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.
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.
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!
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.
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!