A North Jersey look at the State Meet of Champions

HOLMDEL – It took a few days longer than expected, but with Tuesday’s Group 2 Boys and Non-Public A Boys & Girls Championships on Tuesday, the ground for the New Jersey Cross Country Champions meet is in place.

Union Catholic won the non-public A titles at Holmdel County Park, with the boys beating the eternal CBA champion, 32-43 and the girls winning their first title, 77-78 against Kent Place. Union Catholic senior Shane Brosnan edged second-year teammate Jimmy Wischusen in 15:45 for the boys’ individual title and Red Bank Catholic junior Cate DeSousa easily beat Lindsay Hausman of Kent Place, in 18:33 in the girls’ race.

Haddonfield won the boys ‘Group 2 title to add to the girls’ victory he won on Saturday, in the final race before rain, hail and dangerous winds forced the competition to be suspended with three races remaining . The Bulldawgs went 1-3-5 with Seth Clevenger winning the race in 15:51 to score a 33-88 victory over Cinnaminson.

Three North Jersey runners qualified for Saturday’s State Champions meet, also at Holmdel County Park, finishing in the top 10 in their races on Tuesday.

Owen Horevay, junior from Lakeland, broke a personal best at Holmdel, setting an academic record at 4:31 pm for ninth place in Group 2. Horevay became only the second boy in school history to advance to the state final and led the Lancers to an academic record. fourth place in the team race. Lakeland finished four places and 86 points ahead of Northern Valley / Demarest who won the North Section 1 title in a surprise on November 6th.

“In general, I like weekend runs better,” Horevay said, “But I slept a lot (Monday) at night and had a good breakfast this morning.”

“I tried to stay in the top 10 the whole race and was sixth or seventh for most of it. I fell back at the bowl a bit (just after halfway), but then I passed three people on the final descent. ”

River Dell’s Alex Saldana (14th, 5:03 pm), Andrew Kleinman of Demarest (15th, 5:04 pm) and Horevay’s junior teammate Nathan Caldwell (17th, 5:09 pm) also had good runs and Demarest (8th) and Leonia (10th) finished in the first half of the peloton.

Kate Hurst (5th, 19:32) and IHA junior Leanna Johnston (7th, 19:43) both ran outstanding races in the non-public race A to qualify. IHA was fifth in the competition and the Angels were 13th.

Lakeland girls and three people get wild cards

As a result of the combined merger of the six-boy and six-girl group races, the Lakeland girls won their first State Meet of Champions bid along with seven other teams. The Lancers, led by GCOS favorite Angelina Perez, were third in Group 2, a few points behind automatic qualifier Metuchen and were fifth of eight wild card teams selected, with five teams from Group 4 and one each from non-public A and 3.

NV / Old Tappan missed out on a wild card spot for the three-place women’s squad, despite finishing 19th overall, but junior Kristen Johnson will step away from her 19:57 finish in the squad. She is the fifth of 10 individual wild cards. North Highlands sophie Rebecca Maclaren came within two seconds of last place in 20:13.

Kristen Johnson of Old Tappan is shown on her way to second place in Mahwah on Thursday, October 14, 2021.

No North Jersey men’s team was close, with Don Bosco, fifth in Non-Public A, the closest, but the Ironmen will send out junior Paul Maguire, 12th in the race at 16:46 as fifth wild card. Bergen Tech junior Dylan Decambre is the fourth pick after running 16:43 in his Group 4 race on Saturday. He is the first Knight boy to progress since Scott Sarnoski competed two years in a row in 1976 and 1977. Sarnoski finished seventh in the 1977 SMOC race. closest to third place, finishing seven seconds off the auction after running 5:02 pm.

North Jersey Qualifications and Prospects


Team: Kinnelon (2nd in group 1 – fifth selection (previously qualified in 1976-1977-2005-2006).

Outlook: The Colts were 19th out of 20 teams the last time they met, but with a solid starting line consisting of Braeden Carroll, Elijah Gately and Andrew Garcia, the Group 1 finalists could finish all the way to 17th.

People: Dylan Decambre, Bergen Tech (wild card: first knight since 1977); Jacob Heredia, Clifton (3rd in Group 4; fourth all-time individual to qualify for the competition, first since 2006); Paul Maguire, Don Bosco (wild card; Don Bosco has a representative in every GCOS except one since 2004); Aidan Carroll, Glen Rock (4th in Group 1; fourth all-time individual to qualify for the competition); Amiri Whittle, Hackensack (4th in group 4; seventh individual qualified, first since 2013); Evan Morrow, Hasbrouck Heights (3rd in Group 1; very first individual qualifier, the team succeeded in 2018); Owen Horevay, Lakeland (9th in Group 2, second individual to qualify); Younes Abada, Secaucus (5th in group 1; third individual qualification, first since 1999).

Dylan Decambre of Bergen County Tech is set to finish second in the Bergen Cross Country Ski Champions meet at Darlington Park in Mahwah on Saturday, October 30, 2021.

Outlook; No boy from Clifton has ever finished in the top 10 (Paul Kornaszewski was 13th in 2001) and no boy from Passaic County has finished so high since Kennedy’s Mohammed Khadraoui won his second straight title in 2003. Heredia should break that streak and even have a chance to finish in the top five.

Hackensack hasn’t been in the top 25 since 1992 and his only top 10 is Rich Hubbard (7th) in 1982. Whittle, who had a storybook the first year, should easily be in the top 25 and with a run to his credit in Holmdel, go under 16 minutes and compete for the top 10.

Horevay could enter the top 25 and Decambre and Maguire should enter the top 50. Everyone else would be fighting to break 17 minutes on the Holmdel course in what is traditionally a very fast race.


Teams: Lakeland (group 2 wild card, first appearance); Ridgewood (2nd in Group 4, North Jersey record 19th appearance, won in 1992 and 1999).

Outlook: The opposite end of the experience spectrum with Lakeland making their first appearance, becoming the 23rd North Jersey team and the sixth Passaic team to meet, and Ridgewood retaining their position with the seventh-highest appearance of any women’s team state (Red Bank Catholic leads with 35, Voorhees leads public schools with 27). Lakeland could have claimed a top-six podium if he had been able to field his healthy regular squad. But Abby Horevay (10th in GCOS 2019) has been hampered all year by the illness, which appears to have ultimately been diagnosed as Lyme disease and bravely flawed in last week’s race to win Lakeland’s candidacy. Strong No.5 Reaghan Lamascola missed the group meet and won’t be back for GCOS due to a lacrosse tournament and the Lancers will likely not finish better than 15th.

Olivia Shattuck of Ridgewood heads to the finish line in the NJSIAA XC Sectionals North 1 Group 4 Girls race.  Shattuck was fourth with a time of 19:14 at Garret Mountain Reservation.  Saturday, November 15, 2020

Ridgewood is an enigma. The Maroons have been sensational over the past four years with a senior core of Lucia Rabolli, Olivia Shattuck, AnnaMarie Tretola and Lily Williams who finished second at the 2018 and 2019 GCOS and the 2020 Holmdel Invitational, the replacement race of the year. last. But something always seems to stand in the way of the final victory. With the addition of Caroline Deiss senior last year and talented sophs Avery Sheridan and Cellina Rabolli this year, Ridgewood is talented enough to defeat top contenders Cherokee, Colts Neck and Haddonfield. But they were never able to organize their best races on the same day as the GCOS winners usually do. They are unlikely to finish below fourth place, but the only medal this team wants is gold.

People: Kate Hurst, Holy Angels (5th in Non-Public A; 2019 was the first year since 2006 that the Angels had no participants); Remy Dubac, Cllifton (Group 4 champion; Clifton’s third daughter to qualify in the last three meetings); Danielle Tilp, Cresskill (9th in Group 1; fourth Cougar to qualify); Isabella Drezek, Hasbrouck Heights (3rd in group 1; first Aviator girl since 2011); Leanna Johnston, IHA (7th in Non-Public A; first individual since 2015); Allison Lounsbury, Indian Hills (5th in Group 2; third in the top 10 in four years); Grace Mougalian, Kinnelon (8th in Group 1; the Colts have had reps in six of the last seven SOCs); Kristen Johnson, Old Tappan (wild card; first qualifier since 2004); Christina Allen, River Dell (3rd, in Group 2; fourth all-time).

Outlook: The last time the competition was held, North Jersey put six girls in the top 20. It could happen again. Lakeland’s Angelina Perez is in the midst of one of the greatest seasons in state history, with course records at Garret Mountain, Darlington and (briefly) at Great Adventure and the fastest race ever run by a Jerseyan at Holmdel Park last week. She should win easily, becoming the seventh champion in North Jersey (second in Passaic County) and could become the second girl in course history to break 17 minutes. (Three-time national champion Kaitlin Touhy of North Rockland (NY) has the course record at 16:21).

Dubac and Allen are expected to be in the top 10 with Shattuck and Lounsbury in the top 20. Lucia Rabolli, Williams, Tretola, Hurst and Johnston all have the ability to get there as well with Johnson and Drezek able to finish in the top 50. Les Others, including Lakeland’s Caitlin Fahy and Morgan Uhlhorn, hope to move closer to the 20-minute barrier by ending their seasons.

Paul Schwartz covers high school athletics for NorthJersey.com. For full access to live scores, the latest news and analysis from our Varsity Aces team, subscribe today. To get the latest news straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter and download our app.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @northnjtrack

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