For Cherokee, "Winter Track" is a time to prep for the Spring season. Coaches focus on base and strength training for the distance athletes, and skills and conditioning for the sprinters, jumpers and throwers. Even so, the team participates in a number of meets for both experience and a change of pace.
State Group IV Relay Championships
On January 16, 2005, Cherokee athletes participated in the State Group IV Relay Championships at Princeton University, taking 4th in the Distance Medley and 3rd in the 4 X 800m Relay. Several athletes also competed in the Shot Put Relay. Complete results at: Scullion.
To review the pictures below, hover over the picture for a brief description; click on the picture to open a larger version.
Haddonfield Winter Distance Carnival
And on February 9, 2005, Cherokee athletes participated in the Haddonfield Winter Distance Carnival, an invitational meet where the distance squads of six South Jersey schools competed in 800m, 1600m, and 3200m races. Despite their winter focus on base and strength training, many of the Cherokee guys ran impressive PR's and set standards for themselves as they move towards the Spring season!
Run in mid-February, this meet might have rivaled the outdoor "Polar Bear" meets of the 1970s when athletes regularly competed in sub-freezing weather. But, while snow still marked the perimeters of the track, the weather was ideal, with sunshine, temperatures in the high 50s, and no wind! It was, then, a great day to run! Here are a few pictures from the meet!
State Group IV Championships
On February 19, 2005, a few of Cherokee's athletes participated in the NJ State Group IV Championships at Princeton University. The highlight of the day was Matt Dolan's 3200m Run. On the relatively slow track in Jadwin Gym, Matt ran 9:49.74, dropping 6 seconds from his PR and moving from 18th to 15th on Cherokee's All-Time List in the 3200m! Matt, Tom Yersak and James Maneval qualified for the Meet of Champions next week! For complete results: Scullion.
It was relatively dark in Jadwin Gym and the pictures from the meet are poor. However, here are a few to illustrate some of the action.
State Indoor Meet of Champions
On February 27, 2005, only one of Cherokee's athletes participated in the NJ State Indoor Meet of Champions at Princeton University. James Maneval, seeded last in a field of 36, finished 16th in a season-best time! Tom Yersak was unable to run because of illness; and Matt Dolan chose to run at a different place and time. For complete MOC results: Scullion.
Again,the pictures from the meet are poor. However, here are a few of James in the 800m.
Timber Creek/Haddon Heights Scrimmage
Scrimmages are great opportunities to, among other things, observe the new guys on the team, train under meet conditions, and evaluate the team's overall strengths and weaknesses. With that in mind, on March 17, 2004, Cherokee hosted a scrimmage with squads from Timber Creek and Haddon Heights.
Most of the details are unavailable at this time but two events have amusing features. For one, imagine Sam Shapiro's surprise when he rounded the turn in the 200m and found a 55 gallon drum in his lane! That situation is captured in the last picture below.
And for light humor, Coach Shaklee keeps a record of all sub-60 second 400m times run by his strictly-distance runners, and Senior Matt Dolan, who has run a 9:49.73 in the 3200m, joined that illustrious group yesterday when he ran 59.37! Matt's excitement was tempered somewhat when Freshman Kevin Schickling also joined the list with a 59.0, but he still has a full season to go!
Here are some pictures focusing more on the new guys, the younger guys, and the weight guys in the scrimmage.
Bancroft 5K Run
For a change of pace, some of the underclassmen raced in the 24th Annual Bancroft 5K Run in Haddonfield. Cherokee entered the high school team competition and won; and Kevin Schickling -- shown below receiving his award from Olympic great, Bob Kennedy -- took 1st place in his age group! Coach Shaklee also ran the race, maintaining "bragging rights" for the old guys! Here are some pictures from the race. Complete results at: Bancroft Results
St. Baldrick's Day Massacre!
Not related to Cherokee's racing program, but still team news, is Coach Shaklee's participation in the annual St. Baldrick's Day head-shaving event at Tir Na Nog in Philadelphia to raise money for the National Childhood Cancer Foundation. His efforts resulted in more than $2,000 going to the Foundation! (By the way, the woman doing the shaving is a local stylist who was the first to donate her hair to the cause!) For more information see: St. Baldrick's.
March 30th was an uneasy day for Cherokee! First, the morning Varsity scrimmage at Rancocas Valley was abruptly cancelled because their track was flooded. The coaches adjusted by running a practice at school. Then the bus for the afternoon Highland Frosh-Soph Meet didn't show. After an hour of scrambling, a second bus was located, but the team arrived late for the meet. More scrambling, adjusting of the entries, etc. Fortunately, the athletes "went with the flow" and the meet went well. Except, that is, for the photographer whose camera registered an "error 99" -- what is that?! -- halfway through the meet and died!
Some highlights included Alex Yersak's win in the 1600m (4.55.0); Matt Addezzio's second in the Vault (9'); Chris Steliga's second in the 400m (55.3), Dan McCusker's eight foot PR in the jav (116'); Colin Cunningham's fourth in the 800m (2:10.5); and Sam Shapiro's PR in the 200m (24.5).
Here are some pictures before the camera meltdown: