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October 11, 2008 at Van Cortlandt Park, New York NY.   DyeStat on-site.

Boys Team
Don Bosco Prep turns "bad day" into victory

by Jim Lambert

As the members of the Don Bosco Prep team headed back to its tent following its race, most of the runners from the Ramsey, N.J. based team had their heads down.

``We didn’t race as well as we could have,’’ said senior Leighton Spencer (left), seventh in a personal best 12:38.6. ``We just had an off day.’’ 

But about 15 minutes after the race, Don Bosco’s frustration turned into jubilation when they were informed they had won the boys’ Eastern States Championship race.

``Are you kidding,’’ said Don Bosco senior Rob Molke, 13th in 12:49.0. ``There is no way we won.’’  But it was true, Don Bosco, No. 1 in New Jersey and No. 12 nationally, scored 154 points and averaged 13:04.92 to take home the prestigious Eastern States trophy.

Danbury of Connecticut, unranked nationally, was second with 170, and No. 7 and race favorite Shenendehowa of  New York was third with 185.

Thanks to Spencer and a clutch race from Michael Belgiovine, 32nd in 13:10.2, Don Bosco overcame a subpar race from Rafael Vargas to score the stunning victory. Vargas, usually the No. 3 man on the team, didn’t score yesterday.

``This is as big a shock as any,’’ said Don Bosco coach Kevin Kilduff. ``I don’t know how we did it.’’

Don Bosco, 10th at the Nike Team Nationals last year, eclipsed the average of 13:07.0 that it ran at Manhattan last year when it won its race.  While Don Bosco won the biggest race of the day in team scoring, two other teams beat them on average team time.  Southeast #1 Jamestown VA, finishing fourth in the Eastern States, averaged 12:59.57 for the fastest time of the day.   North Penn, unranked in the nation, averaged 13:04.23 in winning the Varsity B race.  North Penn grabbed the top four spots in its race, led by the winner, Brad Miles (12:57.6) and added an ninth place. It’s top five were Miles, Brian Quintrell (13:02.3), Tim Stauring (13:05.3), Sam Bernitt (13:07.5) and Dominic Camasso (13:18.6). 

The performances by North Penn and Danbury are sure to cause quite a shakeup in the Northeast Regional rankings and the national poll.  

Boys Eastern States results

photo by John Nepolitan