haddonfield
2007
3rd Haddonfield
2006
3rd Haddonfield
2005
None
2004
5th Cherokee
2003
1st Mainland Reg., 5th Cherokee
2002
1st Mainland Reg., 5th Cinnaminson
2001
1st Haddonfield, 4th Cherokee, 5th Mainland Reg.
2000
2nd Cherokee
1999
2nd Paul VI, 3rd Cherokee, 4th Washington Twp.
1998
2nd Cherokee, 3rd Washington Twp., 4th Shawnee
1997
3rd Cherokee , 5th Shawnee
1996
None
1995
3rd Paul VI
1994
1st Paul VI, 4th Highland Reg.
1993
4th Paul VI
1992
4th Paul VI, 5th Shawnee
1991
5th Shawnee
1990
2nd Paul VI
1989
1st Paul VI, 2nd Highland, 5th Haddonfield
1988
1st Paul VI, 3rd Highland, 5th Bridgeton
1987
2nd Paul VI
1986
3rd Paul VI
1985
3rd Paul VI
1984
1st Paul VI
1983
2nd Holy Cross, 4th Paul VI
1982
4th Paul VI
1981
None
1980
None
1979
None
1978
None
1977
None
1976
None
1975
None
1974
None
1973
None
1972
No Team Scoring

RV’s Alicia Belko, Moorestown’s Natalie Cooper on their way to NCAA Women’s XC Nationals!!!!!

Rancocas Valley graduate Alicia Belko of Stockton University and Moorestown graduate Natalie Cooper of The College of New Jersey, former BCSL Liberty Division rivals, both placed among the top six runners Saturday at the NCAA Division 3 Atlantic Region Cross Country Championships, earning automatic berths in next weekend’s national championships.

Cooper will be accompanied by the full TCNJ team, which earned an at-large bid to nationals after placing fifth out of 41 teams at Regionals.

Belko, a senior, placed third out of 285 runners with a time of 21:45 on the 6,000-meter Field of Dreams course at Haughton (N.Y.) College and Cooper, a junior, placed sixth in 21:57.

Junior Maddy Tattory from Delran was TCNJ’s No. 2 runner Saturday, in 24th in 22:45, with Monmouth Regional grad Gabby DeVito just eight seconds back in 32nd. Juniors Erin Holzbauer of Robbinsville [56th in 23:30] and Abigail Faith of Freehold [65th in 23:40] also scored for the Lions. DeVito was the third freshman across the line.

Also racing for TCNJ were juniors Emma Bean of Mainland Regional [109th in 24:25] and Olivia Shenkman of Smithown High in Nesconset, N.Y. [129th in 24:39].

Only the top two teams earn automatic bids, but TCNJ was selected as one of 16 at-large schools – two from each of eight regions. The top seven finishers whose teams didn’t qualify automatically earn auto individual bids.

This is TCNJ’s first trip to nationals since 2013.

The NCAA Division 3 championships are scheduled for Saturday at the North Farm Facility at Principia College in Elsah, Ill., just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

Veltre 3rd at Regionals, leading Rowan men to NCAA Division 3 XC Nationals!!!!!

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Clearview graduate Dan “Fitch” Henry was Rowan’s #2 runner at Regionals 

Rowan senior Kevin Veltre placed third out of nearly 300 runners Saturday at the NCAA Atlantic Region Cross Country Championships, earning an automatic berth in the NCAA Championships.

One day later, Veltre learned that teammates will accompany him to Illinois this coming weekend.

Veltre ran 24:32.6 over 8,000 meters on the Field of Dreams course at Haughton (N.Y.) College to take third out of 290 runners at Regionals. The top-seven finish earned him an automatic bid to nationals. Rowan as a team placed fourth out of 42 schools.

Only the top two teams earn automatic bids, but Rowan – now ranked 25th nationally – was selected as one of 16 at-large schools – two from each of eight regions. The top seven finishers whose teams didn’t qualify automatically earn auto bids.

Veltre, a graduate of Brick Memorial, finished just 18 seconds behind overall winner Grant O’Connor of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, N.Y.

The NCAA Division 3 championships are scheduled for Saturday at the North Farm Facility at Principia College in Elsah, Ill., just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

In addition to Veltre, Rowan’s contingent at nationals will include junior Dan “Fitch” Henry of Clearview [18th at Regionals in 25:09], sophomore Matt Russo of Westfield [25th in 25:22], senior Nick Nocco from Southern Regional [41st in 25:38], sophomore Jose Figueroa of Highland [64th in 25:59], senior Alex Trapani of South Brunswick [95th in 26:21] and sophomore Jason Merman from Pitman [111th in 26:33].

Rowan scored 151 points at Regionals, finishing behind only nationally top-ranked SUNY Geneseo [61], RPI [98] and RIT [124].

By virtue of their top-35 finishes, Veltre, Henry and Russo earned USTFCCA (U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) All-Region Honors.

Putting Kingsway’s states performance into context: What does 1:21.54 mean?

After a weekend of research, we’ve come up with some pretty interesting info about Kingsway’s race at states Saturday.

The Kingsway boys won the state Group 4 title in remarkable fashion, packing five runners within 11 seconds from 16:16 to 16:27 and defeating the state’s No. 3-ranked team, Princeton, by a 52-91 score.

Kingsway’s 16:23 average — a 1:21:54.72 total for its five scorers — is crazy considering the Dragons didn’t have anybody run faster than 16:16. But this is what pack running does. Kingsway may have had the slowest first runner ever for a team that averaged sub-1:22 at Holmdel County Park, but it also probably had the fastest fifth runner … or close to it.

Jonathan Connor [8th in 16:17], Kieran Burns [11th in 16:20], Brian Mangiaracina [13th in 16:24], Cade Hindley [14th in 16:24] and Joe Grandizio [15th in 16:28]  finished with five of the six-fastest South Jersey times at states. They were broken up by Highland’s Ben Woodward, who ran 16:21 for seventh in the Group 3 race.

Years ago somebody compiled a list of the fastest single-season performances in Holmdel history, but that list has been lost to the sands of time and the shuttering of several track-related web sites. If anybody out there has the old list, please share it so Jim Lambert, Pat Montferrat and I can update it!

But for now, here’s what we can safely say:

–> Kingsway’s 1:21.54 is the 17th-fastest time ever run at Holmdel.

–> It’s fastest ever by any team in the state Group 4 meet. The previous best was a 1:22.04.70 by West Windsor-Plainsboro North in 2009.

–> It’s the fastest ever by any South Jersey school at the state meet. The previous record was Mainland Regional’s 1:22.05 in the 2003 Group 4 meet.

–> Overall, it’s fourth-fastest in South Jersey history, behind Mainland’s 1:21.38 to win the 2003 Meet of Champions and two Haddonfield performances – 1:21.38.40 for second in the 2010 Meet of Champions and 1:21.47.8 to win the 2001 Meet of Champions.

–> It’s the second-fastest by a public school at the state meet, behind only Colts Neck’s 1:21.35.63 in the 2016 Group 3 state meet.

–> Only six schools — CBA [eight times], Don Bosco [three times], West Windsor North and Haddonfield [twice each] and Colts Neck and Mainland [once each] — have ever run faster in any race at Holmdel.

–> It was the seventh-fastest time ever by a public school in any race at Holmdel County Park.

–> It was also seventh-fastest ever at any state meet, with the top five coming in Parochial A.

–> It broke the Gloucester County record of 1:22.52.92 set by Kingsway in 2014 (even with a 17:15 in the lineup that day). Joe Grandizio ran on both those teams.

Best of all?

Kingsway gets to do it all over again on Saturday and could very well move up on the list!

Here are the top 20 Holmdel performances I was able to find and followed by the top 20 South Jersey performances. There could be one or two missing, so if you see one please let us know!

ALL-TIME HOLMDEL SINGLE-SEASON BOYS LIST

1:19.19.09 … CBA, 2013, Meet of Champions [1]
1:20.13.51 … CBA, 2012, Parochial A [1]
1:20.22.63 … CBA, 2013, Parochial A [1]
1:20:26.12 … CBA, 2010, Meet of Champions [1]
1:20.58.82 … Don Bosco, 2013, Meet of Champions [2]
1:21.10.81 … West Windsor-Plainsboro North, 2008, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21.14.44 … CBA, 2005, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21.15.83 … West Windsor-Plainsboro North, 2009, Meet of Champions [3]
1:21.20.85 … CBA, 2014, Parochial A [1]
1:21.23.48 … CBA, 2010, Parochial A [1]
1:21.33.96 … Don Bosco, Parochial A, 2014 [2]
1:21.34.68 … CBA, 2015, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21.35.63 … Colts Neck, 2016, Group 3 [1]
1:21.38 …….. Mainland Regional, 2003, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21:38.40 … Haddonfield, 2010, Meet of Champions [2]
1:21.47.8 ….. Haddonfield, 2001, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21.54.72 … Kingsway, 2017, Group 4 [1]
1:21.56.61 … Don Bosco, 2012, Parochial A [2]
1:21.58.36 … CBA, 2014, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21.58.69 … CBA, 2016, Parochial A [1]

ALL-TIME HOLMDEL S.J. SINGLE-SEASON BOYS LIST

1:21.38 …….. Mainland Regional, 2003, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21:38.40 … Haddonfield, 2010, Meet of Champions [2]
1:21.47.8 ….. Haddonfield, 2001, Meet of Champions [1]
1:21.54.72 … Kingsway, 2017, Group 4 [1]
1:22.05 …….. Mainland Regional, 2003, Group 4 [1]
1:22.10.23 … Cherry Hill East, 2014, Group 4 [1]
1:22.36.50 … Cherry Hill West, 2014, Meet of Champions
1:22.40.09 … Cherry Hill West, 2015, Group 4 [2]
1:22.52.92 … Kingsway, 2014, Group 4 [2]
1:22.59.94 … Cherokee, 2000, Meet of Champions [2]
1:23.05.92 … Haddonfield, 2009, Group 2 [1]
1:23.07.58 … Haddonfield, 2009, Meet of Champions [4]
1:23.22.69 … Haddonfield, 2015, Meet of Champions [4]
1:23.26.98 … Mainland Regional, 2002, Group 3 [1]
1:23.29.78 … Haddon Twp., 2014, Meet of Champions [10]
1:23.30.28 … Haddonfield, 2014, Group 2 [1]
1:23.39.03 … Kingsway, 2014, Meet of Champions [4]
1:23.40.91 … Mainland Regional, 2002, Meet of Champions [1]
1:23.43.72 … Cherokee, 2004, Meet of Champions [5]
1:23.44.08 … Haddonfield, 2015, Group 2 [2]

Shawnee girls on their way to Meet of Champions for 18th time in school history!!!!!

The Shawnee girls placed fourth in the state Group 4 race and with an average time of 20:00.8 per scorer earned the top team wild-card and will race in the Meet of Champions for the 18th time in school history!

Shawnee scored 139 points, finishing behind North Hunterdon (82), Ridge (104) and Westfield (106) and finishing 17 points ahead of South Jersey No. 1 Kingsway, who was fifth.

The Meet of Champions is back at Holmdel County Park on Saturday.

Overall, Shawnee recorded the fifth-best average time of all the schools in the six races at Holmdel Saturday, behind North Hunterdon (19:32.4), Ridge (19:52.2), Group 3 winner Colts Neck (19:55.4) and Westfield (19:56.6).

Scoring the various state meets as one race, Shawnee again would be fifth with 333 points but within range of Ridge (265), Westfield (274) and Colts Neck (305), so the Renegades certainly have a chance to place very high next weekend.

At states, sophomore Isabella Turner ran 19:17 for Shawnee and placed eighth, with junior Grace Kearns 24th [19:59], senior Claire Rankin 29th [20:04], senior Laura Mavracic 36th [20:13] and senior Georgia Larzelere 54th [2031]. Junior Lauren Tenet ran 61st in 20:40 and sophomore Claire Hauser also broke 21 minutes at Holmdel, placing 74th in 20:58.

Shawnee has an incredible cross country tradition and made its first trip to the Meet of Champions 34 years ago, placing seventh in the 1983 meet.

The Renegades had a remarkable string of 14 consecutive top-six finishes in the Meet of Champions from 1990 through 2003, including titles in 1991, 1997, 2002 and 2003 – the first three under Mike Yurcho, the last one under Cliff Scott.

Dana Palumbo took over for Scott in 2006, and this will be the Lady Renegades’ fourth trip to the Meet of Champions under Palumbo and second in a row. Shawnee placed fourth last year, their best finish since 2003.

Shawnee and Kingsway were the only South Jersey girls teams to average less than 20:30 per scorer on Saturday.

 

OMG KINGSWAY PACKED 5 RUNNERS IN 11 SECONDS AND CRUSHED THE STATE GROUP XC 4 RACE!!!!!

Let’s go right to the record book. It’s the only way to really understand just how insane Kingsway’s performance was Saturday at the state Group 4 cross country championships.

–> The Dragons packed their five scorers in 11 seconds. ELEVEN SECONDS. That’s the tightest pack we could find in the state Group 4 meet as far back as available records go!!!

–> Kingsway scored just 52 points, the lowest score in Group 4 in more than 30 years!!!

–> Joe Grandizio, who has been Kingsway’s No. 1 runner in every major meet this fall, was the Dragons’ fifth runner Saturday but the Dragons still beat Princeton, the No. 3 team in the state, by 38 points!!!

This is one for the history books. Quite possibly the greatest performance ever by a South Jersey cross country team at the state meet.

Kingsway won its second state title and first since 2012 Saturday with an absolutely astonishing performance over the historic 5,000-meter course at Holmdel County Park.

You want pack running? Check this out:

16:17 – Jonathan Connor, 8th
16:20 – Kieran Burns, 11th
16:24 – Brian Mangiaracina, 13th
16:24 – Cade Hindley, 14th
16:28 – Joe Grandizio, 15th

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????

Kingsway put five runners in front of Princeton’s third runner, and Princeton is defending Meet of Champions champs and ranked third in the state!

It looks like Kingsway’s average time is second-fastest ever by a South Jersey team at Holmdel behind Haddonfield’s 16:20 at the 2010 Meet of Champions.

As far as the state meet goes, the legendary 2003 Mainland Regional team led by Jimmy Wyner, Greg Hughes and Spenser Popeson, averaged 16:25 per man. Records aren’t available for average time before the mid-1990s but the course runs much faster now and you can tell from year-by-year results that nobody was that fast before then, so there’s a good chance Kingsway’s average time is fastest ever in the state Group 4 meet.

Kingsway’s 52 points match the lowest total in Group 4 since 1986, when Toms River North scored 47 points in a 47-103 win over Cherokee. In 1988, Cherokee also scored 52 to win the state Group 4 title by 10 points over district rival Shawnee.

The all-time single-year team list that was once maintained on a few now-defunct track and field web sites is no longer available. Christian Brothers, West Windsor-Plainsboro and Haddonfield have  run faster than Kingsway, but very few other schools have.

We’ll continue researching this and come up with an answer in the next 24 hours!

But either way, this was a legendary performance by Kingsway. Congrats to coach Christian Lynch and the Kingsway program for a remarkable afternoon at Holmdel!