Here it is just past Mid-April and it still doesn't feel like Spring! A few nice days for the Woodbury Relays and the Cherry Hill East dual meet but temperatures dropped to near freezing during the Penn Relays! Also juggling a fair amount of wind and rain -- give it to California! -- but everything points to a warming-up period soon . . . or so says Pollianna!
On April 22, 2015, the team traveled to Cherry Hill High School East, Coach Shaklee's alma mater, for the third dual meet of the season. It was for many of the athletes an unnerving experience: the team already lost a dual meet to Eastern High School (1 point!) and lost their chance to win the American Division crown, so the coaches focused on training for up-coming championships, including the Conference Championships and States, and setting PR's! It was a tough decision because East has always been a major local opponent and it really "went against the grain" to not compete fiercely on every level!
Many of The Chiefs trained by racing three events and a surprising number of Conference qualifying times and PR's were set! Indeed, Cherokee now has ten Conference qualifiers, and forty-three PR's were set by the sprinters and jumpers, another twenty-two by the Throwers, and another nine by the distance runners! Yikes!
In the Sprints and Jumps, Coach McMichael specifically mentioned Dave Osterhout and Al Panaccio as they set PR's in both the 110HH and the 400IH; the winning, and Penn Relays-bound, 4 X 400m Relay team of Marc Woodard, Matt Powell, Rob Curley and Ty Kurzawa; Dalton Hopkins' PR and 2nd place in the 200m; and Mark Kirby's PR in both the Triple Jump and Pole Vault!
In the Distance events, Coach Shaklee highlighted the PR's set in the 800m: Nick Falk, Justin DeTone, Mike Zurzolo, Cam Wilburn, Jarred Chow, Justin Kelly, Matt Smith, Matt Zeitz and Nik Kadirisani!
Finally, in the Throws, Coach Lynn applauded Matt Gross's victory in the Javelin; John Hemple's victory and PR in the Shot, and Dante Massimino's PR and 3rd place in the Shot; Phil Quipot PR and 3rd place in the Discus; and Freshman Jared Selkow who PR'd in the Shot, Discus and the Javelin!
At this point, Cherokee has ten qualifiers for the upcoming Conference Championships: Justin DeTone, Nick Falk; Jack Shea, John Hemple; Justin Kelly, Mark Kirby, Ty Kurzawa, Ryan Razler, Marc Woodard and Mike Zyrzolo! Let's see who else qualifies before the Championships! GO CHEROKEE!
Dual Meet Record: 1 - 2 . . . but who's counting?!
On April 24 - 25, 2015, Cherokee sent two teams to compete in The 121st Penn Relays, the most insanely competitive meet they are likely to ever run! For the record, 22,000 + athletes (half are high schoolers) enter the competition and even Olympians know it ain't no cakewalk!
On Friday, the 4 X 100m Relay team of Rob Curley, Matt Powell, Daulton Hopkins and Marc Woodard faced 262 other teams (29 Heats) in the Large School category. Unfortunately, running in the 6th Heat, they finished 6th, far from advancing to the Finals. On Saturday, the 4 X 400m Relay team of Marc Woodard, Matt Powell, Rob Curley and Ty Kurzawa faced more tough competition in the South Jersey Heat of the event, they finished 7th of 15 teams and also failed to advance.
All the details and complete results at: Penn Relays. See "Schedule by Day" links for easy access.
Our photographer was not at the Relays this year but here are a few pics taken from the MileSplit site and cleaned up a bit. Most are from Friday's race and only one is from Saturday's race. Two things immediately come to mind: Daulton's uncle must have been on that corner because there were so many pictures that included him; and Marc, yes, get the baton but get the picture too!
On April 27, 2015, Cherokee hosted the second in a series of evening races, Cherokee Night Racing # 2, and came out with a number of highly successful races!
Thirteen PR's were set in the featured 1600m Run: Nick Falk, Jack Shea, Mike Zurzolo, Justin Kelly, Brandon Marks, Brendan Falzone, Cam Wilburn, Josh Annandsingh, Pritesh Prajapati, Nik Kadirisani, Jon Conn, Taha Rana and Ben Rosenberg. Nick Falk's PR was the most notable as it was an 8.5 second improvement (4:24.42) and it topped the former school sophomore record of 4:27.1 set by Marc Pelerin fifteen years ago! Nick now has the school Freshman and Sophomore records in both the 1600m and the 3200m!
In theory, night racing looks good but, sometimes, things don't work out so well in reality! The wind should die down but this time it didn't. And no one worries about the photographer! Here are some pictures salvaged from the dark and windy night!
Details at: NJ MileSplit.
On April 27, 2015, The Chiefs welcomed district neighbor, Lenape High School to the last of the season's dual meets.
The Throwers had a nice meet, with Ryan Razler, Matt Gross and Adonis Giovetis sweeping the Javelin; Phil Quipot taking 2nd in the Discus; and John Hemple and Dante Massminio taking 1st and 2nd in the Shot! Hemple tied his PR in the Shot while every JV thrower in the Javelin PR'd! Other big PR's came from Tommy Orth in the Shot and Ryan Bubnoski with a 25' PR in the Discus!
The Sprinter/Hurdlers had a nice day too! In the 100m Dash, Cherokee had 14 PR's and four qualifiers for the Conference Championships: Daulton Hopkins, Rob Curley, Matt Powell and Terrance Graves! In the 200m Dash, Cherokee clocked 13 additional PR's and three Conference qualifiers: Hopkins, Curley and Danny Weiss; and in the 400m Dash, Cherokee had 3 PR's with Matt Powell qualifying for the Conference Champs! Finally, Marc Woodward clocked a PR in the 110HH, and Dave Osterhout ran his own PR in the 400IH!
Most of Cherokee's distance runners raced at last night's event so few raced today against Lenape. Those that did ran well! In the 1600m, Steve Gravlin ran two seconds faster than he had the night before to place 2nd, and Brendan Falzone, Mike Iannotta and Nik Kadirisani all PR'd! Ty Kurzawa ran a strong race to win the 800m with Cam Rabinowitz, Mike Algarra, Taha Rana and Nick DiCostanzo all setting PR's. In addition, Zach Ellis ran a tough race in his first ever 800m. The 3200m was led by Joe Falk who PR'd for 4th and was followed closely by Pritesh Prajapati and Brian Cackowski.
Prior to this meet, Cherokee had ten qualifiers for the Olympic Conference Championships (see list under CH East dual meet), and now Daulton Hopkins, Rob Curley, Matt Powell, Jason Kramer, Danny Weiss and Terrance Graves have joined that group! GO CHEROKEE!
Again, the coaches decided in advance not to contest this meet and, instead, focused on training, setting PR's, and qualifying for the upcoming Conference Championships. For the statisticians, however, Dual Meet Record for the season: 1 - 3!
On April 30, 2015, a relatively small group of Chiefs traveled to Delsea High School for the first part of a two-part meet, the South Jersey Open, soon to be followed by the South Jersey Relays. There were qualifying times for the Open and that limited the numbers but most of Cherokee's distance runners had already decided to compete at Holmdel's "Night of 3200s" the following day. Even so, Cherokee's elite did well at the meet!
Right off, Marc Woodard set a standard in the 100m High Hurdles by racing a PR of 15.47 in the Prelims and then returning in the Finals to place 3rd and set another PR of 15.08! Marc was followed by impressive PR's by Daulton Hopkins and Rob Curley in the 200m Dash, a PR by Kevin Milligan in the 400m Dash, and a season-best by Ty Kurzawa in the 800m Run!
Details at: NJ MileSplit.
On May 1, 2015, the Cherokee distance squad decided to forgo the racing opportunities in South Jersey and travel north to Holmdel High School for one of their highly-competitive "distance nights" . . . this time, a "Night of 3200's!" Unexpectedly cold but without any wind, it was an ideal night for distance racing and the team took great advantage of it . . . fourteen of nineteen runners set new PR's!
There were sixteen races seeded competitively and things started well for Cherokee as they had a very good showing in their first race of the evening, Heat 5, where Cam Wilburn PR'd by a massive amount to win the race! Hoping to break twelve minutes, Cam finished under 11:00! Mike Algarra ran a strong race to finish 3rd while Joey Thompson closed very fast enough to take the 4th spot! In Heat 6, Joe Falk ran an outstanding race and improved his PR by 36 seconds to take 3rd! In Heat 10, Cam Rabinowitz PR'd by 9 seconds! In Heat 11, Brandon Marks and Brendan Falzone both ran strong races, setting new PR's; and, in Heat 13, Mike Zurzolo and Justin Kelly both joined the Cherokee sub-10 club with outstanding races! In Heat 14, a slow first mile prevented Jack Shea and Justin DeTone from setting their own PR's, even though their amazing negative splits in the second mile allowed them to finish well in the heat! The highlight of the night came in the insanely fast seeded Heat 16, where Nick Falk ran 9:21.01 to break his own Sophomore Class Record by 9 - 1/2 seconds to finish 10th! That time moved Nick from # 8 on the All-Time School Record 3200m List to # 4 behind Marc Pelerin, Shawn Wilson and Keith Krieger . . . and that's amazing!
Meet details at: NJ MileSplit.
On May 2, 2015, a large part of the team traveled to Egg Harbor High School for the South Jersey Relays. The highlights included a 2nd place showing in the Freshman Long Jump: both Kevin Milligan and Sebastian Graterol PR'd and scored the only Freshmen medals of the day! Other significant jumpers included Daulton Hopkins with a PR in the Long Jump, and Neil Amin with a PR in the Triple Jump!
On the Track, Matt Powell, Rob Curley, Daulton Hopkins and Marc Woodard took 3rd in the 4 X 200m Relay! In addition, the team of Brian Cackowski, Christian Fonseca, Taha Rana and Nik Kadirisani placed 5th in the Freshmen Distance Medley Relay. Brian waas credited with running a good 1200m leg and Taha PR'd on his 800m leg!
In the Field, the Javelin throwers did well with Matt Gross and Ryan Razler taking 3rd, and Matt threw a PR that qualified for the Conference Championships! In addition, Bill Weissman and Jared Selkow threw their own PR's!
Further details at: NJ MileSplit.