On September 23, 2009, Cherokee notched another dual meet victory against a rebuilding Pennsauken High School team! Knowing their weakened status, Coach Shaklee had the top ten runners on the team do threshold workouts during the race while the others competed as usual.
Cherokee took the first 18 places against Pennsauken led by Alberto Redaelli's win. Other strong performances were turned in by Mike Palmieri, Eric Birkhead, Ryan Merrigan, Mike Czuba, Matt Decker and Jeremy Morgan. It was, Freddy Rasmussen, however, who earned Runner of the Meet honors by dropping his 5K time a whopping eight minutes! GO FREDDY!
Dual Meet Record: 3 - 0. GO CHEROKEE!
Over the weekend of September 25 - 27, 2009, the team traveled to the Cross Country Festival at Maymount, in Richmond, Virginia! The Festival, on the Maymont Estate and Byrd Park, is a nationally-known event that includes an adult Half-Marathon and Open 5K, shorter distances for younger children, and a series of 5K races for high school athletes! This year's event was marred by wet weather: Cherokee likes to be known as "smoke bringers" to suggest the firey spirit of the team, but, they are, in fact, the "rain bringers," and all their opponents should pack their golishes if they expect to compete with Cherokee!
The Freshmen started things off for the Chiefs, with good performances from Matt Decker and Freddy Rasmussen in the Freshman Championship Race. Matt finished 13th overall to earn his first high school medal, and Freddy dropped another two minutes off of his previous best time with his second strong race in a row.
The Varsity team ran next in the Championship Division and fared well with a 4th place team finish in a field of 18. Steve Burkholder, Greg Malloy, Aiden Lynch, Kyle Smith and Ryan Bobb kept things close and finished a mere 36 seconds apart to keep Cherokee in the team battle. Greg Malloy, in particular, kept his focus and raced strong from start to finish to earn Runner of the Meet honors. GO GREG!
The JV team was led by Billy Hornung and Frankie Devine who finished 13th and 16th respectively. In addition, season-best performances were turned in by Eric Birkhead, Justin Domingo, Dave Wallace, Darren McCluskey, Matt Adams and Zach Roether.
The team ended their trip with a stop at Kings Dominion, with they enjoyed an incredible number of hair-raising rides and scream machines, and, oh yeah, the rain! Yes, the "rain-bringers" had arrived and emptied the park! The good news: no lines, immediate access to the rides! GO CHEROKEE!
Results at: Sports Backers
The following pictures of the race and Old Dominion were taken by Mrs. M Devine, otherwise known as "The Divine Miss M!"
On September 29, 2009, the Junior Varsity squads of the four Lenape District high schools -- Lenape, Shawnee, Seneca, and Cherokee -- met on the sandy trails of Camp Ockanickon in Medford to compete in the 1st Annual Lenape District JV Cross Country Championship (also known as the "Walapai Race") and Cherokee came out the easy winner! Eleven of the first nineteen finishers were Cherokee runners, led by Frankie Devine, Alberto Redaelli, Billy Hornung, Mike Palmieri, Matt Venanzi and Erik Birkhead who swept the first six places. They were followed closely by Mike Czuba, 12th; Ryan Merrigan, 13th; Jeremy Morgan, 16th; Lou DiGeambeardino, 18th; and Matt Decker, 19th. Frankie Devine was named the Runner of the Meet, for both his dominating win and for not getting lost on the course! GO FRANKIE!
As that contest was decided another has unfolded! View the two pictures and, using your well-known teenagers' attention to detail, identify the hidden runners. Give your answers to Coach Shaklee or Coach Callinan and demand your prize . . .!
Here are some other less-obscure pictures!
Here are a few "guest" pictures from Mrs. Devine!
On October 3, 2009, the team traveled to the state's championship course at Holmdel Park for the Shore Coaches Invitational. In the Varsity A race, they took 8th place behind seven teams ranked in the top ten in the state! Steve Burkholder led the way with his 15th place finish in the field of 224 runners. He was followed closely by Matt McCarroll, Greg Malloy, Ryan Bobb, Aiden Lynch and Frankie Devine as Cherokee turned in the best performance by any team from South Jersey!
Matt McCarroll, who came back from a summer injury to PR on the Holmdel course and finish as our 2nd man for the first time this year, was named the Runner of the Meet! GO MATT!
Complete results at: MileSplit.NJ, or Dyestat Metro.
Still waiting for all those "guest pictures" taken at the meet! This one, "borrowed" from John Nepolitan at Dyestat Metro.
On October 6, 2009, Cherokee finished the dual meet schedule in fine style with an exciting double-dual victory over Lenape Regional High School and Eastern Regional High School! These victories make them the Olympic Conference, American Division Champions for the 13th consecutive year!
Steve Burkholder was the individual winner in a very fast time of 16:02 for 5K! Behind him, Matt McCarroll, Aiden Lynch, Ryan Bobb, Greg Malloy and Josh Perez finished in the top ten, all under 17 minutes, to secure the team victory! In addition, Kyle Smith, Alberto Redaelli, Matt Venanzi and Billy Hornung all finished in under 18 minutes, demonstrating Cherokee's team strength and depth!
Beyond the first ten, PR's were set by Mike Czuba, Eric Birkhead, Andrew Yang, Jeremy Morgan, Lou DiGeambeardino, Justin Domingo, Matt Adams, Zach Roether and Freddy Rasmussen!
Matt Adams was named Runner of the Meet for bouncing back from a sub-par race at Holmdel to run his best race ever! Matt has been focused and working very hard in practice and it is paying off! GO MATT!
Dual Meet Record: 5 - 0. GO CHEROKEE!