Cherokee Track & Field Pictures, 2008, Page III

Early Spring!

This page marks the actual beginning of the Spring Season highlighting the first dual meet at Washington Township HS, the Burlington County Hall of Fame Relays; the second dual meet with Eastern Regional HS; the Moorestown Invitational; and the third dual meet at Lenape HS. GO CHEROKEE!

Dual Meet: Washington Township HS

On April 1st, 2008 -- no "April Fools" joke here because Washington Township is always tough! -- Cherokee traveled to the windswept fields of Washington Township HS for the first dual meet of the season and, through some spectacular performances by team members, took home their first victory of the Spring! Highlights included "a triple" . . . a hat trick? . . . a turkey? . . . by Senior Kevin Merrigan, winning the 100m, 200m, and the 400m dashes! Senior Chris Steliga poured in additional points as he took 1st in the Long Jump and Triple Jump, and 2nd in the 200m and 400m! Important 1st place scoring also came from Alex Yersak in the 3200m; Major Mobley in the 110HH; Matt Maze in the Vault; Demetrius Richardson in the Jav; and Justin Turner -- who? -- in the High Jump! Point "sweeps" occurred in the High Jump (Justin Turner, Lynell Payne, Demetrius Richardson) and 200m (Kevin Merrigan, Chris Steliga, and newcomer Will Rapp)! And kudos to four athletes who scored points in two events: Chris Applegate in the 1600m and 3200m, Major Mobley in the 110HH and the Triple Jump; Lynell Payne in the High Jump and Shot Put; and Demetrius Richardson in the Javelin and High Jump! Final score: 78 - 62!

Dual Meet Record for 2008: 1 - 0! GO CHEROKEE!

There are more pictures this week to welcome back some of the older members of the team and to introduce some of the new members. Look for others in the weeks that follow.

Scott Woodmansee in 400IH Tom Senia in 400IH Andrew Wenzel Alex Walker in 100m Duong Nguyen in 100m Marc Saccomanno and Chris Applegate early in 1600m
Steve McCarroll in 1600m Mike Leoniy warms up in the Shot Lynell Payne in the Shot Jon Turner in the Shot Sean Stout in the Shot Start of 800m
Jeff You in Shot Eric Briggs in Shot Ryan Davis in Shot Shane Gallagher in Shot Chris Velarides in Shot Anthony Alosi in Shot
Matt Maze in the Vault Matt Maze in the Vault Jon Scott in 200m Chris Steliga in 200m Kevin Merrigan in the 200m Will Rapp in the 200m
Joe Cashin Mandesh Veeranna Brian Schules and Eric English Justin Nykiel Brandon Blue, Jason Brockman, Ryan Merrigan Sagatom Saha
Neelesh Tekal Sean Hartnett, Ryan McNair, Chris Applegate in 3200m Kyle Smith in 3200m Alex Yersak in 3200m AJ Valentine starts the 4 X 400m Valentine to Niraj Patel in 4 X 400m
Patel to Mike Palmieri in 4 X 400m Palmieri to Kevin Merrigan in the 4 X 400m Start of mass 4 X 400s Justin Nykiel in mass 4 X 400m Eric Birkhead in mass 4 X 400 Major Mobley in mass 4 X 400m
Richie Davis in HJ Richie Davis in HJ Drake Rodgers in HJ Drake Rodgers in HJ Lynell Payne in HJ Lynell Payne in HJ
Demetrius Richardson in HJ Demetrius Richardson in HJ Justin Turner in HJ Justin Turner in HJ Ed Krammer in HJ Ed Kramer in HJ
Major Mobley in the TJ Chris Steliga in the TJ Brandon King in the TJ Jack Conway in the TJ Richie Davis in the TJ Chris Steliga in the TJ

Burlington County Hall of Fame Relays

On April 5th, 2008, the "Chiefs" competed in the 39th Annual Burlington Country Hall of Fame Relays on the windswept track at Maple Shade High School. By the end of the day, they ended up winning seven of sixteen events, challenging several school records, and breaking a 30-year-old meet record! The team's fastest sprint team -- a combination of Kevin Merrigan, Will Rapp, Niraj Patel, and Chris Steliga tied the school record set in 2003 by Jason Chao, Leo Klawiter, Joe Scialabbo and Alex Whirledge in the 4 X 200m Relay (1:31.20); and, with a 43.80 clocking in the 4 X 100m Relay, came very close to breaking the 2007 school record set by Kevin Merrigan, Chris Steliga, Steve Watson and Sam Shapiro at the Penn Relays!

In another event, the Triple Jump Relay, Major Mobley and Chris Steliga broke a 30-year-old meet record set by Carl Lewis and Tom Mayfield. Recent rains made the sand pit dangerously hard so both athletes jumped only once in the competition but that was enough to win the event and break the record by 4 inches!

In addition, Cherokee athletes won the 4 X 800m Relay (Chris Applegate, Alex Yersak, Steve Burkholder and Matt McCarroll); the Distance Medley (AJ Valentine, Niraj Patel, Chris Applegate and Alex Yersak); the Shot Put Relay (Jon Turner and Lynell Payne); and the Javelin Relay (Demetrius Richardson and Devon Prate!

Several articles written by Sports Reporter Reuben Frank appeared in this week's Burlington County Times. One is on Alex Yersak's recent history, Yersak Puts Accident in the Past, while a second reports on the team's performance at the Hall of Fame Relays: Steliga and Friends Are Impressive For Cherokee. Follow all of Mr. Frank's sports reports at the Burlington County Times.

Complete results at: Colona's BCTCA.

Jon Scott in the TJ Sean Hartnett in the 4 X 1600m Steve McCarroll in the 4 X 1600m Marc Saccomanno in the 4 X 1600m Shot Putter Grant Faulkner Shot Putter Andrew Wenzel
Jon Scott to Brian Schules JoJo White to Scott Woodmansee Jack Conway passes to Madesh Veeranna Kevin Merrigan to Will Rapp Niraj Patel passes to Chris Steliga Demetrius Richardson flings the Jav
Devon Prate at the Jav Lynell Payne at the HJ Sagatom Saha Duong Nguyen Ryan Merrigan Scott Woodmansee
Justin Turner at HJ AJ Valentine starts the 3200m Relay Matt Maze at the Vault Justin Nykiel in the HH Relay Tom Senia in the HH Relay Tyler Shane in the HH Relay
Brandon Blue in the HH Relay Major Mobley in the HH Relay Mike Palmieri Andrew Wenzel Mike Brocco in the HH Relay Ryan McNair
Ed Kramer clears the bar Marc Saccomanno Drake Rodgers Kyle Miller Kyle Muench Josh Ungerleider
Joe Cashin Ryan Lutz Eric Birkhead Kyle Smith Adam Henriksen Jack Conway in the vault
Jeff Brown in the vault Kevin Merrigan to Niraj Patel Will Rapp finishes the 400m Relay JoJo White passes to Tim Brill Madesh Veeranna finishes in front Chris Applegate in the 3200m Relay
Alex Yersak in the 3200m Relay Steve Burkholder in the 3200m Relay Matt McCarroll in the 3200m Relay AJ Valentine Richie Davis Will Pietra
Alex Walker Andrew Wenzel

Dual Meet: Eastern Regional High School

April 8th, 2008, marked the first calm, warm day for competition as the track team challenged Eastern Regional High School for leadership in the Conference. Although Eastern was highly regarded by many, excellent efforts by many of Cherokee's athletes resulted in another victory for the team!

Double winners included Kevin Merrigan in the 100m and 200m, with a 2nd in the 400m; and Major Mobley in the 110HH and the Triple Jump, with a 3rd in the Long Jump! Others added to the excitement: Will Rapp took 2nd in the 100m, 3rd in the 200m, and then came through with a HUGE PR in the 4 X 400m Relay to anchor the win! And Demetrius Richardson, took 1st in the High Jump -- once again demonstrating the vital connection between hard work and success -- and threw a PR in the Javelin for an important 2nd place in that event!

Other top performances came from Vaulter Matt Addezio, now back from an injury, who finished 2nd with another PR; Jon Turner, who took 1st in the Shot Put; and Chris Steliga, who took 1st in the Long Jump and 2nd in the Triple Jump!

Not to be outdone, the distance squad carried their share of the load! In the 800m, AJ Valentine and Kevin Schickling ran impressive PR's to take 1st and 2nd (and then both PR'd again in their 4 X 400m Relay splits); Chris Applegate and Alex Yersak both ran 4:32 to take 1st and 2nd in the 1600m, and behind them, Ryan McNair, Ryan Lutz, Kyle Miller and Kyle Smith all set new PR's! Finally, sub-10 minute clockings in the 3200m by Sean Hartnett (20 second PR) and Marc Saccomanno (25 second PR) secured 1st and 2nd in that event! Yikes! Final Score: 95 - 36, with "no contest" in the Discus.

Dual Meet Record for 2008: 2 - 0! GO CHEROKEE!

Devon Prate in the Jav Justin Nykiel in the Jav Demetrius Richardson in the Jav Kevin Scott in the Jav Brett Schules in the Jav Chao Weng in the Jav
Mike Pagano in the Jav Start of 1600m. Lutz, McNair, Yersak, Applegate The Kyles in the 1600m! Ryan Bobb in 1600m Ryan McNair in the 1600m Ryan McNair in a squeeker!
Ryan Lutz in the 1600m Kevin Merrigan in 400m Brian Schules in the 400m Dan Basoff in 400m Brandon King in 400m Andrew Wenzel in the HH
Major Mobley in the HH Major Mobley in the HH Mike Brocco in the HH Steve McCarroll and Josh Ungerleider in the 800m AJ Valentine follows Ted Schickling in the 800m Steve Burkholder in the 800m
Tim Brill behind Jon Scott Chris Steliga Will Rapp Jason Brockman Ryan Merrigan and Tyler Shane JoJo White and Sagatom Saha
Frank Kumi Richie Davis at the HJ Alex Yersak, Mark Saccomanno, Sean Hartnett in 3200m Matt McCarroll in the 3200m Ed Kramer in the HJ Drake Rodgers in the HJ
Guess who in the HJ! Justin Turner in the HJ Alex Walker, Tyler Shane, Will Pietra, Jack Conway Madesh Veerhanna Eric Birkhead Eric English
Lynell Payne in the HJ Justin Turner in the HJ Coaches review the action

Moorestown Invitational

Apres moi, le deluge? Not a chance, Louis!

All week, the weather geniuses forecast the floods that would hit South Jersey on Saturday, April 12, 2008, but, thankfully, they were wrong again!

Still, a little concerned by the forecast, Cherokee bussed a group of athletes to the near-by Moorestown Invitational, a relatively small meet of around 35 teams, where they hoped to, among other things, watch their 3200m Relay team qualify for the up-coming Penn Relays. In the past, a team that ran below 8:08 qualified for the 3200m Relay at the Penn Relays, so Cherokee set its sights for that target.

(Cherokee is no stranger to the Penn Relays, having qualified distance relay teams there for the past 6 of 11 years! Two years ago, Rich Nelson, AJ Valentine, Colin Cunningham and Will Andes clocked a 7:59.24 in the 3200m Relay, placing 13th out of 60 schools in the event, and the team expected no less this year!)

At Moorestown, led-off by AJ Valentine, the team of Steve Burkholder, Chris Applegate and anchor Kevin "Ted" Schickling easily finished 1st in the event and, by clocking an 8:07.52, they left the track thinking they had qualified for the 2008 Penn Relays! Unfortunately, the news came the following day that the qualifying mark for 2008 dropped to 8:05 and the Cherokee team was not accepted.

Still, in addition to the victory in the 3200m Relay, the super sprint foursome of Kevin Merrigan, Niraj Patel, Will Rapp and Chris Steliga won both the 400m and 1600m Relays, and both in spectacular ways! In the 400m Relay, for example, they set a new school record of 43.54, surpassing the previous record of 43.79 set by Kevin Merrigan, Steve Watson, Chris Steliga, and Sam Shapiro at the 2007 Penn Relays! And in the 1600m Relay, Cherokee's team ran shoulder-to-shoulder throughout, against Eastern and Timber Creek, and it came down to Chris Steliga fighting off two others to win by only .18 of a second!

Other highlights include PR's by Matt Maze in the Pole Vault, this time at 12'; and by Scott Woodmansee and Andrew Wenzel in the 400IH!

Complete results at: Colona's BCTCA.


Justin Turner in the LJ Andrew Wenzel in the 400IH Scott Woodmansee in the 400IH Justin Turner in the LJ Jon Scott at the gun! Richie Davis to Will Pietra
Tim Brill finishes his race Jon Turner in the Shot Cheap seats Mike Leoniy in the Shot Dom Roskowski in the discus Chris Velarides in the discus
AJ Valentine leads off in the 3200m Relay AJ Valentine at the 400m Steve Burkholder in the 3200m R Burkholder to Applegate in 3200m R Applegate to Schickling in 3200m R Ted Schickling finishes the 3200m R
Winning foursome in 3200m R Matt Adezzio in the Vault Matt Addezio in the Vault Matt Maze in the Vault Matt Maze in the Vault Brandon King sporting a Mohawk in the TJ
Sam Denmark in the Triple Jump Jon Scott in the 800m R Richie Davis in the Sprint Med Mike Palmieri in the Sprint Med Sean Hartnett and Marc Saccomanno in Open 1500m Ryan McNair in the Open 1500m
Demetrius Richardson in the HJ Justin Turner in the HJ Kevin Merrigan in the 1600m R Niraj Patel in the 1600m R Will Rapp in the 1600m R Chris Steliga finishes the 1600m R

Dual Meet: Lenape High School

On April 15, 2008, the team traveled across town to our District rival, Lenape High School, and enjoyed a beautiful day: the weather was great and so were many performances! The day was highlighted by three double-winners: Kevin Merrigan in the 100m and 200m, Chris Steliga in the Long Jump and Triple Jump; and Demetrius Richardson in the Javelin and High Jump! In the 1600m, the squad took advantage of the day by running four PR's: Kevin Schickling and Sean Hartnett, taking 1st and 3rd in the event, and then followed by Matt McCarroll and Steve McCarroll! In the 3200m, Alex Yersak took 1st, running a solo 9:53 in his bedroom slippers -- OK, his training shoes -- and then Kyle Smith, Ryan Lutz and Kyle Miller followed in 3 - 4 - 5 with big PR's!

In the field, there were a slew of PR's, led by Jon Turner and Lynell Payne, who took 2nd and 3rd in the Shot Put! And, among the jumper/hurdlers, Major Mobley took 2nd in both the Long Jump (another PR!) and the Triple Jump, and then took 1st in the 110HH; and Mike Palmieri ran his first sub-60 400IH and took 1st in the event! WOW! Final Score: 84 - 56!

Dual Meet Record for 2008: 3 - 0! GO CHEROKEE!

Sean Stout throws the Discus Nick Walker throws the Discus Jon Turner in the Discus Chris Velarides in the Discus Joe Cress throws the Discus Major Mobley in the LJ
Chris Steliga in the LJ Jack Conway in the Vault Mike Palmieri starts the 400IH Mike Palmieri finishes the 400IH in 1st! Scott Woodmansee wins his heat in the 400IH Eric English
Jon Scott in the 100m Dash Varsity moves towards a sweep in 100m Dash! Kevin Merrigan wins the 100m Dash Sagatom Saha and Duong Nguyen in the 100m Dash Jason Brockman in 100m Dash Frank Kumi in the 100m Dash
Neelesh Takel in the 100m Dash Steve and Matt McCarroll in 1600m Kevin Schickling breaks away in the 1600m to win Sean Hartnett in the 1600m Marc Saccomanno in the 1600m Matt McCarroll in the 1600m
Chris Steliga wins the TJ Will Rapp in 400m AJ Valentine in 400m Brian Schules wins his heat in 400m Dan Basoff wins his heat with JoJo White in 400m Marc Saccomanno at the start
Andrew Wenzel in 110HH Major Mobley in 110HH Andrew Wenzel in 110HH Matt Maze falls from on high Matt Adezzio clears the bar Richie Davis
Eric Birkhead Ryan Bobb in the 3200m Kyle Smith, Ryan Lutz and Kyle Miller in 3200m Alex Yersak moves to win in the 3200m Jon Scott in the HJ Ed Kramer in the HJ
We have them outmanned in the training 4 X 400m! Tyler Shane in the training 4 X 400m Tim Brill and Alex Walker in the training 4 X 400m Ed Kramer in the HJ Drake Rodgers in the HJ Demetrius Richardson wins the HJ

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