The Early Spring is a time of continuing preparation for the season and especially the championship meets at the end of the season. It begins with a scrimmage and a fundraising roadrace for one of our Alums, and quickly moves into the dual meets and several local relay meets. While there are many opportunities for everyone on the team to participate in these events, the newer team members also have several Freshmen/Sophomore/Novice Meets where they may hone their skills and perhaps qualify for Varsity competition. GO CHEROKEE!
Adrenaline 5K Run
For many years in the early Spring, Cherokee's distance squad did a quasi-time trial at Haddonfield's Bancroft Run, now called the Adrenaline 5K. This year the team will compete at next week's Little Mac's Journey Back 5K Run, a fund-raising event devoted to one of our former runners, Matt McCarroll, who suffered a life-altering accident. As a result, only two runners from Cherokee entered the Adrenaline race: Senior Shawn Wilson, hoping to better his time from last year and perhaps outrun Cherokee coach, Marc Pelerin, who whipped him badly last year; and Coach Shaklee who, after suffering a series of chronic injuries, hasn't raced in years but is now in a position to test his fitness and actually finish a 5K race!
In the race, Shawn did well, finishing 15th in 15:27 (4:58.4 pace), 26 seconds faster than last year, but he had to endure two annoying circumstances: (1) Coach Pelerin was attending a coach's certification program and could not be there; and (2) some out-of-state upstart beat Shawn to the finish line and won "17-year-old bragging rights!"
Coach Shaklee also did well, finishing 119th in 18:37 (chip time)! There were at least three pieces of good news: (1) he appeared healthy and uninjured after the race; (2) he won his age group, "Reeks and Wrecks Well Over 55"; and (3) he ran a sub-6 pace in the race! Yes, he was a tad close to crossing that 6-minute-pace barrier but, as every runner knows, anything below a certain number no matter how small is sub-something, as in "Yah, I ran sub-2 in the 800" even when the time was 1:59.9999! For the record, Coach Shaklee's sub-6 pace was 05:59.527445108495556 . . . and that shall forever be known as sub-6!
And while on the subject, here's an offer the team can't refuse! As mentioned above, most of the distance guys are signed-up to race in the fund-raising, Little Mac's Journey Back 5K Run. An anonymous benefactor has offered to donate $25 for every Cherokee team member who beats The Old Man's -- that's Coach Shaklee -- 5K time of 18:37! So, not only will our former team member benefit from your entry fees but, since many on the team should be able to beat 18:37 running backwards, he'll also benefit from the donations made in your honor! GO CHEROKEE!
Results at: L & M Sports
Scrimmage: Timber Creek & Haddon Heights
On March 20, 2013, Cherokee traveled to Timber Creek High School in Erial, New Jersey for the first competition of the Spring season, a tri-meet scrimmage with Timber Creek and Haddon Heights. It was a great opportunity to check the conditioning of older team members and to see what new talent had joined the team. As usual for an early meet, the weather itself was something of a challenge, with temperatures in the 40's and pretty steady winds but the meet moved rapidly and everyone got a chance to test their skills. One initial report highlighted two performances in the 1600m: Freshman Tyler Kurwasa and Sophomore Cam Rabinowitz clocked times that bode well for the future!
Our photographer was there and took pictures of whomever he identified as a Cherokee athlete and maybe some others . . . doesn't anyone wear orange anymore?! Check them out:
Road Race: Little Mac's Journey Back 5K
On March 20, 2013, many of Cherokee's distance runners, from both the present and the past, met at King's Grant to run the Little Mac's Journey Back 5K. The race was a fund-raiser for one of our former runners, Matt McCarroll who suffered a life-altering accident last summer. It was great to see the Alums, Alum parents, current team members, and future Cherokee runners show-up to support one of their own!
One interesting feature in the race was the offer of a $25 donation made for every team member who beat Coach Shaklee's time in last week's Adrenaline race: 18:37. Although the weather and course conditions were generally favorable, and Coach Shak's older than dog dirt, only two Cherokee runners met the standard: Shawn Wilson and Matt Decker. The donation in their names appeared on the website the next day! Thanks, guys!
Results at: L & M Sports.
Highland Frosh-Soph Meet
On April 1, 2013, many of Cherokee's younger performers traveled to the Highland Frosh-Soph Meet, this year, held at Timber Creek High School. So far, the results are being held under wraps -- even MileSplit/MJRunners hasn't published them! According to sources, the director of the meet used archaic methods, last used in the Dark Ages, to record the results and those methods do not "interface" well with 21st Century technology!
There are some photographs -- digital, in tune with the 21st century -- available however!
Dual Meet: Cherry Hill High School East
On April 3, 2013, Cherokee bussed to wind-swept Cherry Hill High School East for what became a very exciting meet that went all the way down to the final event! One Triple Win and another Double Win highlighted some very impressive performances! For the Triple, Shawn Wilson, who was essentially training for later in the season, won the 1600m, 800m, and then the 3200m against a very respectable East distance squad; and for the Double, Mike Conway took the Shot Put and the Discus! Phew . . ..
Others stepped-up and added some valuable points too! Shawn Tracey started by taking 2nd in the 100m Dash, then 1st in the 200m Dash, and then he came back to anchor the winning 4 X 400m Relay and hold off East's top 400m sprinter! Duane Johnson took 1st in the 100m Dash and then he returned to take 2nd in the 200m! Mike Hare and Freshman Tyler Kurzawa took 2nd and 3rd in the 400m Dash, with Tyler clocking 54.6! Brandon Illagan used a great kick to take 2nd in the 800m Run, close behind Shawn Wilson in 1st! Finally, Jordan Augenbaugh won the Pole Vault; and Matt Rhodes picked-up a 2nd in the Triple Jump!
There were some who didn't take any medals but looked pretty good in this first meet of the season! Ron Harper tied his PR and finished 4th in the 1600m, and then ran a fast leg in the training-level 4 X 400m Relay; both Matt Decker and Justin DeTone ran well in the 3200m despite having to run almost the entire race by themselves in the cold wind; and Freshman Steve Gravlin PR'd in the 800m and on his leg of the training-level 4 X 400m Relay!
As usual, the guys in the Throws, Pole Vault, Long Jump and Triple Jump got missed by the photographer . . . any volunteers out there?!
Burlington County Hall of Fame Relays
On April 6, 2013, Cherokee traveled to nearby Maple Shade High School for the the Burlington County Hall of Fame Relays, the first in a series of big meets this season and an opportunity for our young guys -- and old guys -- to get a taste of serious competition from throughout South Jersey!
Speaking of the "old guys," Duane Johnson, Shawn Tracey, Mike Hare and Brandon Ilagan ran as a team on both the 4 x 200m Relay and the Sprint Medley Relay and looked good finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively. In other races, the JV Distance Medley team of Steve Gravlin, Freddy Rasmussen, Joe Lacy and Justin DeTone took 2nd; and the JV Sprint Medley team of Mike White, Alfred Panaccio, Noah Walker and Elias Rininos also took 2nd! Some other stuff soon!
Details at: MileSplit/NJRunners.
On April 13, 2013, Cherokee traveled to the nearby Moorestown Invitational, a meet that mixes individual and relay events. The news from the meet is sketchy but the clear highlight for the team was the performances of Shawn Tracey, Duane Johnson, Mike Hare and Shawn Wilson in both the 1600 Sprint Medley and the 800 Sprint Medley! The team took 1st in the 1600 version while clocking a meet record, and 2nd in the 800 version! In addition, the 4 X 800 Relay team of Zach Piotrowski, Rob Harper, James Transue and Brandon Ilagan took 4th in their event. Details at: MileSplit/NJRunners, including some pictures taken during the meet. Also, the few pictures below, taken by professional photographer Dennis McDonald, came from the gallery at the Burlington County Times.