Over the years, many South Jersey athletes competed in Track & Field and set some incredible records! Recently, Reuben Frank, formerly the Sports Reporter at the Burlington County Times, Comcast, and now at NBC Sports, Philadelphia, provided a series of carefully-researched Outdoor Track and Field records and posted them on his South Jersey Track and Field Association Blog. You can look at his entire work on the blog or see only the lists that include Cherokee athletes on our server at:
Go back on this website and review the Cherokee careers of these individual stars! Look for Darren McCluskey '11 in the 110HH; Shawn Wilson '13, Marc Pelerin '02, Steve Burkholder '10 and Ethan Wechsler '19 in the 1600m; Pelerin, Wilson and Wechsler as well as Nick Falk '17 and Justin Kelly '18 in the 3200m; and Gary Roskoski '99 and Lucciano Pizarro '19 in the Shot Put! (Pictures of Cherokee's great 800m runner, Dave Sitzer, '00 and Cherokee's long-time record-holding Shot Putter, Gary Roskoski '99 are unavailable at this time.)__________________
While you're there, check out the times set by several great 3200m Relay (AKA 4 X 800m Relay) teams over the years! For the record, back in the "Dark Ages" (pre-Cherokee website!) in 1998, at the Penn Relays, Matt Urbanovich, Mike Caputi, Jeff Stroch and Dave Sitzer took 1st (7:52.66) in the 2nd of the Large School qualifiers and advanced as the 4th seed to the Championship race! They finished 7th (7:57.20) in the Championship. Boxscores at: NJ Track History. Also, in May, 2000, Josh Joseph, Mike Caputi, Marc Pelerin and Dave Sitzer took 1st Place at the East Coast Relays at Morristown High School in 7:51.14. At MC Track.
Much later, in 2000, Josh Jacobs, Mike Caputi, Marc Pelerin and Dave Sitzer clocked 7:49.34 at the National Scholastic/New Balance Outdoor Nationals in North Carolina! At NB Nats. Then in 2011, Colin Merrigan, Drew Viscidy, Ty Somers and Ross Staudt clocked 7:52.60 and took 6th at the New Jersey State Meet of Champions. At NJ.MileSplit. And, finally, in 2012, Colin Merrigan, Shawn Wilson, Ross Staudt and Drew Viscidy clocked 7:49.85 in the Penn Relays Championship of America 4 X 800m Relay even though they dropped the baton between their 3rd and 4th runners! At Penn Relays.
Also for the record, Indoors in 2012, Colin Merrigan, Drew Viscity, Jeff Storch and Shawn Wilson clocked 7:47.84 and took 2nd at the Eastern States Championships at the Armory in NY City! At Easterns. And in March, 2012, Colin Merrigan, Drew Viscidy, Jeff Storch and Shawn Wilson, running as the Tomahawk TC, clocked 7:43.64 and took 2nd at the New Balance Indoor Nationals! They continue to hold the school record in the event! At NBIN.__________________
The Super Sprint Medley (100-100-200-400) (AKA 800 Sprint Medley) was a relatively new Sprint event introduced in New Jersey in the early 2000's. But Cherokee athletes made Mr. Frank's list on two occasions! In July, 2008, Kevin Merrigan, Niraj Patel, Will Rapp and Chris Steliga, competing as the Cherokee Track Club, in the Nike Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, NC (Yes, track in July in North Carolina!) finished in 7th while clocking 1:33.29! At Nat'l Scholastic. Then in May, 2018, Will Delendik, EJ Bard, Devin Ibarrondo and Kevin Milligan competed in the South Jersey Open, Relays at Rancocas Valley High School and clocked 1:34.94 to place 2nd! At NJ.MileSplit.__________________
The traditional Sprint Medley (200-200-400-800) always seemed an elusive race for Cherokee coaches and athletes. Frequently, coaches favored other events where athletes were expected to score more points! Cherokee's athletes made Mr. Frank's SMR list on only one occasion, in 2001! The results were reported as "hand held" and not FAT. Coach Shaklee reported the following times run to win the Woodbury Relays in 2001: Blake Letchford 22.9; A. Spencer Davis 23.3; Sean Mayers 49.8 and Marc Pelerin 1:54.7! Coach Shaklee recorded a hand-time of 3:30.9, and, using a widely-accepted hand-to-FAT conversion of .14, Coach Shaklee recorded the record as 3:31.04. Mr. Frank reported 3:30.9 with no conversion.__________________
The Distance Medley Relay was always a big-time distance relay but it was even more highly-regarded in the 1970's! Mr. Frank's list of South Jersey DMR's identified 8 or the top-20 records were set in the 1970's! Cherokee's athletes made the DMR list five times, spanning a time from the late 90's to the most recent in 2012. (Mr. Frank provided this explanation on converting the yards-to-meters races: "Using the standard .9942 conversion from the 2 1/2-mile race to the 4,000-meter version, eight of the top 20 marks came between 1972 and 1979, with eight schools running 10:19.5 or faster." Not sure how he converted hand-time results.)
In 1998, the team raced 10:26.3h and won at the Woodbury Relays, with Aaron Boucher in the 1200, ___________ in the 400, Dave Sitzer in the 800, and Jeff Storch anchoring the 1600!
In 2000, the team clocked 10:21.78 at the East Coast Relays with Dave Sitzer in 3:08.3; Sean Meyers in 51.4; Mike Caputi in 1:56.5; and Josh Joseph anchoring in 4:25.5! At NJ.MileSplit.
In 2001, the team finished in 10:16.11 at the Penn Relays, taking 3rd behind South Lakes (with Alan Webb on the anchor) and CBA with Josh Joseph in 3:07.4; Sean Mayers in 49.4; Kevin Hurley in 2:00.9; and Marc Pelerin in 4:18.1. They continue to hold the school record in the event! Boxscore at: PA.MileSplit.
In 2002, the team clocked 10:29.41 at the Woodbury Relays with Keith Krieger, Alex Whirledge, Brett Wintermute and Marc Pelerin!
And, most recently, in 2012, the team of Colin Merrigan in 3:09.9, Drew Viscidy in 50.5, Ross Staudt in 1:59.9 and Shawn Wilson anchoring in 4:19.1, clocked 10:19.47 and took 2nd at the East Coast Relays in Randolph, NJ! At NJ.MileSplit.
(Additional DMR material when the school building opens and stored records are available again!)__________________
Among Distance runners and fans, The Mile always carried with it an incredible "mystique!" Besides the obvious physical challenge that mixed speed and endurance, it was a "character builder" and an extraordinary measure of greatness and achievement! And, then, somewhere along the line, someone decided to extend the fun by devising a 4 X Mile Relay (AKA 6400m Relay)! Originally, it was offered infrequently during the season and too often interfered with the "regular season schedule" where milers were in big demand! Many coaches were unwilling to "waste" their milers in unscored events that were often "add-ons" to the regular schedule and/or often a long bus-ride away! But many others took the chance and the 4 X Mile Relay grew in popularity. Cherokee participated in many of those events and, according to Mr. Frank's research, reached his Top-50 List twelve times in South Jersey history!
A telling statistic! Cherokee's distance program is strong and consistent enough to get on the list in twelve separate years, while the next closest team, Kingsway, managed to get on only seven times, followed by Haddonfield and Paul VI with five each! Yes, teams have different priorities but . . . just sayin' : < )
(The school's still closed but we're working on the list of teams and will post as many as possible soon!)
In 1989, __________ 18:17.4
In 1990, __________ 18:34.4
In 1998, the team of _______________ took 1st in 18.01.72 at the East Coast Relays at Morristown High School in Morristown, NJ. At NJ.MileSplit.
In 1999, Ben Warbos, (4:28.8); Mike Caputi (4:34.4); Joe Halin (4:30.7) and Aaron Boucher (4:19.6, fastest split ever by a Cherokee runner!) 17:53.5 for 4th at the East Coast Relays at Morristown High School in Morristown, NJ. At NJ.MileSplit.
In 2000, Marc Pelerin, Gregg Robinson, Steve Ridenour and Matt Mueller took 6th in 18:17.28 (3 Sophomores with Senior Robinson) at the East Coast Relays in Morristown, NJ. At NJ.MileSplit.
In 2001, Josh Joseph, Kevin Hurley, Keith Krieger and Marc Pelerin raced the 4 X Mile and took 1st in 17:52.49 at the East Coast Relays, a record that stood for 15 years! At: NJ.MileSplit.
In 2003, Tom Yersak (4:34); Keith Krieger (4:26); Mike Candy (4:35) and Nick Freeman (4:41) ran 18.18.53, placing second, at the Eastern Regional Relay Classic at the Carl Lewis Stadium in Willingboro, NJ.
In 2005, Tom Yersak (4:31.6); Alex Yersak (4:40.2); James Maneval (4:36.3) and Matt Dolan (4:38.8) ran 18:26.9 for 1st at the Eastern Regional Relay Classic at the Carl Lewis Stadium in Willingboro, NJ.
In 2008, Steve Burkholder (4:33.8); Alex Yersak (4:31.9); Chris Applegate (4:45.9) and Kevin Schickling (4:37.2) ran 18.29.6 for 2nd at the South Jersey Relays at Buena High School, in Buena, NJ. Poorly displayed results at: NJ.MileSplit.
In 2009, Steve Burkholder (4:33.3); Chris Applegate (4:36.3); Ryan McNair (4:40.0) and Kyle Miller (4:40.0) ran 18:29.76 at the South Jersey Relays at Buena High School, in Buena, NJ. At NJ.MileSplit.
In 2011, Shawn Wilson (4:29.7); Aiden Lynch (4:47.7); Greg Malloy (4:33.5) and Matt Venanzi (4:39.5) ran 18:30.45 and took 2nd at the Carl Lewis Relay Championships at the Carl Lewis Stadium in Willingboro, NJ. At NJ.MileSplit.
In 2016, Mike Zurzolo 4:25.54 (4:27.09); Justin Kelly 4:26.77 (4:28.33); Jack Shea 4:27.55 (4:29.11) and Nick Falk 4:25.51 (4:27.06) raced the 4 X Mile in 17:45.37 (converted from yards) at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. and they continue to hold the school record in the event! At: New Balance Outdoor Nats.__________________
The heyday for Cherokee High Jump came in 2009-2010 when two of Cherokee's greatest often competed with and against each other! School-record holder Ed Kramer '10 and his teammate, Justin Turner '09 set a difficult standard for others to follow! Ed (At NJ.MileSplit) has the school record at 6' 8.25", set when he won the Varsity Classic in 2010, but Justin (At NJ.MileSplit) was close behind with his PR of 6' 8", set when he took 2nd at the Burlington County Open in 2009! Justin and Ed set the school's High Jump Relay record at the East Coast Relays in 1009 when they took 1st clearing 12' 8"! At: NJ.MileSplit. Justin would go on in college to clear his PR of 7'0.25" at the Armory in 2013; while Ed would clear his PR of 6'8.75' at Monmouth in 2014.__________________
Check out the Alums Pages on this website to see what some of our athletes did later!