Mid-April and the weather and the season begin to heat up! This page highlights the dual meet with Washington Township HS (postponed until April 19th); the Bishop Eustace Frosh/Soph Meet (April 20th); the dual meet with Cherry Hill East HS (April 24th); the Penn Relays (April 27th and 28th); the dual meet with Pennsauken HS (April 30th); and the final dual meet with Lenape HS (postponed until May 2nd). GO CHEROKEE!
Dual Meet: Washington Township High School
On April 19, 2007, Cherokee traveled to Washington Township HS for a very difficult contest against one of the strongest teams in South Jersey and came home a winner! As usual, there were many outstanding performances including the one-through-four sweep in the High Hurdles by Aaron DeCaires (PR), Chris Chen, Mike Schiafone (PR) and Major Mobley (PR) -- all under 16 seconds -- and the same in the High Jump by Lynell Payne, Travis Sutton (PR), Justin Turner, and Bryan Kershner (PR)!
"Stand-up guys in the meet" included Kevin Merrigan with his superb 1st place finishes in the 100m (PR), 200m (PR) and 400m; Aaron DeCaires with four PR's: 1st place in the 110HH and 400IH, and 2nd in the LJ and TJ; and Chris Steliga who took 1st in the LJ, 2nd in the 100m and 200m, and then led-off the winning 4 X 400m! Big-time recognition also goes to Matt Addezio who took 1st in the Vault; and Chris Applegate who took 1st in the 3200m! Also, Devin Prate threw a PR in the Javelin and took an important 2nd place; and Shot Putters John Turner, Lynell Payne, and AJ Cordero threw significant PR's in their event! Finally, Chris Ratkis threw yet another PR in the Disc for 2nd place!
These athletes and others built the final score to 86 - 54 and gave the team its second dual meet victory! The record for 2007: 2 - 0! GO CHIEFS!
Bishop Eustace Frosh-Novice Meet
On April 20, 2007, a segment of Cherokee's team traveled to Pennsauken for the highly unusual Bishop Eustace Frosh-Novice Meet. The idea here is to give the less-experienced members on the team a chance to compete against similar individuals from other teams, and the results for Cherokee were quite good! Highlights included 1st place in the Novice 4 X 400m by the team of Richie Davis, Mike Palmieri, Sean Hartnett and Matt McCarroll; 1st in the Frosh 4 X 400m by Mike Palmieri, Matt McCarroll, Tom Senia and Alex Walker; and 4th in the Frosh 4 X 100m by Alex Walker, Justin Nykiel, Sam Denmark and Josh Krembrink. Also, Matt McCarroll took 2nd in the Open Frosh 1600m, and Sean Hartnett took 3rd with a 7 second PR in the Open Novice 1600m!
Dual Meet: Cherry Hill High School East
On April 24, 2007, the team bussed over to Cherry Hill H.S. East for the third dual meet on the schedule and, once again, emerged the victors! The throwers, in particular, had a nice day with a sweep in the Shot by John Turner, Lynell Payne and AJ Cordero; a 1st in the Discus by Chris Ratkis with another PR; and 1st and 2nd in the Javelin by Devin Prate and Demitrius Richardson! That's 22 out of a possible 27 points!
Another sweep in the Triple Jump by Steve Watson, Chris Steliga and Major Mobley; a 1st and 2nd in both the 400IH and the 110HH by Mike Schiafone and Aaron DeCaires; another 1st and 2nd in the LJ by Chris Steliga and Aaron DeCaires; and a fast 4 X 400m Relay by Kevin Merrigan, Steve Watson, Chris Steliga and Aaron Decaires insured the victory for Cherokee! By the way, a second 4 X 400m Relay by AJ Valentine, Joe Gentes, Mike Schiafone and Devin Prate was pretty impressive as well!
Final score: 87 - 53 and Cherokee's 3rd dual meet victory! The record for 2007: 3 - 0! GO CHIEFS!
On April 28 - 29, 2007, a contingent of Cherokee sprinters traveled to Philadelphia's Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania for the most incredible track meet on the East Coast, The Penn Relays Carnival! And "carnival" it is, with merchants of every kind lining the streets and athletes, their coaches and supporters filling the stadium!
It rained heavily on Friday morning, the 28th, and lightening delayed the races for a total of almost two hours, but that apparently strengthened the resolve of sprinters Kevin Merrigan, Steve Watson, Chris Steliga and Sam Shapiro to run well, finish 3rd in their heat, and set a new school record in the 4 X 100m . . . 43.74 . . . put that one in the books!
Saturday morning, the 29th, was relatively nice with clouds and wind but some sun. The same squad of sprinters, Kevin Merrigan, Steve Watson, Chris Steliga and Sam Shapiro competed in the 4 X 400m finishing 5th in their heat against outstanding teams in a time of 3:27.99!
Here's what we could get from the "skybox" on the 4 X 100m:
The 4 X 400m from the stands on the back turn:
Dual Meet: Pennsauken
On April 30, 2007, Cherokee traveled to Pennsauken High School for the third dual meet on the schedule and, while the team easily won the meet, they were essentially disappointed by the experience. Last year, Pennsauken was one of the toughest teams on the schedule but this year they forfeited many events because of a lack of numbers and talent. As a result, Cherokee looked to the future and used the day for training.
Pennsauken's track is well-known for windy conditions and yesterday confirmed that. The back stretch provided a special challenge for runners who fought the 20 to 30 knot winds but the wind-aided final 100 meters provided a lightening-fast opportunity! Sprinters, in particular, took advantage of this and flew through their races! For example, Kevin Merrigan set two new school records: 10.6 in the 100m and 22.0 in the 200m! And Aaron DeCaires set a 14.7 PR in the High Hurdles on his way to winning four events, the Long Jump, Triple Jump, 400m Intermediate Hurdles and the Highs!
Final score: 95 - 45 and Cherokee's 4th dual meet victory! The record for 2007: 4 - 0! GO CHIEFS!
Dual Meet: Lenape High School
On May 2, 2007, the team traveled across town to our District rival Lenape H.S. for the final dual meet on the schedule and, although they won the victory, things did not go well! First, only one of the three busses showed up on time, and then, because of some mix-up, officials were never assigned to the meet! By rule, at least one official must be present to certify the results of the meet but none showed! After many phone calls, however, Bill Kile III, the Sports Editor of the Central Record and a certified official, agreed to drop everything and come. When he arrived, the meet began - over an hour late - and lasted long after sundown!
Indeed, like something out of a really old Andy Hardy movie, the meet went on into the darkness! No one knew how to turn on the stadium lights so, at the end with the High Jump yet to finish, the lights of a car and a field tractor illuminated the high jump area! The guys competed in this light with the surrounding area "as dark as your pocket." With both teams cheering their own athletes, the meet was completed! It was a remarkable way to end the dual meet season!
Highlights from the meet included Sam Shapiro's victories in both the 100m and 200m; and Aaron DeCaires' victories in both the 100HH and the 400IH! Other firsts were taken by Steve Watson in the Long Jump, Devin Prate in the Javelin, Kevin Merrigan in the 400m, Alex Yersak in the 1600m, and Sean Hartnett in the 3200m! "Stand-up performances" came from Chris Ratkis and Dan Farid who PR'd in the Discus but had to settle for 2nd and 3rd; from Bill Iamurri who hung tough as anchor of the winning 4 X 400m Relay; and AJ Valentine who courageously but unsuccessfully challenged his opponent in the 800m!
And finally, no one can ignore the successful effort of the weight team to break the "Weight Men's 4 X 400m Relay" record of 4:21.8, set at Lenape HS in 2004! Two teams were in the mix with the "A" team of Nick Walker (64.4), Chris Ratkis (63.2); Austin Dill (68.8), and Dan Farid (60.8) finishing in 4:17.4! The "B" team of Tom Saling (60.3), AJ Cordaro (83.2), Harshil DeSai (62.3), and Dom Roskoski (66.4) ran tough but finished in 4:53.2. The only really disappointing aspect of this race was the failure to get pictures! Dozens of pictures were taken during this historic event but, because of the darkness, none came out. Those who would like to see details on the original record-setting "Weight Men's 4 X 400m Relay," look at the: Lenape Meet, 2004.
Final score: 83.5 - 56.5 and Cherokee's 5th dual meet victory! The record for 2007: 5 - 0 and Division Champs! GO CHIEFS!