"Winter Track" continues through February. During that time, Cherokee's athletes keep up their preparation for the Spring Season and at the same time participate in various meets at the New York Armory, The Lawrenceville School, and at the Bennett Athletic Center in Toms River. March marks the beginning of the Spring track Season but the real competition does not begin until April. Still, the entire Spring Track and Field team will participate in the Haddon Heights/Timber Creek Scrimmage and the distance squad will time-trial in Haddonfield's 5K Adrenaline Run.
On February 3, 2007, several jumpers/sprinters competed in the Poreda Invitational at The Lawrenceville School. Highlights included two top performances in the Long Jump: Chris Steliga took 1st with a 22' jump, closely followed by Steve Watson who took 2nd with a jump of 20' 8.75"! And then Chris and Steve followed that by taking 4th (41' 10") and 6th (40' 3.25") in the Triple Jump! Other nice performances came in the 55m Dash from Sam Shapiro (6.6) and Kevin Merrigan (6.7); and in the 55m HH from Aaron DeCaires (2nd in 8.0) and Chris Chen (6th in 8.2)!
On February 5, 2007, another contingent of the team traveled to the New York City Armory for the Varsity Classic. Notable performances came from Chris Steliga who took 6th place in the Long Jump (21' 5.50") and ran 22.9 in the 200m Dash; and from three distance runners who ran PR's: Alex Yersak took 5th in the 1600m, clocking 4:31.6; while Steve Burkholder ran 4:45.3 -- and probably set a Freshman Winter record -- and Chris Applegate ran 4:45.9! Limited results at: NJ Runs.
On February 8, 2007, several of the seniors and many of the younger members of the team bussed to the Bennett Athletic Complex in Toms River, NJ for the SJTCA Invitational. Highlights included Mike Palmieri winning his heat in the 400m with a PR 58.05; and PR's in the 800m by Brian Schules and Frank Devine, in the 1600m by Rob Roselli and Josh Ungerleider, and in the 3200m by Seam Hartnett and Adam Henriksen. Complete results at: Bennett.
On February 17, 2007, many on the team competed in a small tri-meet at The Lawrenceville School where Coach Callinan encouraged the sprinters and jumpers to experiment by entering events for which they hadn't trained. No fantastic discoveries were made but highlights include A.J. Cordaro and Kyle Magulick throwing over 40' in the Shot. And Chris Steliga and Aaron DeCaires looked good in the Long Jump, going 21' 7" and 19' 1" respectively. Brandon DiIenno had a PR 2:11.6 in the 800, as did Josh Ungerleider with his 2:16.9. Brian Schules had a nice day running a PR 2:13.5 in the 800 and then following that with a PR 54.6 in the 4 X 400m relay! Among the 1600m and 3200m runners, Matt McCarroll, Ryan McNair, Kyle Miller, Joe Masoero and Steve Burkholder all ran PR's.
NJ State Group IV Championships
On February 18, 2007, a small group of Cherokee competitors bussed to the Bennett Athletic Center in Toms River for the NJ State Group IV Championships but only one qualified for the State Meet of Champions: Eric Pontrello cleared 12' 6" in the Pole Vault competition and took 5th! Other results included Sam Shapiro taking 12th in the 55m Dash (6.82); Chris Steliga taking 12th in the 400m Dash (52.25); Alex Yersak taking 12th (9:56.39) and Chris Applegate taking 16th (10:04.06) in the 3200m; and Aaron DeCaires taking 19th (8.31) and Chris Chen taking 51st (8.81) in the 55m HH. Complete results at: Bennett.
Eastern States Championships
On February 27, 2007, a small group of Cherokee qualifiers traveled to the New York City Armory for the Eastern States Championships. Aaron DeCaires, Mike Schiafone and Chris Chen competed in the 200m Dash, while Chris Steliga, Sam Shapiro, Kevin Merrigan and Steve Watson competed in the 4 X 200m. Unfortunately, none advanced to the finals. Complete results at: Armory
Timber Creek/Haddon Heights Scrimmage
On March 1, 2007, Spring Track and Field began officially with a full month of preparation allowed for the up-coming competitive season. In line with that, after two weeks of practice, on March 14, 2007, two busses carried the team to Timber Creek High School for the Haddon Heights/Timber Creek Scrimmage. While there were many performances that surprised both the coaches and the athletes, Kevin Merrigan's and Chris Steliga's matching 11.0 times in the 100m Dash deserve special recognition!
The following pictures are meant to introduce some of our new Spring Track team members and to welcome back some old team members whom we haven't seen so far this year:
Team members in the weight events -- Jav, Disc and Shot -- will be highlighted in the first official meet of the season!
On March 31, 2007, a small group of Cherokee's distance runners lined up on King's Highway in Haddonfield for the Second Annual Adrenaline 5k. Alex Yersak led the Cherokee contingent with a 17th place finish in 16.04. He was followed by Kevin Schickling, Steve Burkholder, Mike Medvec, and Kyle Miller rounding out the top five Cherokee finishers. Complete results at: L & M Sports.
National Federation of High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame
On April 1, 2007, at the NJSCA Coaches Hall of Fame Dinner in Edison, NJ, Coach Shaklee was named the 2006 Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year for the Northeast Section of the Country! The award, sponsored by The National Federation of High School Coaches Association (NHFS), the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association (NJSCA), and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), was presented to recognize his impressive career at Cherokee High School and, in particular, the achievements of his 2005 Cross Country team. Originally selected as the 2006 New Jersey Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year, Coach Shaklee's name was advanced to the eleven-state sectional level where he was selected for this award!
The original NJ State citation said in part: "Coach Steve Shaklee has been a mainstay of the Cherokee Cross Country, Winter Track, and Spring Track & Field Programs for sixteen years. Under his guidance, tentative young runners have matured into highly competitve athletes, and groups of young men have combined to win championship after championship. In sixteen seasons of coaching Cross Country, Coach Shaklee has led his teams to 13 Conference Championships, 11 County Championships, 6 South Jersey Championships, and 4 State Championships, while accumulating 111 wins against a mere 13 losses. This includes a perfect 29-0 record in the past five years with five Burlington County Championships. Steve is a previous State Coach of the Year (1998), two time South Jersey Coach of the Year (1990, 1997), and multiple time Burlington County Coach of the Year, and now has added one more trophy to the shelf with his latest honor as the New Jersey State Coaches Association 'State Coach of the Year.'" Congratulations, Coach! And congratulations to the 2005 Cross Country team for their achievements!