Christian Brothers Academy is the gold standard when it comes to boys cross country. The Colts have won the team championship at the Shore Conference meet each of the past two years, winning a season ago with 31 points – 70 points ahead of second place Freehold Township – and look to continue their dominance this season with another strong group of runners this fall.
BOYS RUNNERS TO WATCH
Devin Hart, Point Boro: The senior has already had one of the most decorated careers ever for a Shore Conference runner, becoming just the 11th Shore Conference runner and just the second from an Ocean County school to capture the individual Meet of Champions title with a time of 15:35 at Holmdel Park’s 3.1 mile course. Hart also won his second consecutive Ocean County championship last year and he still has another year to add to his impressive resume.
Luke Reid, Christian Brothers Academy: The Colts saw their reign of six straight Meet of Champions titles snapped in 2015 before winning each of the past two years, and Reid was a big reason why. The senior placed third in the Shore Conference Championship with a time of 15:11 and finished second for CBA and 26th overall with a 16:23 in the Meet of Champions. The Colts welcome back another strong group, and Reid will be front and center if they are going to continue their success.
Tyler Schwinn, Red Bank Regional: Schwinn led the way for the Bucs as a junior last year, placing sixth in the Shore Conference meet with a time of 15:32. The time broke a 17-year school record at the event, which was previously set by Walton Kingsberry in 2000. The team placed fourth at the Shore Conference meet with 164 points. He also placed fourth at the Monmouth County Championship with a time of 16:16, which is the fourth fastest time in RBR history. Schwinn qualified for the Meet of Champions, where he placed 23rd with a time of 16:22.
Colin Flood, Manasquan: Flood paced the way for the Warriors a season ago in his junior year. He finished 11th at the Shore Conference Championship with a time of 15:38 and placed 12th at the Meet of Champions with a time of 16:14. Flood was one of four juniors named to the Asbury Park Press All Shore First Team last season.
T.J. Hillyer, Howell: Hillyer was the top runner as a junior for the Rebels last year. He ran a 15:41 at the Shore Conference Championship to place 14th and placed 20th at the Meet of Champions with a time of 16:20. Hillyer was one of four named to the Asbury Park Press All Shore First Team last season.
The Middletown South girls (96 points) will look to repeat in the Shore Conference meet this year. But perhaps the team with the most returning runners is Colts Neck, who is well represented on our runners to watch list and finished just behind Middletown South at the Shore Conference meet, coming in second place with 105 points.
GIRLS RUNNERS TO WATCH
Jade Tricomy, Toms River South: Tricomy has gotten off to an impressive start to her cross country career. She won the individual Shore Conference Championship as a sophomore with a time of 17:27 after also winning it as a freshman for Toms River North. She also won the Ocean County Championship for the second year in a row with a time of 17:59. Tricomy was named Shore Conference Runner of the Year by NJ Advance Media, and with two more years to go, the accolades are likely to continue to pile up for the talented junior.
Kathleen Shay, Middletown South: Shay finished eighth at the Monmouth County meet with a time of 18:34 as a sophomore and improved on that in her junior year with a time of 18:08, good for a sixth-place finish. If Middletown South is going to repeat as Shore Conference Champions, Shay is going to play a key role in her senior year.
Eva Gibson, Colts Neck: Gibson set a personal record with an 18:43 when she placed 13th at the Shore Conference Championship. The Cougars are a deep team this year, and Gibson, who was named to the Asbury Park Press Shore Conference All Second Team and NJ Advance Media Group 3 All Second Team last season as a junior, is going to be one of their leaders this season as a senior.
Natalie Shapiro, Colts Neck: Shapiro finished 10th at the Shore Conference Championship with a time of 18:39, giving Colts Neck a pair of Top 10 finishers at the race. She was named to the Asbury Park Press All Shore Second Team and the NJ Advance Media Group 3 All Third Team last year in her sophomore campaign.
Maddy Kopec, Red Bank Catholic: Kopec placed eighth at the Shore Conference Championship with a time of 18:27 and was a key member to a Caseys team that finished third in the Asbury Park Press Top 10 a season ago. The talented junior was named to the Asbury Park Press All Shore Second Team last year as a sophomore and with two more years to go, there should be more accolades to come.