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New Jersey Report - by Ed Grant
Sep 18, 2004

CBA has a winning trip to California.
Brittany Sedberry
and Chris Pisano are fastest at Cherokee Challenge.

New Jersey cross-country action went coast-to-coast last weekend with Christian Brothers Academy cementing its No. 1 ranking among the state's boys teams with a convincing victory at the DeLaSalle/Carondolet Invitational in Concord, Calif.

On the home front, individual action took front and center with two of the state''s top boy runners clashing head-on at the normally obscure Newark Academy Invitational in Livingston and the state's two 2003 Footlocker girl finalists duelling at long distance with easy victories in two of the four class meets that dominated the schedule.

In its first California appearance in some years, CBA defeated the host (and brother) school, 30-61, averaging 15:57.6 over the 2.8M course. The junior-dominated team was led by Chris Horel in third place in 15:20 (under the former course record), Greg Leach in sixth in 15:49 and Kevin Rogers in ninth in 16:02.
There was a little irony in the CBA victory. A year ago, Don Bosco Prep had sought to play the DeLaSalle football team (they were ranked 1-2 in the nation), but wa denied permission by its league. So the Colts' win was a sort of consolation prize for New Jersey athletics.

The New Jersey action was affected somewhat by the tail end of Hurricane Ivan which dumped a ton of rain on most of the courses shortly before starting time. This greatly affected all performances, most notably in the duel between Bobby Papazian of Gill-St. Bernard's and Bryan Scotland of St. Benedict's at the Newark Academy meet.

The finish was a repeat of last year with Papazian winning by 30 yards in 15:14. The two had hoped to go under 15:00 but their times were 10 seconds off their 2003 performance.

Brittany Sedberry of Ocean City. the state champion a year ago, ran at the Cherokee Challenge in Marltonm turning in the day's fastest time as she won the junior race in 11:47. Danielle Tauro, who defeated Brittany for the state 1600 title last spring, took the soph race in 11:56 and Kate Van Horn the senior vent in 12:00. Also under 12:00 was Emily Sherrard of Hopewell Valley, trailing Sedberry.
Jen Clausen of Jackson, who joined Brittany in the Footlocker final last year, took her second race of the season, winning the junior event at the Magee Memorial met in 18:59, while soph teammate Amanda Marino also scored in 20:01. Leah Brogan of Msgr. Donovan made it a sweep for Ocean County by taking the senior race in 20:25, while the Griffins' hot freshman crew went 1-2-4 in their race, Molly Kempton winning in 13:53.

Roxbury dominated girls' action at its own class meet, taking 1-2-3 in the junior-senior race with Jenn Ennis winning in 18:37. while its frosh ace, Ashley Cromartie, ran away with that race in 14:30. Donovan and Roxbury rate now as the state's top teams.

Toms River North had a good day in the boys' races at the Cherokee Challenge with Chris Pisano and Justin Brackett going 1-4 in the senior race, Pisano posting the day's best time of 10:01. Matt Mitchell of Haddon Heights took the junior race in 10:21 and Mike Burke of Haddonfield the sophomore in 10:26.

East Brunswick dominated boys' action in the Battle of Monmouth class meet with Greg Bull taking the senior event in 10:25 and Daniel Gilbert and Yannick Wood going 1-2 in the junior event, Gilbert running 17:15. Eric Sorkin added a second in the sophomore race behind a 17:17 win by Stephen Sample of South Brunswick.

Two Top Ten boys' teams met at the rain-soaked Briarwood Invitational, Ridgewood defeating Mainland, 73-75 in the Division I class race, despite a 3-4 finish forJoey Masters and Kevin Garr of Mainland in 17:17 and 17:18. Juniors MIke Cator and Byron Williams followed in the next two places for Ridgewood.

This weekend's action is headed by the Stewart Memorial at Warinanco Park, Elizabeth. the state's oldest invitational meet, and also includes the Passaic County Coaches Invitational at Garrett Mountain, West Paterson. (both of these are longtime state sectional sites). The new South Jersey Shootout, with a slightly different format, will debut at Gloucester County College. (Each team will split its top five runners among three races with scoring similar to that used in class meets.)




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