As in the past, during "Winter" or "Indoor" Track, Cherokee focuses largely on preparing for the Spring season. Coaches concentrate 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 -- some of which are not reported here -- for both experience and a change of pace.
In the past two years, winter weather here in New Jersey was unusually mild, with temperatures often reaching into the 40s and 50s, and training continued in "some comfort" on Cherokee's outdoor facilities. This year is clearly different, with early snow, sleet and sub-zero temperatures making training annoying at best, impossible at worst! But the work continues as the team prepares for the hot competition of the winter season! GO CHEROKEE!
On December 20, 2013, the first "rust buster" of the season, the Olympic Conference Meet #1, was held at the Bennett Center in Toms River, New Jersey and Cherokee looked pretty sharp! At these early events, there are lots of athletes totally new to track and there are a number of errors committed by officials and runners. The first event of the evening was a case in point! Freshman Nick Falk started for Cherokee with the 1200m leg and he passed to Jordan Augenbaugh for the 400m leg: both ran pretty well! After that, however, things went awry when Carlo Lingasso fell to the ground on the baton-pass and then lost count in the 800m leg and passed off to newcomer Steve Gravlin after only three laps of his four-lap segment! Cherokee challenged the leaders after that but the officials could count and Cherokee suffered its 1st -- and hopefully last -- DQ of the season!
The 800m Relay restored Cherokee's dignity as the team of Shawn Tracey, Ronnie Oxendine, newcomer Daulton Hopkins and anchor Marc Woodard took 2nd; and the Sprint Medley Relay team of Shawn Tracey running a quick 52.44 split in the 400m and taking the lead, Ronnie Oxendine and Marc Woodard staying in front through both their two 200m legs, and Tyler Kurzawa clocking about a 12-second PR to keep the team in 1st place! In addition, the Shuttle Hurdles team of Marc Woodard, Jay Kramer, Al Panaccio and Mike White ran well and placed 5th overall!
In the field, Jordan Augenbaugh took 7th in the Pole Vault and Jay Kramer tied for 5th in the High Jump.
Official Results at: NJRunner/MileSplit.
In camera language, it's TOO DARK for shooting great pics in the Bennett Center but here are some middling efforts:
On December 27, 2013, a small group of mostly novice athletes traveled to the Bennett Center for the South Jersey Track Coaches Association Meet #1 just to get some experience and practice at a real track meet on a real track. Following that thought, this group stands out as for more DQ's than any Cherokee group in history! Al Panaccio did decently in the 400m, going sub-60, and not getting DQ'd but D'Andrie Hylton got DQ'd in the 55m Dash; then he and Anthony Natale, Dave Osterhaut and Matt Powell got DQ'd in the 4 X 200m Relay; then Jason Kramer, Jordan Aughenbaugh, Al Panaccio and Sam Kramer got DQ'd in the Shuttle Hurdles, and then Powell, Osterhaut, Natale and Panaccio got DQ'd in the 4 X 400m Relay . . . whew, it's not easy setting those kinds of records!
Details at: NJRunners/MileSplit.
On December 30, 2013, a small number of experienced and novice runners bussed to New York City for an opportunity to race on "the fastest track in the world!" The banked track at the Armory is very fast and the low-keyed Track Universe High School Invitational gave them a great chance to experience it! The action began with the 55m Dash, where Marc Woodard took 5th in 6.5 and Shawn Tracey placed in the top-10 at 6.6. Daulton Hopkins did well too as he clocked just over 7 seconds!
In the 200m Dash, Shawn Tracey returned to win the event in 22.6, and Ronnie Oxendine and Daulton Hopkins ran well as they clocked 24.2 and 24.5! In the 400m, Daulton returned with another season PR, and Freshman Matt Powell ran just over 58 seconds!
Two Freshmen who had outstanding Cross Country seasons raced the 1600m: Nick Falk cracked the 5 minute barrier, clocking 4:56, and Jack Shea clocked 5:09!
In the Field, Jordan Aughenbaugh cleared 10' 6" in the Pole Vault and Jason Kramer cleared 5' 6" in the High Jump.
Limited results at: NY/MileSplit.
On January 7, 2014, a group of Cherokee's Varsity team made the trip to the Bennett Center for the South Jersey Track Coaches Association Meet #3. More on that later!
In the meantime, here are some details at NJRunners/MileSplit and some pictures:
On January 16, 2014, a small group of Cherokee's Track Team returned to the Bennett Center for the NJSIAA GP IV Relay Championships. Racers included Marc Woodard, Shawn Tracey, Ronnie Oxendine, Michael White and Tyler Kurzawa. Jumpers included Jordan Aughenbaugh and Sam Kramer; and throwers included Chase Hoger and John Hemple. The highlight appears to be the PR throws by Putters Hoger and Hemple.
Meet results at: NJRunners/MileSplit.
Our photographer missed the meet but here are a few taken by Aaron Laserna at NJRunners:
On January 30, 2014, it was cold outside but things heated up for Cherokee's throwers at the 5th Annual SJ Cherokee Throwdown II! In the Varsity competition, Chase Hoger threw a four-foot PR of 43-5.25 and took 4th, while in the JV competition, John Hemple, Mike Gary, Jordan Aughenbaugh and Nick Craton all threw PR's, and Dante Massimino and Joe Hofacker just missed their PR's! Freshman Tommy Orth got his career started and his name on the MileSplit Stats List with his inaugural throw of 20-2. Details at: NJRunners/MileSplit.
On February 4, 2014, while this winter's track and field season has been wrecked by a series of snow and ice storms -- one local meet has been rescheduled three times! -- Cherokee still managed to host the 5th Annual SJ Cherokee Throwdown III at the high school! In the Varsity competition, Chase Hoger took 3rd and continued to advance his PR, this time by over 2 feet, to 45-09.50! Other PR's were thrown by Jordan Aughenbaugh, Mike Gary and Nick Craton! Details at: NJRunners/Milesplit
On February 8, 2014, many on Cherokee's Varsity squad (and several novices) returned to the Bennett Center in Toms River for the NJSIAA South Jersey Sectional Championships. Perhaps the most noteworthy was Chase Hoger who continued an almost unheard of PR streak! Chase joined the Track team this year and, on January 7, 2014, he threw his first Shot Put PR: 35' 6". Since then he has competed on five occasions and each time he threw another PR! In round numbers, he went from 35' to 37' to 39' to 43' to 45' . . . and then at Sectionals, he threw almost 46' for another PR: 45' 11.5"! Amazing! At that rate -- a 10' improvement in one month -- by June, he'll be throwing 85' give or take a few . . .!
Among the distance runners, another Cherokee athlete had a pretty impressive performance! Senior Nick Maccariella, a newcomer to Track, in only the second track race of his life . . . and his first 3200, crossed the line in 10:12.05 and placed 8th overall in South Jersey Group IV! That, boys and girls, is impressive! Junior Justin DeTone looked pretty impressive too as he ran his first race of the season and won the first heat of the 1600m with a new PR of over 2 seconds!
Among the sprinters/hurdlers/jumpers, Ronnie White dropped his PR a bit in the 55m Highs; that "Jack of All Trades" Jordan Aughenbaugh matched his own PR in the High Jump when he cleared 5' 6"; and Shawn Tracey had breakfast at the local hospital!
Details at: NJRunners/MileSplit.
Here are some pictures from the running events. Anyone going to get some pictures of Hoger any time soon?!
On February 11, 2014, Cherokee's throwers stayed home again for the 5th Annual SJ Cherokee Throwdown IV and the biggest news is that Chase Hoger failed to continue his PR streak! Not far off at 45' 07.50" -- that's only 4 inches below his best -- but not a PR! (Did we put the "malocchio" on Chase in our Sectionals comment?) There were, however, several PR's: Nick Craton threw a 2 foot best, and Tommy Orth and Drew Jackson improved their best by a few inches!
Details at: NJRunners/MileSplit.
On February 17, 2014, all of those Cherokee athletes who qualified for the NJSIAA Group IV State Championships took the trip to the Bennett Center to compete . . . all one of them that is! Ok, so Cherokee doesn't train to compete seriously in the winter championships but, really, one guy?! And another thing, is there such a thing as "putting a curse" on an athlete by noting something like consecutive PR's throughout the season and hoping that streak continues? Apparently there is . . .!
Cherokee's Chase Hoger stepped up to "the bigs" -- which IS a big deal by itself -- but then failed to improve on his outstanding performances this season. Still, it was a great experience and should help prepare him for the up-coming Spring season!
Meet details at: NJRunners/MileSplit.
Finally, here are some pics of the phantom thrower!