Cherokee grad Ethan Wechsler runs indoor 3,000 PR in first college track race!

Syracuse freshman Ethan Wechsler ran his first collegiate track race Friday, running 8:33.54 for 3,000 meters. Wechsler raced at the Virginia Tech Invitational at Rector Field House in Blacksburg, Va.

Wechsler has never run a 3,000 before. He has a 3,200 PR of 9:10.90 from the spring of 2019 and an indoor 3,200 PR of 9:12.20 from last year’s Meet of Champions at Ocean Breeze 10 months ago. That was his last race on  the track.

His 8:33.54 converts to about a 9:14.62 for two miles or a 9:11.39 for 3,200, so it’s essentially an indoor PR.

Wechsler finished third in the second of two sections of the race, just behind Dave Whitfield, running unattached, who ran 8:31.90.Overall, Wechsler finished only 8 1/2 seconds behind the first collegiate, Bashir Mosavel-Lo, a junior at Virginia Tech.

Click to access 026-1.pdf

Millville’s Leah Ellis medals in two events at Hispanic Games!

It’s not much, but it’s something!

South Jersey does have the start of an indoor track season.

Millville junior Leah Ellis, competing under the Camden Track Club banner, placed third in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump Saturday at the 27th annual Hispanic Games at the 168th Street Armory.

Because New Jersey high schools are not yet allowed to compete indoors, Ellis – and every other athlete at the annual meet – competed independently for a club team, Camden Track Club.

Ellis, who’s been a top-10 placer in the Meet of Champions in three events – high hurdles, long jump and triple jump – didn’t hurdle Saturday, but she did compete in both horizontal jumps.

She placed third in the long jump at 17-4 3/4 and was fifth in the triple jump with a 35-5. It was her first meet since last year’s indoor Meet of Champions 10 months ago.

Also, Paul VI sophomore Briyel Brown ran 7.70 for eighth in the 55-meter dash trials. She missed the finals by 12-100ths of a second. 

According to Armory rules, all athletes had to compete fully masked.

Brady Shute leads Gloucester County all-star team to East Coast XC Championship team title!!!!!

A Gloucester County all-star team led by Woodbury senior Brady Shute won the boys team title at the  East Coast Cross Country Championships Saturday at Holmdel.

The team of Shute, Clearview senior Anas Bensaoud, senior Zach Rhoda and junior Jake Cobb of West Deptford and Woodbury freshman Peyton Shute averaged 17:02 through water-logged Holmdel County Park and edged a North Hunterdon team by three points.

Shute ran 16:18 and placed 10th overall in the Gold seeded race, finishing the year undefeated against South Jersey runners. 

Bensaoud, finally rounding into shape after missing nearly two months of training with a stress fracture, ran 16:55, and the West Deptford duo ran 16:58 and 17:20. The younger Shute, in his first race ever at Holmdel, ran 17:35.

Bensaoud and Rhoda actually ran 1-2 in the Navy race, with Peyton Shute 12th. Bensaoud and Rhoda were the only fnishers under 17 minutes in that race and no doubt would have run faster had they been placed in the faster Gold race. Brady Shute and Cobb ran in the Gold race.

Although updated New Jersey COVID rules forced meet organizers to replace several out-of-state schools, runners from New Jersey and four other states were able to race in the season-ending invitational, held in cold, rainy, windy conditions.

The Gloucester County all-stars, competing under the name Rio Dam Track Club, outscored North Hunterdon 81-84, with Valley Project, representing Ridge High, third at 89 and Limitless, a Connecticut all-star team, fourth with 98 points.

Highland senior Cole Wassell and Collingswood senior Josh Forrest, both running unattatched, ran 16:44 and 16:46, placing 19th and 22nd in the Gold race.

Cherry Hill East also competed, led by senior Gabe Rodriguez, who ran 17:09, and sophomore Michael McCurdy, who ran 17:46, a Holmdel PR.

Rancocas Valley’s Erika Kemp races into all-time U.S. top-30 with a MASSIVE 10,000 PR

Rancocas Valley graduate Erika Kemp ran a massive 10,000 breakthrough of 31:35.63 at the Track Meet late Saturday night outside Los Angeles.

Her time is No. 28 in U.S. history.

Kemp easily surpassed the qualifying time of 32:25 for the Olympic Trials, which have been rescheduled for June of 2021. She fell 10 seconds short of the Olympic standard of 31:25.00 for next year’s Tokyo Games.

Kemp’s previous 10,000 PR was a 33:13.44 in the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., on April 3, 2015. So she lowered her PR by more than a minute and a half.

The meet was put together for athletes to chase Olympic qualifying standards in fast conditions on the first day the Olympic qualifying window re-opened. 

The location was kept secret before the meet to avoid spectators showing up. It was held at Junipero Serra High School in San Juan Capistrano in Orange County, south of Los Angeles.

Kemp ran with the leaders much of the race and took the lead at one point just before the midpoint of the 25-lap race. She came through 5,000 meters in about 15:45 and was still within striking distance of the Olympic standard when she hit 8,000 meters at 25:10.25, which put her on pace to run 31:27. 

But she split 78.3 and 79.7 on her 23rd and 24th laps before closing in 76.8.

Kemp, racing for Boston Athletic Association, placed ninth. The top eight finishers met the Olympic standard.

Despite falling a few seconds short of the standard, the performance is a huge breakthrough for Kemps, whose time is No. 21 in the world this year.

It’s also No. 2 all-time by a New Jersey (or Burlington Ccounty) woman, behind a 31:05.71 by Mount Laurel native and Haddonfield graduate Marielle Hall in the finals of last year’s World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in September. 

Rachel Schneider won the race in 31:09.79, leading six women under 31:20. The race produced eight of the top 28 times in U.S. history (one of the runners ahead of Kemp wasn’t from the U.S.):

30:13.17 … Molly Huddle, 2016
30:22.22 … Shalene Flanagan, 2008
30:49.57 … Emily Sisson, 2019
30:50.32 … Deena Kastor, 2002
30:55.16 … Kara Goucher, 2008
31:05.71 … Marielle Hall, 2019
31:09.79 … Rachel Schneider, 2020
31:10.69 … Amy Cragg, 2012
31:10.84 … Alicia Monson, 2020
31:11.07 … Sharon Lokedi, 2020
31:12.28 … Natasha Rogers, 2020
31:12.68 … Janet Cherobon-Bawcom, 2012
31:12.80 … Lisa Uhl, 2012
31:13.78 … Amy Yoder Begley, 2009
31:15.65 … Kellyn Taylor, 2020
31:17.31 … Jennifer Rhines, 2007
31:18.96 … Amy Rudolph, 2005
31:19.89 … Lynn Jennings, 1992
31:20.45 … Emily Infield, 2017
31:21.92 … Elva Dryer, 2005
31:22.86 … Danielle Shanahan, 2020
31:24.47 … Stephanie Bruce, 2020
31:28.92 … Francie Larrieu-Smith, 1991
31:30.89 … Annette Hand-Peters, 1997
31:34.37 … Kate O’Neill, 2004
31:35.25 … Blake Phillips-Russell, 2005
31:35.3h … Mary Tabb, 1982
31:35.63 … Erika Kemp, 2020
31:35.88 … Kim Conley, 2017
31:37.14 … Desiree Davila, 2011
31:37.26 … Anne Marie Lauck, 1993
31:38.04 … Judi St. Hilaire, 1992
31:39.67 … Jordan Hasay, 2014

Before Saturday night, Kemp’s last race was the U.S. 15K road championships in Jacksonville, where she placed fifth in 50:27. Her last track race was a PR 15:14.76 5,000 at Boston University on Feb. 27. That mark moved her into the No. 17 spot in U.S. indoor history. Her last outdoor track race was the 5,000 at the U.S. Championships in Des Moines on July 28, 2019, where she ran 16:02.88. And her last track 10,000 was a 33:55.38 in Coral Gables, Fla., on May 10, 2018.

Haddonfield girls close out historic XC season as top HS team at East Coast Championships!!!

The top-ranked Haddonfield girls remained unbeaten against true high school competition with a team win Saturday in the East Coast Cross Country Championships.

Haddonfield split up its team Saturday, with its top three – seniors Sarah Naticchia, Allison Colflesh and Payton Weiner – racing in the so-called Gold Race and the rest of the team competing in the Navy race at Holmdel County Park.

On a cold, rainy morning that made the course even more challenging than usual, Naticchia ran 19:06, Colflesh 19:20 and Weiner 19:43 in the Gold race, placing 14th, 22nd and 34th among some of the fastest runners from five states.

In the Navy race, freshman Anna Earp and sophomore Helene Usher ran 20:34 and 20:48, junior Jess Goode 21:05 and senior Lindsay Colflesh 21:13.

In a merge of the two races, Haddonfield averaged 19:55 and placed third in team scoring behind two all-star teams comprised of runners from different high schools. Among teams of runners from a single school, Haddonfield was first and finished the XC season unbeaten against high school teams.

Nutmeg All-Stars and Garden State Track Club finished first and second with 36 and 39 points, but Haddonfield – with only girls from Haddonfield High School – scored 74 points in scoring only from runners competing for a specific team.

Colts Neck (94), Mendham (121) and Kingsway (152) were the next intact high school teams in team scoring.

Kingsway sophomore Aubrey Pierontoni won the Navy race by half a minute in 19:37, and junior teammate Allison Helkowski was fourth in 20:15.

Collingswood senior Sophie Steidle, running for GSTC, ran 19:23, and Highland sophomore Grace Wassell ran 19:48.

The original fields had to be pared down because of New Jersey’s updated travel restrictions.

Kingsway’s Pierontoni runs big PR 18:37 and takes 2nd at Crash Running Invite!!!

Kingsway sophomore Aubrey Pierontoni, racing for the first time in three weeks, ran a huge all-course 5K PR of 18:37 to place second in the Crash Running High School XC Invitational at Ocean County Park in Lakewood.

Pierontoni’s previous 5,000-meter PR on any course was 19:04 in last year’s South Jersey Group 4 sectionals at Delsea, where she placed seventh.

Kingsway was unable to compete at sectionals and Pierontoni hadn’t raced since the South Jersey Open three weeks ago.

Pierontoni, the Gloucester County champion, finished second to 2019 Meet of Champions runner-up Caroline Mehlhorn of Montgomery, who ran 18:17.

All runners competed unattached and did not officially represent their high schools.

Kingsway junior Allison Helkowski ran a 5K PR of 19:08 and placed eighth. Her previous PR was 19:41, also from last year’s sectionals on the fast Delsea course.

Clearview senior Katherine Byrne also PR’d and placed 10th overall in 19:12. Her previous PR for any 5,000-meter course was also at Delsea but was at 2018 Group 4 sectionals, where she placed eighth in 19:31.

Sophomore Kelsey Niglio and junior Nicole Clifford of Cherokee finished 11th and 4th in 19:16 and 19:39.

Clearview freshman Abigail Waddington and Cherokee freshman Olivia Parkinson both broke 20 minutes for the first time, Waddington placing 13th in 19:38 and Parkinson16th in 19:44.

Also under 20 was Kingsway senior Sydney Watts, who finished 19th in 19:49, and Ocean City senior Alexa Palmieri, who ran 19:59 for 23rd place.

Two other freshmen – Cherokee’s Alaina Bromley and Clearview’s Eleanor Race – ran 5K PRs, Bromley in 24th in 20:02 and Race in 36th with 20:51.

A look at the fastest Holmdel single-race times in South Jersey history!!!

We wrote on Wednesday about https://sjtrackblog.com/2020/11/25/haddonfield-girls-cement-status-as-njs-1-team-with-riveting-holmdel-invite-triumph/In a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2, the top-ranked Haddonfield girls outscored No. 2 Ridgewood 52-65 to win the team title in the unofficial Meet of Champions.

As we mentioned, Haddonfield’s 19:31 team average for their five scorers is the fastest ever by a South Jersey team on the historic 5K Holmdel County Park course, which has been since 1972 for the Meet of Champions and state meet.

Incredibly, only 13 schools in South Jersey history have averaged within half a minute per runner!

Here’s a look at all the South Jersey schools that have averaged 20:30 or faster in a single race at Holmdel. If you see a performance missing, please let me know at FromTheBackstretch@gmail.com!

19:31.00 … Haddonfield, 2020 [1st, Holmdel Invitational]
19:35.42 … Haddonfield, 2013 [5th, M-of-C]
19:43.73 … Haddonfield Colt Invitational
19:45.35 … Kingsway, 2017 [2nd, M-of-C]
19:49.67 … Shawnee, 2013 [7th, M-of-C]
19:53.83 … Haddonfield, 2005 [6th, M-of-C]
19:56.01 … Haddonfield, 2013 [2nd, Group 2]
19:56.20 … Cherry Hill East, 2006 [7th, M-of-C]
19:56.36 … Kingsway, 2019 [1st, Group 4]
19:57.01 … Haddonfield, 2005 [1st, Group 2]
19:57.40 … Seneca, 2013 [2nd, Group 3]
19:58.88 … Kingsway, 2016 [3rd, M-of-C]
19:59.1 ….. Moorestown, 2001 [1st, M-of-C]
19:59.70 … Cherokee, 2010 [6th, M-of-C]
20:00.43 … Shawnee, 2017 [4th, Group 4]
20:02.28 … Seneca, 2012 [2nd, Group 3]
20:03.07 … Seneca, 2013 [10th, M-of-C]
20:03.35 … Kingsway, 2017 [5th, Group 4]
20:03.90 … Haddonfield, 2007 [1st, Group 2]
20:04.53 … Haddonfield, 2014 [3rd, Group 2]
20:06.10 … Shawnee, 2017 [5th, M-of-C]
20:06.90 … Haddonfield, 2019 [2nd, Group 2]
20:06.98 … Shawnee, 2013 [4th, Group 4]
20:10.13 … Lenape, 2006 [8th, M-of-C]
20:11.24 … Seneca, 2012 [12th, M-of-C]
20:11.56 … Shawnee, 2002 [1st, Group 4]
20:11.62 … Cherry Hill East, 2006 [2nd, Group 4]
20:11.80 … Shawnee, 2003 [1st, M-of-C]
20:13.10 … Cherokee, 2010 [5th, Group 4]
20:14.16 … Ocean City, 2012 [3rd, Group 3]
20:14.43 … Shawnee, 2015 [7th, Group 4]
20:14.90 … Kingsway, 2015 [6th, Group 4]
20:15.2 ….. Moorestown, 2001 [1st, Group 2]
20:15.27 … Haddonfield, 2007 [8th, M-of-C]
20:16.38 … Shawnee, 2002 [1st, M-of-C]
20:17.67 … Seneca, 2015 [7th, M-of-C]
20:19.09 … Haddonfield, 2006 [10th, M-of-C]
20:19.1 ….. Shawnee, 1998 [1st, M-of-C]
20:19.4 ….. Shawnee, 2001 [3rd, M-of-C]
20:19.60 … Shawnee, 2003 [1st, Group 4]
20:20.49 … Bishop Eustace, 2010 [3rd, Parochial A]
20:21.14 … Lenape, 2009 [6th, Group 4]
20:23.15 … Shawnee, 2014 [7th, Group 4]
20:24.37 … Cherokee, 2004 [8th, M-of-C]
20:24.50 … Seneca, 2014 [4th, Group 3]
20:24.92 … Moorestown, 2000 [3rd, M-of-C]
20:28.15 … Cherokee, 2011 [6th, Group 4]
20:28.94 … Haddonfield, 2009 [11th, M-of-C]
20:29.21 … Lenape, 2012 [7th, Group 4]
20:29.22 … Haddonfield, 2015 [12th, M-of-C]
20:29.39 … Lenape, 2007 [5th, Group 4]
20:29.48 … Delsea, 2009 [8th, M-of-C]
20:29.72 … Seneca, 2017 [5th, Group 3]
20:30.75 … Haddonfield, 2016 [1st, Group 2]

Brady Shute takes 6th at Holmdel Invite, finishes season unbeaten vs. South Jersey competition!!!!!

Woodbury senior Brady Shute mixed it up with some of the top runners in the state Wednesday afternoon and emerged with a monster 16:09 at the Holmdel Invitational.

Shute, who competes for the combined Woodbury-Gateway Co-Op program, placed sixth among New Jersey’s best in the unofficial Meet of Champions at Holmdel County Park.

Shute was the top South Jersey finisher, and his 6th-place finish is highest by a Gloucester County runner in a [official or unofficial] Meet of Champions since Washington Township’s Brian Skelly placed 3rd in the 1999 race. 

Shute did not lost a race to a South Jersey runner this year. He won every previous race he entered this fall, including the Colonial Conference All-Star meet, the Gloucester County Championships and the Group 1 sectionals.

His time makes him the =#4 performer in Gloucester County history over the 5,000-meter course at Holmdel and is fastest in 10 years. 

His previous Holmdel PR was a 16:30 when he placed 2nd in the Varsity F race at last year’s Shore Coaches Championships.

Highland senior Cole Wassell, also running as an at-large individual, ran a Holmdel PR 16:26 and placed 13th overall, and Collingswood senior Josh Forrest ran a Holmdel PR 16:47 and placed 32nd.

This year’s Meet of Champions was cancelled, and the Holmdel Invitational replaced was scheduled in its place as a way for New Jersey’s top teams and individuals to race together on the historic course that has hosted the Meet of Champions for nearly half a century.

Although the meet is not recognized by the NJSIAA and all individuals and teams technically ran for clubs or unattached, the times and performances will go down in the record books – at least our record books – as official, since they did happen during the high school season and in accordance with accepted high school rules.

Click here to read about Haddonfield winning the girls race and Cherokee placing 5th, and click here to read about the Haddonfield taking 4th in the boys race.

Here’s a look at the all-time Gloucester County performance list at Holmdel!

15:54 … Mike Mantini [Gateway], 1978 Group 2 [1]
15:54 … Paul Szulewski [Williamstown], 2010 Meet of Champions [8]
15:57 … Paul Szulewski [Williamstown], 2009 Meet of Champions [10]
15:59 … Anthony Dentino [Washington Twp.], 2010 Group 4 [4]
16:06 … Anthony Dentino [Washington Twp.], 2010 Shore Coaches [4]
16:08 … Paul Szulewski [Williamstown], 2009 Group 4 [5]
16:08 … Paul Szulewski [Williamstown], 2010 Group 4 [11]
16:09 … Noah Culbreath [Kingsway], 2014 Group 4 [6]
16:09 … Brady Shute [Woodbury-Gateway Co-Op] 2020 Holmdel Invitational [6]
16:10 … Paul Szulewski [Williamstown], 2009 Shore Coaches [4]
16:11 … Sebastien Reed [Pitman], 2019 Group 1 [1]
16:13 … Brian Skelly [Washington Twp,], 1999 Meet of Champions [3]
16:13 … Noah Culbreath [Kingsway], 2013 Meet of Champions [27]
16:15 … Carmen Cavella [Washington Twp,], 2003 Group 4 [8]
16:15 … Ryan Magnus [Kingsway], 2012 Meet of Champions [21]
16:14 … Noah Culbreath [Kingsway], 2014 Shore Coaches [1]
16:15 … Anthony Dentino [Washington Twp.], 2010 Meet of Champions [26]
16:17 … Joe Grandizio [Kingsway], 2017 Meet of Champions [17]
16:17 … Jonathan Connor [Kingsway], 2017 Group 4 [8]
16:18 … Brian Skelly [Washington Twp,], 1998 Group 4 [3]
16:18 … Sebastien Reed [Pitman], 2018 Group 1 [1]
16:19 … Brian Skelly [Washington Twp,], 1998 Meet of Champions [8]
16:19 … Carmen Cavella [Washington Twp,], 2003 Meet of Champions [15]
16:19 … Stone Caraccio [Kingsway], 2018 Shore Coaches [3]
16:20 … Justin Branco [Delsea], 2014 Meet of Champions [23]
16:20 … Noah Culbreath [Kingsway], 2014 Meet of Champions [24]
16:20 … Kieran Burns [Kingsway], 2017 Group 4 [11]
16:20 … Kieran Burns [Kingsway], 2017 Meet of Champions [21]
16:22 … Carmen Cavella [Washington Twp,], 2003 Shore Coaches [3]
16:22 … Nick Costello [Delsea], 2011 Meet of Champions [30]
16:22 … Nick Costello [Delsea], 2012 Shore Coaches [2]
16:22 … Jonathan Connor [Kingsway], 2017 Meet of Champions [22]
16:23 … Nick Pschunder [Eastern], 2015 Shore Coaches [2]
16:23 … Colin Kane [Delsea], 2018 Meet of Champions [19]
16:24 … Nick Costello [Delsea], 2010 Group 4 [4]
16:24 … Kyle Leonard [Washington Twp.], 2012 Group 4 [10]
16:24 … Brian Mangiaracina [Kingsway], 2017 Group 4 [13]
16:24 … Kieran Burns [Kingsway], 2018 Meet of Champions [21]
16:25 … Brian Skelly [Washington Twp,], 1998 Shore Coaches [7]
16:25 … Nick Costello [Delsea], 2011 Group 3 [4]
16:25 … Noah Culbreath [Kingsway], 2013 Group 4 [9]
16:25 … Nick Pshunder [Eastern], 2014 Meet of Champions [31]
16:25 … Nick Pshunder [Eastern], 2014 Shore Coaches [4]
16:25 … Sebastien Reed [Pitman], 2019 Meet of Champions [26]
16:26 … Kyle Evernham [Kingsway], 2014 Group 4 [12]
16:27 … Ozzie Huerta [Kingsway], 2005 Meet of Champions [3]
16:27 … Christian Mele [Cherry Hill East], 2014 Group 4 [14]
16:28 … Tom Horne [Glassboro], 1993 Group 1 [1]
16:28 … Cade Hindley [Kingsway], 2017 Group 4 [14]
16:28 … Joe Grandizio [Kingsway], 2017 Group 4 [15]
16:29 … Sebastien Reed [Pitman], 2018 Meet of Champions [32]
16:30 … Ryan Magnus [Kingsway], 2012 Group 4 [7]
16:30 … Colin Kane [Delsea], 2018 Group 2 [5]
16:30 … Nick Costello [Delsea], 2011 Shore Coaches [1]
16:30 … Brady Shute [Gateway/Woodbury Co-op], 2019 Shore Coaches [2]

Haddonfield boys record 17-SECOND GAP, take 4th in Holmdel Invitational!!!

Haddonfield packed its five scorers in a remarkable 17 seconds and placed fourth in the Holmdel Invitational, the unofficial 2020 Meet of Champions.

With the Meet of Champions cancelled this year, the Holmdel Invitational was created to gather the top teams in the state on the same championship course at Holmdel County Park where the M-of-C has been held since 1972.

And Haddonfield, ranked No. 5 in the state, finished a tremendous season in style, by averaging 16:52 over the hilly 5,000-meter Holmdel course and finishing behind only CBA, Ridge and North Hunterdon.

All five Bulldogs ran between 16:42 and 16:59, with sophomore George Andrus first across the line in 26th place. Junior Tobias Janssen, senior Caleb Clevenger, senior Sean Eisenhower and senior John Hurly crossed in an eight-second span, Janssen in 36th in 16:51, Clevenger 37th in 16:53, Eisenhower 39th in 16:55 and Hurly in 42nd in 16:59.

Sophomores Ian Romea and Robert DiMedo ran 17:56 and 18:08 for Haddonfield. In team scoring, Haddonfield went 17-24-25-26-29.

CBA won with 48 points, Ridge was second with 64, North Hunterdon third with 100 and Haddonfield fourth with 121, just ahead of Colts Neck at 125.

Cherry Hill East placed 8th with seniors Gabe Rodriguez [16:45], Aidan Eyre [17:06] and Justin Whitney [17:22], junior Dylan Hagan [17:36] and senior Aidan Groff [17:51] averaging 17:20. Sophomore Michael McCurdy [17:52] and junior Ethan Anderer [18:18] also raced for East.

More on the individual race soon, but tremendous performance by Woodbury-Gateway Co-Op senior Brady Shute, who was the top South Jersey finisher in 6th place in 16:09.

HADDONFIELD GIRLS CEMENT STATUS AS NJ’S #1 TEAM WITH RIVETING HOLMDEL INVITE TRIUMPH!!!!!

What a way to finish the season!

Seniors Sarah Naticchia, Allison Colflesh and Payton Weiner all finished among the top 15 runners to lead top-ranked Haddonfield to a remarkable team victory in the Holmdel Invitational – the unofficial 2020 New Jersey Meet of Champions.

Freshman Anne Earp and sophomore Helene Usher placed 31st and 35th for Haddonfield.

Haddonfield – running as the Haddonfield Running Club – edged No. 2 Ridgewood 52-65, with the margin of victory coming from Usher, who finished 18 places ahead of Ridgewood’s fifth runner.

After four runners, Ridgewood led 27-35.

Naticchia ran a Holmdel PR 18:50 for 7th place, Colflesh was 13th in 19:07 and Weiner 15th in 19:11, also a Holmdel PR. Earp ran 20:05 in her first career race at legendary Holmdel County Park, and Usher ran 20:22 in her first crack at the Holmdel hills. Junior Jess Goode [48th in 20:47] and Lindsay Colflesh [52nd in 20:59] also ran for Haddonfield.

In terms of team scoring, Haddonfield went 3-5-7-17-20.

Haddonfield averaged 19:31, fastest ever by a South Jersey team at Holmdel. The 2013 Haddonfield team held the record with a 19:35 from the 2013 Meet of Champions.

With the victory, Haddonfield finished the 2020 season undefeated and cemented its status as the No. 1 team in New Jersey this year and one of the greatest teams in South Jersey history.

Although the NJSIAA won’t consider this an official Meet of Champions victory, the New Jersey track and cross country community will always consider it an unofficial Meet of Champions team title.

Officially recognized or not, Haddonfield becomes the first South Jersey school to finish the season No. 1 since Shawnee won its fourth Meet of Champions in 2003. The only other South Jersey schools to win the Meet of Champions team title in the meet’s 49-year history is Moorestown in 2001.

Cherokee, despite running without freshman Kerry O’Day, its top finisher at sectionals, still finished 5th overall among the top teams in the state with 144 points, and Cherokee returns its entire lineup next fall (and six of its top seven in 2022).

Incredibly, the quartet of sophomore Kelsey Niglio, freshman Olivia Parkinson, junior Nicole Clifford and freshman Alaina Bromley all finished in order – Niglio in 39th, Parkinson in 40th, Clifford in 41st and Bromley in 42nd. For team scoring purposes, they finished 24th through 27th.

Junior Noelle Falzone [42nd in 21:34], freshman Allison Rathman [43rd in 21:45] and freshman Emma Parkinson [51st in 22:17] also ran for Cherokee.

Collingswood senior Sophie Steidle, running as an individual, was 12th in 19:03, taking 53 seconds off her Holmdel PR of 19:58 from the 2018 Shore Coaches Invite.

Highland sophomore Grace Wassell, also competing as an individual wild card, was 20th in 19:39.