Cherokee Cross Country Pictures, 2002, Page I


Last summer, the athletes of Cherokee High School followed training schedules prepared by Coach Shaklee. They trained throughout the summer, often meeting with Coach Shaklee or Coach Callinan, and created the team bond that would support them during the season.

In August, they attended the extraordinary Running Works Cross Country Camp in Canadensis, Pennsylvania, where they trained for six days with top coaches and athletes from the Northeastern United States, learned from special guest speakers, and continued to build solid foundations for the up-coming season.

Having lost team leader Marc Pelerin to graduation, Cherokee's young team looked to Senior Keith Krieger for inspiration. The Newark Star-Ledger selected Krieger as one of the top returning runners in the state but the rest of the team was largely untried. Indeed, in pre-season polls, even the local papers placed Cherokee's team as low as 6th in South Jersey. That would soon change as the young team swept the Olympic Division in dual meets, won the Burlington County Championships, placed 2nd in the South Jersey Group IV Championships, and took 3rd in the State Group IV Championships. They ended the season qualifying for and taking 6th in the State Meet of Champions.

The pictures below were taken during practice at Cherokee High School, just before the school year began. (Click on the picture to enlarge.)

Coach Shaklee with Bredeck and Andes Coach Shaklee with the team Cuneo, McLaughlin and Freeman Sky worshippers? McFadden

Shawnee Dual Meet, Sep 17th

The season began on September 17th with what was thought to be the most difficult team in the Division, cross-district rival Shawnee High School. Expectations proved correct as Shawnee packed three runners behind Cherokee's Keith Krieger. But these points were offset by a tight pack of five Cherokee runners (McLaughlin, Freeman, Candy, Yersak and Maneval), leading to a narrow Cherokee victory: 27 - 30.

James Maneval Becker Keith Krieger relaxing Freeman, Yersak, McLaughlin and Candy

Cherokee Challenge

The Cherokee Challenge on September 21st was the first opportunity to see many of Cherokee's opponents, and, as a class meet, a unique opportunity for athletes to run in races limited to runners in their own age group. Keith Krieger was on a college visit; but from Cherokee's standpoint, the Sophomore race was a real eye-opener, with Yersak, McLaughlin, Candy, Maneval and Dellamonica taking five of the top eleven places!

Stewart in last mile O'Rourke at the mile mark Nelson and Andes in the woods Henry in the last mile Freeman in the last mile

Eastern Dual Meet

On September 25th, while Krieger trained through this meet, Coach Shaklee turned the leadership reins over to Junior Nike Freeman, and he led the Chiefs to a 20 - 41 victory over Eastern Regional High School. Again, a pack of five runners (Freeman, McLaughlin, Candy, Yersak and Maneval), taking 2nd through 6th place, gave Eastern no chance to win the meet. And after this meet, Cherokee moved up to fourth place in the Courier-Post rankings.

Mullen at GCC Bredeck at GCC Brown and Stewart at GCC Dellamonica at GCC

Washington Township and Lenape Double-Dual Meet

Cherokee's record moved to 4 - 0 on October 1st as the Chiefs defeated two division challengers: Washington Township (20 - 39) and Lenape Regional (15 - 49). Krieger led the Cherokee runners with an outstanding 15:57 on the Gloucester County College, A course, 47 seconds ahead of his closest rival. Cherokee placed 7 runners (Krieger, McLaughlin, Candy, Yersak, Freeman, Dellamonica and Maneval) in the top 11 places against both teams.

Andes Yersak Krieger McLaughlin, Yersak and Freeman McFadden at GCC

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