Brady Shute edges Mike Liberty in fast Division 2 race at South Jersey Open!!!!!

Great race in Division 2 Saturday at the South Jersey Open, with Gateway-Woodbury junior Brady Shute edging Oakcrest senior Mike Liberty by 15 meters.

Shute covered the fast, flat Delsea 5,000-meter course in 16:08, with Liberty just behind in 16:11.

That’s Shute’s fastest time ever at Delsea. He ran 16:33 at sectionals last spring.

The time is a PR also for Liberty on the sectional course. He previous ran 16:29 last year at the same meet.

I’m not really sure how to handle the combined Gateway-Woodbury program when it comes to “first since.”

But Shute is the first runner from either school to win an individual title at the South Jersey Open since the great Mike Mantini of Gateway won the 1978 Group 1-2-B race at Cooper River Park, finishing half a minute ahead of teammate Ken Noddin.

Shute and Liberty posted the second- and third-fastest times from among three varsity races Saturday, behind only Cherry Hill East senior Oliver Adler, who won the Division 1 race in 15:40, finishing 200 meters ahead of teammate Gabe Rodriguez, a junior.

That 15:40 is a 5,000 XC PR for Adler on any course, one second faster than he ran in the Battle of Ocean County Park last month in Lakewood.

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After flight cancellation strands Florida-bound Ocean City XC program, Delta Airlines comes to the rescue!!!!!

The Ocean City cross country program was all set to travel to Florida to race at DisneyWorld on Friday when disaster struck.

The Red Raiders’ Thursday evening flight to Orlando was cancelled, and alternate arrangements weren’t available for the large Ocean City traveling party.

Fortunately, Ocean City tweeted about its debacle, directing the tweet to Delta Airlines – which was not the group’s original airline.

Six minutes after Ocean City’s initial tweet — SIX MINUTES — Delta responded and asked Ocean City officials to direct message them.

During their ordeal, the Ocean City golf team had some fun with the XC team:

Incredibly, by Friday morning, Delta had arranged for a charter for the entire Ocean City traveling party, and the boys and girls varsity and JV teams were on their way to Orlando Airport!

And on Friday evening, the Ocean City boys won the varsity race at the Disney Cross Country Classic at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Fla., and the girls placed second. In addition, the boys also won the JV title.

We’ll have full results later — as of Friday evening they hadn’t been posted — but what an incredible story! Congrats to Ocean City and kudos to Delta for making it happen!

Eastern’s Nick Pschunder, Ocean City’s Emma Bergman enjoy big races for Rutgers at Metro Championships!!!

Senior Nick Pschunder placed fourth overall and first among Rutgers runners at the Metropolitan Athletics XC Championships Friday.

Pschender, a graduate of Eastern High in Voorhees, finished only eight seconds behind overall winner Nicholas Raefski of Fordham, a graduate of Voorhees High (the other Voorhees).

Pschunder covered the hilly five-mile course at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx in 26:08. It was Pschunder’s third straight top-5 finish in the Metropolitan Championships.

In the women’s race, Ocean City graduate Emma Bergman, also a senior at Rutgers, helped the Scarlet Knights win the team title. Bergman placed 15th overall, covering Vanny’s 5K course in 19:39, and was Rutgers’ fourth finisher. Rutgers won the women’s team title 53-72 over Fordham.

Kevin Antczak, Austin Gabay, Oliver Adler race their way onto all-time Holmdel time list!!!

Seniors Kevin Antczak of Mainland, senior Austin Gabay of Cinnaminson and Oliver Adler of Cherry Hill East raced their way onto the all-time Holmdel sub-16 list Saturday at Shore Coaches.

We’ll start with Antczak, who won the Group A race in astounding fashion. Let’s recap:

–> Antczak ran 15:32, which is the fastest time recorded by a South Jersey runner on the legendary Holmdel County Park 5,000-meter course in 31 years and second-fastest ever, behind the  15:16 that Jason DiJoseph of Paul VI ran to win the 1988 Meet of Champions.

–> The fastest previous time at Holmdel by an Atlantic County runner was Louis Corgliano’s 15:35 when he was third behind CBA’s Mike McClemens and Freehold Township’s Dylan Tarpey at the 2013 Meet of Champions.

–> The fastest previous time by a Mainland runner at Holmdel was Greg Hughes’ 15:39 when he was placed second to Mohamad Khadraoui of JFK Paterson at the 2003 Meet of Champions.

–> Antczak’s previous PR at Holmdel was a 16:01 when he was took at last year’s Meet of Champions.

–> He became the first Mainland Shore Coaches winner since Hughes won Group B in 2002 and 2003.

–> He now shares the meet record for the Shore Coaches since it moved from nearby Brookdale Community College in Lincroft to Holmdel in 1979. Two other runners ran 15:32 on Saturday – Luke Jackson of West Windsor-Plainsboro North, who finished second in the A race to Antczak, was also credited with a time of 15:32, as was Liam Murphy of Allentown, who won the Group C race. So the three-fastest times in Shore Coaches history came on the same day!

Gabay ran the fifth-fastest time of the day, winning the Group E race in 15:58. That’s No. 3 in Holmdel history by a Cinnaminson runner, behind Jon Anderson’s 15:51 in 2003 and Michael Ungvarsky’s 15:57 in 2016. He’s the 10th Burlington County runner to go sub-16 at Holmdel, and all 10 are from Cherokee, Cinnaminson or Shawnee.

15:40 … Shawn Wilson [Cherokee], 2012
15:43 … Marc Pelerin [Cherokee], 2001
15:45 … Keith Krieger [Cherokee], 2002
15:46 … Jack Shea [Cherokee], 2015
15:51 … Jon Anderson [Cinnaminson], 2003
15:56 … David Forward [Shawnee], 2008
15:56 … Ethan Wechsler [Cherokee], 2018
15:57 … Connor Herr [Shawnee], 2010
15:57 … Michael Ungvarsky [Cinnaminson], 2016
15:58 … Austin Gabay [Cinnaminson], 2019

And Adler ran the No. 2 time in Cherry Hill East history with his 15:58 for fourth place in the Group A race. Aaron Groff ran 15:37 in 2015. Adler and Gabay are tied for fifth-fastest overall time in all seven races on Saturday.

Adler’s time is No. 15 ever by a Camden County runner but only seven seconds out of the top 10 with states and Meet of Champions still to come.

15:16 … Jason DiJoseph [Paul VI], 1988
15:33 … Josh Clark [Highland], 2015
15:37 … Aaron Groff [Cherry Hill East], 2015
15:39 … Luke Petela [Haddon Twp.], 2014
15:40 … Steve Maine [Highland], 2013
15:41 … Jon Vitez [Haddonfield], 2009
15:42 … Ben Potts [Haddonfield], 2010
15:42 … Shawn Hutchison [Bishop Eustace], 2014
15:50 … Mike Myers [Eastern Reg.], 2000
15:51 … Murad Campbell [Overbrook], 1998
15:54 … Skip Stiles [Haddonfield], 2001
15:55 … Dominick Munson [Timber Creek], 2014
15:56 … Kyle Kirk [Camden Catholic], 2012
15:57 … Nate Miller [Highland Reg.], 1998
15:58 … Oliver Adler [Cherry Hill East], 2019

Here’s the all-time South Jersey Holmdel County Park sub-16 list! (As always, please pass along any errors or omissions in the comments section of this post!)
15:16 … Jason DiJoseph [Paul VI], 1988
15:32 … Kevin Antczak [Mainland Regional], 2019
15:33 … Josh Clark [Highland], 2015
15:35 … Louis Corgliano [Hammonton], 2013
15:37 … Aaron Groff [Cherry Hill East], 2015
15:38 … Gregory Hughes [Mainland], 2003
15:39 … Luke Petela [Haddon Twp.], 2014
15:40 … Shawn Wilson [Cherokee], 2012
15:40 … Brett Johnson [Ocean City], 2008
15:40 … Steve Maine [Highland], 2013
15:41 … Jon Vitez [Haddonfield], 2009
15:42 … Ben Potts [Haddonfield], 2010
15:42 … Shawn Hutchison [Bishop Eustace], 2014
15:43 … Marc Pelerin [Cherokee], 2001
15:43 … Miles Schoedler [Ocean City], 2010
15:45 … Keith Krieger [Cherokee], 2002
15:46 … Jack Shea [Cherokee], 2015
15:47 … Urie Ridgeway [Bridgeton], 1988
15:48 … Chris Platt [Haddonfield], 2001
15:50 … Mike Myers [Eastern Reg.], 2000
15:51 … Jon Anderson [Cinnaminson], 2003
15:51 … Murad Campbell [Overbrook], 1998
15:54 … Mike Mantini [Gateway], 1978
15:54 … Paul Szulewski [Williamstown], 2010
15:54 … Skip Stiles [Haddonfield], 2001
15:55 … Dominick Munson [Timber Creek], 2014
15:55 … Breton Bonnett [Haddonfield], 2001
15:56 … Kyle Kirk [Camden Catholic], 2012
15:56 … David Forward [Shawnee], 2008
15:56 … Ethan Wechsler [Cherokee], 2018
15:57 … Nate Miller [Highland Reg.], 1998
15:57 … Connor Herr [Shawnee], 2010
15:57 … Michael Ungvarsky [Cinnaminson], 2016
15:58 … Austin Gabay [Cinnaminson], 2019
15:58 … Oliver Adler [Cherry Hill East], 2019
15:59 … Anthony Dentino [Washington Twp.], 2010
15:59 … Robert Edwards [Bridgeton], 2002

Haddonfield’s Sarah Naticchia, Cherokee’s Kate Rathman run Holmdel PRs, lead S.J. girls at Shore Coaches!!!

Two girls from Haddonfield and two girls from Cherokee along with one from Egg Harbor led the way for South Jersey individually at the Shore Coaches Invitational Saturday.

Juniors Sarah Naticchia and Payton Weiner of Haddonfield, senior Kate Rathman and sophomore Nicole Clifford of Cherokee and Egg Harbor senior Oliva Shafer all broke 20 minutes on the hilly Holmdel County Park course.

Naticchia, racing at Holmdel for the first time, obviously ran a course PR and the seventh-fastest time in Haddonfield history. Weiner had run between 20:18 and 20:23 three times at Holmdel, so her 19:40 is a 38-second PR at Holmdel and No. 8 on Haddonfield’s all-time Holmdel list, according to records maintained by MileSplit.

Rathman broke her Holmdel PR of 19:27,which she set at the state Group 4 meet two years ago. Clifford ran a Holmdel PR of nearly a minute and a half. Rathman moved into the No. 3 spot at Holmdel in Cherokee history, and Clifford’s 19:40 is 9th-fastest in Cherokee history.

Shafer has run slightly faster at Holmdel – 19:35 at last year’s Meet of Champions – but her 19:40 is an 11-second improvement from her time at Shore Coaches last year.

Here’s a look at all the South Jersey girls that ran 21:00 or faster Saturday!

19:14 … Sarah Naticchia [Haddonfield], 3rd, Group D
19:20 … Kate Rathman [Cherokee], 6th, Group A
19:40 … Olivia Shafer [Egg Harbor], 14th, Group A
19:40 … Payton Weiner [Haddonfield], 4th, Group D
19:59 … Nicole Clifford [Cherokee], 21st, Group A
20:10 … Kate Ruona [Shawnee], 11th, Group B
20:10 … Lilly Sirover [Haddonfield], 9th, Group D
20:12 … Katie Sparks [Paul VI], 10th, Group D
20:13 … Allison MacFarland [Kingsway], 13th, Group B
20:15 … MaryKathleen McCurdy [Cherry Hill East], 30th, Group A
20:17 … Madison McNiff [Cherry Hill East], 31st, Group A
20:19 … Aubrey Pierontoni [Kingsway], 16th, Group B
20:29 … Julia Smith [Schalick], 8th, Group F
20:33 … Allison Helkowksi [Kingsway], 19th, Group B
20:33 … Casey McLees [Ocean City], 7th, Group C
20:33 … Lindsay Colflesh [Haddonfield], 12th, Group D
20:37 … Michaela Pomatto [Egg Harbor Twp.], 44th, Group A
20:40 … Sophie Steidle [Collingswood], 10th, Group F
20:41 … Marleigh Puglia [Schalick], 11th, Group F
20:42 … Brooke Adams [Cinnaminson], 8th, Group D
20:43 … Sydney Watts [Kingsway], 23rd, Group B
20:53 … Evie Andrewes [Haddonfield], 15th, Group D
20:54 … Abigail Kotran [Clearview], 28th, Group B
20:56 … Allie Pierontoni [Kingsway], 29th, Group B
20:58 … Madeline Corbett [Mainland Regional], 32nd, Group B
21:00 … Emma Klouchek [Seneca], 11th, Group C

PLEASANTVILLE’S NIA ALI WINS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS HURDLES WITH #9 TIME IN HISTORY!!!!!!!!

Nia Ali, a Pleasantville High School graduate and the silver medalist in the 2016 Olympics, won the 100-meter high hurdles Sunday at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Ali lowered her personal-best from 12.44 to 12.34, comfortably winning the final on the final day of the 10-day meet at Khalifa International Stadium.

That 12.34 is No. 9 in world history and No. 5 in U.S. history. The all-time world and U.S. top-10 lists are below.

She missed the World Championships meet record of 12.28, set in 2011 by Sally Pearson of Australia, by just 6-100ths of a second.

Ali is the first U.S. woman to win the World Championships high hurdles since Brianna Rollins in 2013 in Moscow.

She’s the first woman from New Jersey to win an individual title at the World Championships, which have been held every two years since 1983.

Ali ran 12.54 in Saturday’s trails and then PR’d at 12.44 in the semifinals, finishing just behind Jamaica’s Danielle Williams, who ran 12.41 in the first of the three semis. They went into the final as the two-fastest qualifiers, with Tobi Amusan of Nigeria the only other hurdler under 12.50 at 12.48.

But the final was all Ali, with American Kendra Harrison taking the silver in 12.46, Williams third in 12.47 and Amusan a close fourth in 12.49.

Top 10 all-time hurdlers
12.20 … Kendra Harrison [USA], 2016
12.21 … Yordanko Donkova [Bulgaria], 1988
12.25 … Gina Zagorcheva [Bulgaria], 1987
12.26 … Lyudmila Narozhilenko [Russia], 1992
12.26 … Brianna McNeal [USA], 2013
12.28 … Sally Pearson [Australia], 2011
12.32 … Danielle Williams [Jamaica], 2019
12.33 … Gail Devers [USA], 2000
12.34 … Nia Ali [USA], 2019
12.34 … Sharika Nelvis [USA], 2015

Top 10 U.S. hurdlers
12.20 … Kendra Harrison, 2016
12.26 … Brianna McNeal, 2013
12.33 … Gail Devers, 2000
12.34 … Nia Ali, 2019
12.34 … Sharika Nelvis, 2015
12.35 … Jasmin Stowers, 2015
12.37 … Joanna Hayes, 2004
12.37 … Dawn Harper-Nelson, 2012
12.42 … Anjanette Kirkland, 2001
12.43 … Michelle Perry, 2005

Cherokee boys average 16:35 at Holmdel, take 2nd in MileSplit’s Shore Coaches merge!!!

The Cherokee boys finish second overall in Milesplit’s merge of the 168 full teams that competed in the seven varsity races at Shore Coaches on Saturday.

Cherokee finished third in Group A, 20 points behind West Windsor-Plainsboro North at Holmdel County Park. The Chiefs tied with Mendham for second but placed third when Mendham’s sixth runner finished six seconds ahead of Cherokee’s

And it was WW-P-N that won the New Jersey MileSplit merge, 128-184, over the Chiefs. Only Ridge (208), Mendham (225), Westfield (342) and North Hunterdon (357) were also under 400.

Cherokee averaged 16:35.8 for its five scorers, third-fastest overall behind WW-P-N (16:23.4), which had Luke Johnson run 15:32, and Mendham, which got a 15:50 from Jack Jennings.

Senior Ethan Wechsler led Cherokee at 16:00 for sixth overall in the merge, with Chase Miller 25th in 16:33, Tyler Jackson 34th at 16:40, Nico Grilli 43rd in 16:44 and Michael Gavio 76th in 17:02. Daniel Boria (17:16) and Robert Hackney (17:29) gave Cherokee all seven under 17:30.

Other South Jersey schools in the top-25 in the MileSplit merge were Cherry Hill East (8th at 424), Ocean City (10th in 526), Kingsway (17th at 726), Haddon Township (19th at 770) and Delsea (22nd at 812).