Cherokee Cross Country Pictures, 2022, Page I

Pre-Season and Early Meets

In previous years, we posted some remarks that drew many positive comments from coaches, team members and parents, so we decided to repeat those comments, especially as we approach what should be a monumental year! If you read these comments last year and didn't "Step Up" and do your part on the team, this is your opportunity to do so this year!

Late June: Cross Country begins out your front door . . . now! Yes . . . really . . . now!

Now is the time for those easy runs on hot summer days just to get into it! Your body needs the slow build-up to perform well in the future, and your mind needs the habit of discipline necessary to become a great Cross Country runner!


Run on the hot days!

Run on the rainy days!

Run even if it snows!

Run on vacation!

Run before work!

Run after work!

Run when you really don't feel like it!


Run like a champion!

In addition, this is the time to generate the team spirit and togetherness that will carry you though the tough times! Don't run alone unless you're really stuck! Don't run behind someone on the runs because that's what you've always done! Get up front and set the pace! Pick the guys who have incredibly positive attitudes, the ones who don't make excuses, and avoid those who do! The military does this well, whether you're Seal Team 6 or 1st Special Forces, you train as a team and no one lets down the team! Everyone is important in achieving the goal and no one slacks off! YOU are an important part of the team and you need to recognize that!

Remember, every time you put on your training shoes and go out for a run, and every time you put on your racing shoes and stand on a starting line: YOU are an important runner on the team, the team needs you, and what you do matters to the team!



~~ The Summer of Our Championships ~~

OK, that title may be a bit premature but why not?! We've got the talent, we've got the coaching, we've got the guys who have experienced and enjoy winning, and we've got the guys who are willing to work for it!

It begins NOW, and then, a long time from now, it ends at Nationals! Prepare this summer by doing the physical and mental foundation-work necessary to reach that ambitious goal! GO CHEROKEE!

[Copied from the last entry at Track, 2022]

~~ Coach Shaklee and July 4th ~~

Haven't heard from Coach Shaklee in days but we're told that he and Coach Thompson are sailing a yawl (looks like a dingy to us!) northward to Coney Island, NY for the upcoming "July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest!"

"I've been training for this for months," said Shaklee, "and I don't care if it is Joey Chestnut's "territory" and he plans to win his 15th contest there! I'm going and I intend to win! . . . For months, Cricket has supplied a variety of tasty (piled high) hot dog dishes for me to practice on and I'm well-prepared to come in 1st! . . . I plan to hit the Coney Island beach like the Marines and not stop until every Hot Dog is devoured!"


Shak's Yawl

Nathan's Hot Dog Contest

Coaches Shaklee and Thompson failed to show at the "July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest" and two of many explanations are possible: (1) Following Shaklee's sometimes discombobulated sense of direction, they sailed up the Delaware River only to learn that the navigable part ends far from NY City; and (2) Hearing that sharks were spotted off the NJ coast, Thompson said to Shaklee, "You're gonna need a bigger boat!" and walked off!

One bit of late news: Joey Chestnut won "the contest" for the 15th time despite being attacked by a protester wearing a Darth Vader mask when he was on his 18th hot dog! The man was not identified but he was described as tall with red hair. Perhaps more on the Shaklee-Thompson saga later.

~~ Marlton Fourth of July 5K ~~

Following a long tradition, Cherokee alums, current Cross Country athletes and some parents entered the Marlton Fourth of July 5K to restore old friendships, to race against each other for "bragging rights," and to encourage some early summer training! Unfortunately, for the past two years, the race was canceled because of the COVID pandemic but today it was a GO!

Year after year, Cherokee Alums like Pelerin, Wilson, Mueller, Spisak, Schickling, Somers and record-holder Jack Shea dominated the finish line and this year was no exception! The number of Cherokee Alums racing this year was smaller but Mike Zurzolo and Mike Iannotta, both graduates in 2017, dominated by taking 1st and 2nd in the race!

The number of current Cross Country athletes racing this year was also smaller, at least partly because the Track calendar was longer this year and the group that advanced to the Meet of Champions was in their resting phase before gearing-up again for the Fall! But Cherokee's current team was well-represented by Liam Tindall in 4th; Joe Hough in 7th; Luke Reistle in 18th; Ben Weiner in 19th; Liam McCloskey in 24th; Tate Midora in 35th; and Tyler Newton in 49th!

Details at: Results. In addition to the pictures posted below, there are quite a few more on the District's Google link.

Oh man, looming over it all . . . a Turkey Buzzard looking for breakfast! Sorry, bird, you won't find it among the Cherokee boyos as they're not known for carrying a lot of meat! (Maybe the coaches if they made it to Coney Island?)

Turkey Buzzard

Marlton 5K Marlton 5K Marlton 5K Marlton 5K Marlton 5K
Marlton 5K Marlton 5K Marlton 5K Marlton 5K

~~ Prepping for RunningWorks Camp ~~

Everyone knows that it's best to arrive at camp early/on time so you can get the best bed in your cabin: farthest from the bathroom; next to window for best view of lake (and freshest air?) . . .! But cartoonist Larson offers another hint for having a successful week at running camp!

Larson cartoon

~~ Practice, July 19, 2022 ~~

It's 7:00 AM on a hot and humid July morning and practice begins as scheduled. Cliches enter one's mind on this steamy morning:

PRACTICE?!, the Philadelphia Sixers basketball player yelled questioningly . . . "PRACTICE?!"

"Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun." OK, it wasn't mid-day but it felt like it to some. Hmmm . . . "Englishmen?" Funny connection there. Coach Shaklee can trace his heritage back to the "Shakelfords on the Thames" and, while he may claim a royal connection, others trace him back to "Shaklee, the Royal Executioner," the man who did in many of the King's friends and enemies. Did anyone notice how he "executed" today's practice? [Sir, the pun is the lowest form of humor.]

All of that said, it was a tough practice and a large part of the team participated, including the potential top varsity performers, except Bobby Poplau who was on vacation in Hawaii! We sent our # 2 photographer who, following clues from Google and the RunningWorks' Drone, located Bobby on a beach there. He took pictures and said to "look for the blond kid in the tiny, blue speedo bathing suit" but we decided not to! Some other time, perhaps. : < )

Our photographer was at the practice and he took a bunch of pictures, some of which appear below, and those and others are available at the District's Google site. Until you go there, take a look at Conor at the beginning of practice and imagine what he is thinking: . . . "Come on, Shak, let's just skip it for today and hit the pool" . . . "Run hills?! Some other time, perhaps?" . . . "Look at me, Coach, I need to get out of the sun!" . . . .

Practice Practice

push ups

Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice
Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice
Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice
Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice
Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice
Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice Practice

It's hot out there!

It was hot at practice and you did a lot of sweating! Combat the water and mineral loss by mixing the two: water and a commercial energy drink. Don't drown yourself in either as it takes time for the body to absorb both, especially on an empty stomach! You can lower your body temperature quickly by hosing yourself off! (If it's cold well water, like up at the RunningWorks Camp, it'll definitely cool you off!) Another point: eat something - energy bar, fruit - soon after exercising - or most of that water/energy drink will end up in the toilet! Back in 2019, Time Magazine addressed this directly! Check it out: it's worth reading! Staying Hydrated.

How did you feel?

How'd ya feel after practice on Tuesday?

There are a number of coaches that look at a rainy, snowy or just plain hot day and their team practice is to "run around the school three times and get the late bus home." Of course, the athletes miss any real practice but they also develop an attitude: practice isn't that important, nothing's lost if you skip practicing! But doing things against challenging odds is very important . . . throughout your lives!

Perhaps more important is the feeling of satisfaction that you get when you "just get to it," without slacking off, without whining, without complaint! Your attitude will actually encourage you to continue, and it will encourage others as well! The Army's cadre in Ranger School and the Special Warfare School regularly tell candidates to quit, to drop out, but they're really looking for the candidates who smile and "just get to it!" They're the ones who will succeed and will become effective leaders in the future!

We asked a very old supporter of Cherokee Cross Country what it felt like after he finished a tough practice at his high school? "Well, after I cooled down, I felt like I just ate a big piece of chocolate cake! Very satisfying!

How did you feel after practice?

It seems like a long summer . . . feeling glum?

"Being a teenager is hard. When your parents were in high school, their social lives essentially stopped the moment they arrived home. Social media has destroyed that cocoon, leading to increased anxiety, depression, fear-of-missing-out and jealousy as teenagers constantly have access to the perfectly curated lives of friends, acquaintances and celebrities. Distance running is an antidote to that. Regular exercise reduces anxiety, depression and stress while improving sleep quality. Indeed, Psychology Today reports that regular exercise (with friends!) can be as effective as medicine for treating some forms of anxiety and depression - regardless of age." [Fragment taken from Ovals and Trails, a multi-facited on-line magazine for runners. Check it out sometime.]

~~ Another practice in August ~~

"I wish the Physics teacher who told me we will soon experience 'another Ice Age' and that 'the World is Flat' was here now." [Unidentified Cherokee Cross Country runner out on his long run.]


~~ Recent questions about RunningWorks from (mostly, Cherokee) campers sent to the staff ~~

- Will servants be available to carry our luggage, and odds-and-ends like personal refrigerators, when we "check in?"

- Is the breakfast Eggs Benedict and other specialities made with organic butter and eggs or crude substitutes?

- Will the person who awakens us in the morning do so gently?

- Who gets to set the thermostat in the cabins?

- Will the quality of the TV's, music systems and the WiFi, in our cabins be of top level?

- Will the temperatures in the pools be set at a moderate level?

- Will our linens be changed and the trash removed daily?

- How late may those of us who are 18 return to camp from the local casino?

- Is the massage specialist male or female?

- What hours is the Spa open to campers?

- Will tiny Speedo bathing suits be allowed in the pool and other play areas?

- Are our puppies allowed in the cabin with us or are they monitored carefully in the camp kennel?

- Will an ATV follow us on our runs in case one of us becomes fatiqued?

- Will we be allowed the "right of refusal" before publication if pictures taken of us don't meet our standards?

- If it rains and we get wet, can we expect proper drying stations for our clothing, shoes and selves?

- Some have shown concern about their wellbeing as they face the Lions, Tigers and Bears of Canadensis. Rest assured the 'old cowboy' and his shotgun will be on duty every night to insure your safety!

Dick Cheney

~~ RunningWorks Camp ~~

This year there were some big changes at camp, most not even noticed by the campers! The biggest, of course, was the passing of the camp directorship from Marcus O'Sullivan, Cricket Batz Shaklee and Coach Shaklee to three long-time friends of Cherokee and RunningWorks, Cherokee Alums and long-time campers and counselors, Timber Creek Coach Kevin Cuneo '04 and Jackson Memorial Coach Kevin Schicking '08; and Cinnaminson Coach Tim Callinan.

Despite these changes, our photographer returned to camp and did his usual extensive shooting . . . at least for a while! Investigators are still studying the available videos to determine what happened to RunningWorksPics at the Camp Team Photography Shoot! At one time he was there and the next he wasn't!

Another change that can be noted is the availability of a rapid Bellhop service at camp! One of our staff decided to leave camp early one morning and, after calling for bellhops, the contents of his cabin were moved to his car in record time! He strongly recommends this service in the future!

Our photographer withdrew to his special cabin in the woods of Moorestown to work on his pictures and to contemplate his existence. As soon as they install WiFi (and maybe a toilet?), he'll post what he has of Cherokee's athletes (many re-edited) at camp. Peace.


Our photographer and two counselors, Nick Chan, of the University of Wisconsin and Seawon Park, of Haverford College, posted almost 2,000 high school pics at the RunningWorks Photo site!

At the Camp Team Photography Shoot, our photographer planned to shoot all of the Cherokee athletes together but that went by the wayside after his unsuccessful gymnastic feat disrupted his planning! This is the best "team" picture he can find, an unplanned cropped background shot that captured most of the Cherokee guys. Who's missing?!


Here are a few Cherokee pictures from camp, and these and others are available on the District's Google site.


Looking ahead! The Directors were so impressed by the Cherokee team this year that they contracted for a special Cherokee B & B on the top of Sky Mountain for next year's Cherokee campers! The view is incredible!


~~ NJ.MileSplit's Pre-Season Ranking ~~

NJ.MileSplit posted their 1st/pre-season rankings recently at NJ.MileSplit and suggested things will not be easy for Cherokee this year!

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