On Saturday, November 15th, NJ held its State Group Championships at Holmdel Park, and Cherokee, ranked 5th in the state and 4th in Group IV, hoped to improve its ranking by beating at least one of the favorites in the Group IV race. Although that was not to be, the team finished 4th in their race and 5th overall, behind Mainland, Toms River North, Ridgewood and CBA.
The top three teams in each Group automatically qualify for the Meet of Champions on November 22nd, and Cherokee qualified as one of two "At Large" selections (both from Group IV) based on average times. Judging from these results, Cherokee is now seeded 5th for the MOC as all the other teams in the other Groups and Parochial A and B, ran slower than they.
Tom Yersak led the team, finishing 12th in 16:34 (10 secs below his PR on the course!); Greg Bredeck was 13th in 16:34 (a 4 second PR!); and Nick Freeman was 29th in 16:57.7 (a 10 second PR!). In addition, James Maneval was 39th in 17:09; Sean McLaughlin finished in 41st in 17:11; Paul McFadden finished in 64th in 17:36; and Mike Candy finished in 91st 18:04.
The coaches selected Nick Freeman as the "Runner of the Meet." Nick finished third on the Cherokee team with a PR of 16:57.7 and became only the 13th Cherokee runner in history to crack the 17 minute barrier at Holmdel.
Complete results at: Scullion
Hover over the pictures for identification of the subject; click on the pictures for larger versions.
Cherokee qualified for this meet by running the 4th fastest "average time of the day" during the Group Championships the previous week. They went into this meet ranked 5th in the state and knew that everyone had to run PR's to move up in the ranking. This did not happen but the team acquitted itself well and maintained its ranking as the 5th best cross country team in the state.
The top finisher was Junior Sean McLaughlin in 29th place, with Junior Tom Yersak (38th) and Sophomore Greg Bredeck (44th) close behind. Other scorers for Cherokee included Junior James Maneval (75th) and, running an amazing PR of more than 17 seconds, Junior Paul McFadden (92nd). Other finishers for Cherokee included Junior Mike Candy (100th) and Senior Nick Freeman (116th).
The coaches selected Paul McFadden as the "Runner of the Meet" because of the PR he set in this race, and because his outstanding effort as Cherokee's 5th man helped Cherokee maintain its ranking among the top five teams in the state.
On November 29th, several Cherokee runners participated in the Footlocker Cross Country Northeast Regional Championships at Van Cortlandt Park in New York City. In the Seeded Race against 240 runners, Tom Yersak ran 16:45.0 (for 64th place) and Sean McLaughlin ran 16:56.0 (for 81st place). In the Junior Class competition against over 290 runners, Mike Candy took 31st place in 17:47.2 and James Meneval took 57th in 18:06.4.
Greg Bredeck repeated his "class" victory of last year by winning the Sophomore competition in 16:49.3 (about 26 seconds faster than last year). Doing so, he became the first Sophomore Champion in the school's history! Over 260 runners competed in this race, and Greg was almost 10 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.
On December 7th, the Cross Country team celebrated their season with coaches, parents and friends at the annual Cross Country Banquet in the school's cafeteria. After an excellent meal provided by the parents' association, Coaches Shaklee and Callinan recognized the accomplishments of the entire team. Their remarks are documented in the Coaches Message.
This section is meant to briefly summarize those accomplishments.
The following awards were announced by Coaches Shaklee and Callinan:
The following awards were announced by the South Jersey Track Coaches Association, the Courier-Post and Burlington County Times, and the Olympic Conference: