On October 18, 2022, NJ.MileSplit posted their Team Ranking for Week 6 and, based on Cherokee's performance at the BC Open, the team's state rank remained at 3rd, behind CBA and Union Catholic, two schools that can draw their athletes from anywhere on the planet! GO CHIEFS! Details at: NJ.MileSplit.
Related to this, Nick Kuenkel has a video interview at GO NICK! and there's a brief feature on the meet at: NJ.MileSplit.
Similarly, the SJTCA will post their Team Ranking for Week 6 soon and they are expected to keep Cherokee at Number 1 on their list, with Haddonfield in 2nd! Again, not likely to see Haddonfield in the same race until the MOC but we know they are very good! As our photographer's mother often warned her sweet child, "Don't let your battleship mouth sink your rowboat ass." GO CHIEFS!
Details at: SJ Track.
On October 19th, 2022, the team returned to DREAM Park for the Olympic Conference Championships and, despite the cold conditions and winds, came home with strong feelings of self-respect and their second-in-a-row championship trophy! GO CHIEFS!
This is how Coach Shaklee saw it:
"Once again, we went into a championship race minus one of our top runners! This time, Nick Kuenkel sat out with a sore achilles which we didn't want to risk aggravating further. Even without Nick, the team proved more than up to the task with a 40 point victory over a very solid Cherry Hill East squad and the rest of the Conference!
"Just like last week, Cherokee had the first two runners across the line, Patrick Ditmars and Conor Jacob! Both ran excellent races with big negative splits. After a conservative first mile (5:13) that saw a large pack still together, the second mile got faster (5:02) and the pack was down to four. At the 2 mile mark, Patrick made a big move that only Conor was able to cover and they quickly put some distance on the 3rd and 4th runners which they held to the finish, running 4:56 mile pace for the last 1.1! Conor's time was a new PR and Patrick added another championship to his resume!
"Behind Patrick and Conor, Bobby Poplau and Liam Tindall were having strong races of their own! Bobby finished 6th in the field of 115 runners while Liam came through with a 10th place finish! Both were sizable PRs!
"With Nick out, we were looking for someone to step up as our 5th man! Last week it was Danny Hassall. This week, Anthony DiBatista came through with a 23rd place finish and his first sub-17:00 clocking to complete the scoring for the team! Danny was not far behind with a new PR in 26th and Luke Reistle also set a new PR in 29th place! Although he didn't have his best day, Ben Weiner showed a lot of heart and kept racing all the way through to finish in 38th with a time only 17 seconds off his best!
"In the Junior Varsity race, the team was even more dominant! In a field of 120 athletes, Cherokee had 7 of the first 9 finishers and 15 of the top 30 to win with a low score of 19 points! Cherry Hill East was a distant second with 50 points. An incredible 18 of the 22 Cherokee runners in the race established new PRs! The team was led by Andrew Free who had been dealing with a low iron issue early in the season but is looking much better now! Behind Andrew, Enzo Corona and Matteo Evola took places 2 and 3; while Ethan Weisenberg, Julian Hatch, Logan Bromley and Joe Hough swept places 6 through 9! Ethan's 17:50 was the highlight of that group as he removed the asterisk from his "sub-17" time at Ocean County Park! Five runners - Myron Paes, Tate Midora, Nick Campbell, Nate Meyer and Nimai Kumar - all broke 19:00 for the first time with Myron improving by 50 seconds all the way to 18:24! Rory Carroll broke 20:00 for the first time . . . by a lot at 19:16! Luke Ehly not only broke 22:00 for the first time, he also broke 21:00 with a huge PR of 20:28! In addition to Luke, both Shawon Sarker and Liam Deimler broke 21:00 for the first time while Josh Lowery dropped under 22:00 for the first time! All in all, a very good day for the Cherokee Cross Country Team!
"For the honor of Athlete of the Meet, there are so many to choose from it's ridiculous! However, we are choosing Conference Champion, Patrick Ditmars, who came into the meet not feeling 100% (stomach issues), but put that behind him and got the job done with his individual victory and a new PR on the Dream Park Course!" GO PATRICK!
Six to go . . .
Details at: NJ.MileSplit.
We gave our photgrapher a "C" grade for this meet! He's way old and there were too many throw-aways! Next time, back to the nursing home, Dude!
That said, except for the team picture provided by Coach Thompson's trusty iPhone, here are some of our photographer's efforts and they and others are available on the District's Google site.
On October 19, 2022, our photographer, keen reporter that he is, picked up some information on rampent spying against the Cross Country teams of South Jersey!
Everyone is aware of recent sports incidents where teams spied on other teams, hoping to gain some advantage when they meet. Bill Belichick's staff filming the defensive signals of his opponents; Josh McDaniel's, then of Denver, authorized the secret taping of an up-coming opponent's practices; the St. Louis Cardinals' Director of Scouting hacked into the scouting data base of an opposing team; McLaren's agents stole the engineering data from Ferrari to improve his racing car's performance . . . it goes on and on and, apparently, has reached the sandy soil of South Jersey!
This time, it's a technique used extensively by the Soviets in the Cold War: the "Honey Trap!" Now, apparently, girls from other teams are being enlisted to seduce South Jersey's Cross Country elite males and learn team secrets!
Yesterday, it was reported that this appauling technique was used successfully against one of Cherokee's athletes and an investigation has been launched! Further details, as well as photographs, soon!
On October 24th, 2022, NJ.MileSplit posted their Team Ranking for Week 7 and, based on Cherokee's performance at the Olympic Conference Championships, the team's state rank remained at 3rd, behind CBA and Union Catholic. GO CHIEFS! Details at: NJ.MileSplit.
The SJTCA also posted their Team Ranking for Week 7 and, again based on Cherokee's performance at the Olympic Conference Championships, the team's South Jersey rank remained at 1st! This Saturday, however, all of South Jersey will race on the same DREAM Park course in the SJ Sectional Championships! Then South Jersey will see if Cherokee actually deserves the honor! GO CHIEFS! Details at: SJTCA.
On October 27th, 2022, the Junior Varsity and Freshmen returned to Ocean County Park for the Future 7, a meet intended for upcoming Freshman and Junior Varsity team members who are unlikely to qualify for the Sectional Championships or who are still fighting for a slot on their Sectional Championship Team!
Coach Shaklee sent the following remarks on the team's performance:
"The team, minus the top seven runners, traveled to Ocean County Park for the Future 7 cross country race. Although set up for athletes who are not running Sectionals and States for their teams, the field did include the top varsity runner from Red Bank Catholic who, not suprisingly, finished first. Behind him, Cherokee dominated the rest of the field taking eight of the next ten spots: Luke Reistle 2nd, Andrew Free 3rd, Ben Weiner 4th, Enzo Corona 5th, Joe Hough 6th, Julian Hatch 8th, Ethan Weisenberg 10th and Matteo Evola 11th! Of that group, only Luke and Julian established new 5K PR's but it was still a dominating display nonetheless!
"In addition to Luke and Julian, others setting PR's were: Brett Yagiello, Nick Campbell, Tate Midora, Nimai Kumar, Rory Carroll, Luke Ehly, Shawon Sarker, Liam Deimler and Josh Lowery!
"Freshmen, Rory Carroll and Luke Ehly, were selected by the coaches as Co-Runners of the Meet for not only establishing new 5K PR's but also passing two milestones! Rory dipped under 19:00 for the first time while Luke recorded his first sub-20:00 5K!" GO RORY! GO LUKE!
Generally, the same group will have a final opportunity to run fast and set new PR's at the upcoming Haddonfield Invitational on November 1st! The course is as flat as our coaches' abs (not to mention our photorapher's!) so personal record-breaking is definitely in the cards!
Detailed results at: NJ.MileSplit.
Here are some of the pictures our photographer took at the meet! These and others are available on the District's Google site!