On October 1, 2013, the team returned to Gloucester County College for the last of the "Batch Meets," this one against Cherry Hill High School East. Since the American Division champion of the Olympic Conference had already been decided, the coach decided to enter only a small contingent of Cherokee runners in this race and allow the rest to train through the meet and look forward to additional challenges in the future.
Nick Maccariella was the first finisher for Cherokee but Noah Gil was selected as the Runner of the Meet because he improved his time on the course by almost 10 seconds! GO NOAH!
Results at: NJRunner/MileSplit
On October 5, 2013, a small group of Cherokee runners competed in the Shore Coaches XC Invitational at the state championship course in Holmdel, NJ: two freshmen who wanted to get a crack at the Freshman course at Holmdel Park, and two upperclassmen who hoped to get back there again for the Group Championships before the season is over!
For weeks, our unofficial photographer has laughingly told the Cherokee runners to get out in front so he can get good pictures! Well, Cherokee's two Freshman took him literally. Nick Falk and Jack Shea led through most of their race and finished 3rd (11:41) and 6th (11:56) respectively! Nick had the 3rd fastest time of all three of the Freshmen races and he is now the 3rd fastest Cherokee runner on the course (after Sean McLaughlin, who ran 11:24 in 2001: and Keith Krieger who ran 11:36 in 1999)! Simply put, both guys were flying on what is by far the toughest Freshman course in the state!
The Varsity course is even longer and tougher with the infamous "Bowl" in the middle but Cherokee's upperclassmen, Kaleb Burch and Justin DeTone ran well too! Kaleb dropped 29 seconds off his time last year and finished 16th in the A-race that included 190 competitors, while Justin ran 1:31 seconds faster than he did last year and finished 30th in the same race! Recognizing that accomplishment, the coach selected Justin DeTone as the Runner of the Meet! GO JUSTIN!
Details at: NJRunners/MileSplit.
On October 12, 2013, Cherokee bussed to Delsea Regional High School for the South Jersey Open. The meet is an invitational for all of South Jersey and most attend because it gives the athletes a chance to see their competition and the course for the up-coming State Sectional Championships.
Cherokee entered the varsity race a little hobbled as their # 2 runner, Justin DeTone, was injured but, even so, the team took a respectable 4th place in the competition! Leading the Chiefs who scored in the race was Kaleb Burch who took 8th overall, followed by Jack Shea in 17th, Nick Falk in 22nd, Nick Maccariella just behind in 23rd, and Joe Lacy in 66th. Jack and the two Nicks had big PR's on a 5K course! In the JV competition, Anthony Marrazzo and Steve Gravlin stood out as 4th and 7th place finishers but they and Lenny Wen, Rob Curley, Sean Hickey and Patrick Mahoney had sizeable PR's as well!
The coach selected Nick Maccariella as the Runner of the Meet! He PR'd by 38 seconds and did a great job of staying on the heels of Cherokee's 3rd man, Nick Falk. Also, he was the 2nd fastest 4th man of the race behind Kingsway's 4th who was just 6 seconds in front of him! GO NICK!
Details at: NJRunners/MileSplit.
On October 18, 2013, the team bussed over to Mill Creek Park for the Burlington County Open where, if they had a good race, the Varsity team had a chance to win! However, Northern Burlington ran a great team race to take the title and Lenape, running without their top man, also outperformed our team. Senior Kaleb Burch had his best race of the year to place 4th! Unfortunately, 49 seconds went by before our second man, Justin DeTone (returning from injury), crossed the line. He was followed closely by Jack Shea, Nick Maccairella and Nick Falk. All four finished between 17th and 25th. In addition, Noah Gil had a small PR and finished as the team's 6th man with Joe Lacy only a few seconds back.
In the "class meet," Anthony Marrazzo led the team, finishing 4th with a new PR! Steve Gravlin also PR'd to place 6th and James Transue was the first junior in 7th. Other PR's were set by Michael McShane, Sean Hickey who dropped a minute off their best times, and Patrick Mahoney. The coach selected Anthony Marrazzo as the Runner of the Meet because he dropped almost 2 minutes off his time last year, and last year he took 26th in the Junior race while this year he took 2nd in the Senior race! GO ANTHONY!
Details at: MileSplit/NJRunners.
On October 20, 2013, USA Track and Field sponsored the USA Masters 5K Cross Country Championships, the national club and age group championships in the 5K, at Deer Path Park in Flemington, NJ, and Coach Shaklee was among the competitors!
Plagued by chronic injuries and old age . . . (insert huge smilie face here), Coach Shaklee raced the 5K in the rolling hills of Deer Path Park. Competing in the 50 - 59 race, the coach clocked 17:54.05 (5:46 pace) and finished 21st overall and 3rd in the 55 to 59 age-group! For this reason, and possibly because he was the only Cherokee runner in the race, Coach Shaklee was named the Runner of the Meet! GO SHAK!
Race results at: CompuScore.
On October 25, 2013, the team traveled to Gloucester County College for the Olympic Conference Championships and took 2nd place in the 15-team race! For the first time, the top-five ran sub-17s on the course with Kaleb Burch leading the team to the finish line, but the team stayed close with a tight 47 seconds separating the 1st and 5th runners! Kaleb took 6th place in the race while setting a huge PR! Closely behind Kaleb were Jack Shea in 15th and another huge PR, Justin DeTone in 17th (huge PR), Nick Maccariella in 21st (huge PR), and Nick Falk in 22nd (huge PR)! Following those guys who scored in the meet were Anthony Marrazzo in 49th (huge PR) and Noah Gil in 66th (another PR)! All in all, a great day for Cherokee Varsity!
The JV team was also in action and the team took 3rd in the event, again with every member setting a new PR! Joe Lacy led the team in 5th place, followed closely by Steve Gravlin in 7th! James Transue then finished in 13th, Carl Lingesso crossed the line in 19th; and Zack Lopresti was the last scorer in 39th! Following the scorers were Lenny Wen in 82nd; Mike McShane in 92nd; Robert Curley in 101st; Sean Hickey in 113th; Gary Welquan in 133rd; and Pat Mahoney in 135th.
While you're supposed to improve as you train and race through the season, it doesn't always happen, and having every team member hit PR's on a single race day is extraordinary! GO CHEROKEE! (Memo to coach: check the menu in the cafeteria and have it served every race day!)
Race results at: MileSplit/NJRunners.
Just received a clarification from the coach -- come on, who covers PR's in Batch Meets?! -- and was reminded of this classic comment from the great Roseanne Roseannadanna. (You young people will have to google her!)
On October 30, 2013, a large part of the team bussed to Pennypacker Park in Haddonfield for the Haddonfield Sub-Varsity Invitational and it was well-worth the trip! Typically, this meet is the last opportunity for runners not going to Sectionals to run their final PR's of the season, and the park provides a great opportunity for very fast times as the trails are well-groomed and flat as can be. This year, however, there was another incentive: the last two spots in Sectionals were contested among four team members!
Anthony Marrazzo and Steve Gravlin earned those spots on the Sectional squad by placing 6th and 8th as Cherokee's top finishers! Both set 5K PRs. Noah Gil was the team's 3rd finisher and dipped under 18 minutes for the first time! Other PRs were set by Carlo Ligeso, Zach LoPresti (first sub-19), Lenny Wen and Rob Curley (who both went under 20 for the first time), Mike McShane (just missing the 20 minute barrier at 20:03), Sean Hickey and Patrick Mahoney! Although all of these guys ran well enough for consideration as the Runner of the Meet, that honor went to Lenny Wen who not only broke 20 for the first time but shattered the barrier with his 19:38 performance! GO LENNY!
Details at: NJRunner/MileSplit.