SHORE CONFERENCE LOADED WITH CROSS COUNTRY TALENT
By Eric Braun
“Run like the wind” doesn’t seem like the right phrase for these gifted cross country runners, as several runners and schools turned in some of the fastest times ever at the Shore Conference.
For Christian Brothers Academy, which seems to run out talent after talent every season, this year was no different. The Colts’ season concluded this past Saturday in Portland, running in their tenth straight Nike National Championship meet after finishing second in the Northeast meet a week ago. In a talented field, the Colts finished in 16th place with an average time of 16:24 and finished with 327 points.
The Colts were led by senior Troy Hill with a time of 15:59, good for 64th overall position; senior Shaw Powell (16:10, 88th), junior Chris DeSousa (16:31, 122nd), junior Ben Santos (16:34, 129th) and sophomore Jack Moran (16:45, 153rd). CBA finished the season with their third straight New Jersey Meet of Champions and ninth in the past 10 years and 24th overall. They also took home a state record and mind blowing 30th Non-Public A Championship.
In the Meet of Champions, the Colts were led by Powell who closed out his Holmdel Park competition in style with a personal best at the course with a time of 15:41, good enough to take home third place. Santos finished in 16:13 (15th), DeSousa finished in 16:14 (17th), Moran in 16:33 (37th), and Hill in 16:35 (40th).
In girls cross country there is a new leader of the pack, with Middletown South taking top honors in the NJSIAA Group III Championship for the first time since 2002.
Middletown South is led by freshman Reese Fahys, who broke into the Shore Conference scene in style this season, and finished first overall in the NJSIAA Group III Championship with a personal best of 18:49 to become the Eagles’ second runner to take home the State title, joining Cate Guiney as the only other Eagle to take home the top spot.
Joining Fahys on the podium in first place in the team standings with an average time of 19:42, were sophomore Lucy Afanasewicz, who finished with a time of 19:20 in third place, senior Michelle Coyoti (20:03, 17th), freshman Gwen Afanasewicz (20:08, 19th) and freshman Lauren Hutson (20:11, 20th).
The Eagles finished in third place in the Meet of Champions – the highest finish of the Shore Conference teams – with an average time of 19:38. They were led by a third-place finish by Fahys (18:41), Lucy Afanasewicz (19:24, 18th), Coyoti (19:57, 36th), Gwen Afanasewicz (20:02, 37th) and Hutson (20:06, 40th).
Other top runners from across the Shore Conference finished their 2019 seasons with top individual performances to leave their high schools in prime position for years to come.
Mater Dei Prep sophomore Hayley Amisano blew away the Non-Public Group field at the NJSIAA Non-Public Championships at Holmdel Park with a personal best of 18:34 to take home first place, almost a full minute over the second-place finisher. At the Meet of Champions, she turned in a time of 18:57 for eighth place and took fourth place at the Shore Conference Championships at Ocean County Park with a time of 18:09.
Colts Neck sophomore Lilly Shapiro took home top honors at the Shore Conference Championships winning the event with a time of 18:03, helping the Cougars to a second-place team finish. Shapiro also finished in eighth place at the Meet of Champions with a time of 18:58. In the NJSIAA Group III Championships, she finished in second place (19:08).
Henry Hudson senior Corina Vidal closed out her high school running career with another great season. She took home first place for the third straight season in the NJSIAA Group I Championships with a time of 19:48. In the Meet of Champions she finished with a time of 19:14 (20th).
Monmouth Regional senior Sydney Todd closed out her high school career finishing in fifth place at the Shore Conference Championships with a time of 18:15. She took 14th place at the NJSIAA Group II Championships with a time of 19:52 and 19th place (19:06) in the Meet of Champions.
Southern Regional junior Jackson Braddock took top honors in the Ocean County Championships with a time of 15:40, Shore Conference Championships with a time of 15:07 and NJSIAA Group IV Championships with a time of 15:49. At the Meet of Champions he finished in sixth place (15:50).
Colts Neck junior Matthew Bogdan finished in ninth place at the Meet of Champions with a time of 16:06. At the NJSIAA Group III Championships he finished with a time of 16:18 for a fifth-place finish.
Freehold Boro senior Joseph LoCurci finished his high school career with a 31st-place finish at the Meet of Champions with a time of 16:30. At the NJSIAA Group III Championships he finished in ninth place (16:28).
Point Pleasant Beach senior Robert Hannon turned in his final high school cross country run with a 33rd-place finish with a time of 16:31 at the Meet of Champions. At the NJSIAA Group I Championships he finished in fifth place with a time of 16:39.