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Boys’ Track

by Marc Narducci

Bishop Eustace Crusaders

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Victor Stott was third in the 110 hurdles at the S.J. Non-Public A championships. Seniors Marco Rodis and Scott Hyland placed fifth and eighth in the long jump, respectively. Junior Daniel Metrick was 11th in the S.J. Non-Public A 400 hurdles and junior Marc-Daniel Montinard was 19th. Junior Eric Franklin qualified for the 2011 state championship in the 1,600. Hyland was 13th in the triple jump. Senior Mitchell Larson was 15th in the shot put. Other key performers are senior Zach Beauchemin (distance), senior Robert O’Brien (400, throws), junior Connor McTear (400), senior Chris Norcross (javelin) and Andrew Gaydos (sprints).

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Camden and Paul VI are the teams to contend with in the Olympic Conference National Division.

OUTLOOK: Despite strong competition in the division, the Crusaders are conference contenders. This is a solid team with good depth in many events

Camden Catholic Fighting Irish

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Michael Blandon was sixth in the 100 meter at the S.J. Non-Public A championships. Sophomore Kyle Kirk was 19th in the 1,600. Other veterans include sophomores Bradley Maine (distance), Malik McGahee (jumps) and Collin Pierlott (distance); juniors Will McHugh (distance), Brian Burke (throws) and Luigi Nunez (throws); as well as strong seniors Darien Bouzakis (sprints), Justin Pierlott (distance) and Brian Olivares (distance).

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Paul VI, Camden and Bishop Eustace are the teams to beat in the Olympic National Division.

OUTLOOK: The Irish will look to hit the win column after not claiming a dual meet last year. This is still a young team so improvement is the first goal. The team should be competitive in relays, and developing depth in field events will be key.

Cherokee Chiefs

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior Shawn Wilson was a first-team all-state selection in cross country and will be among the area’s top distance performers. He was fifth in the S.J. Group 4 1,600 meter championships last spring. Senior Brandon Rapp was fourth in the S.J. Group 4 200 meter dash and seventh in the 400. Senior Drew Viscidy was 12th in the 400. Senior Ross Staudt was seventh in the S.J. Group 4 800 meter while senior Colin Merrigan was eighth. Other veterans include Eric Mudge (pole vault, hurdles), John Barr (sprints), Aiden Lynch (distance), Billy Hournug (distance) and Jeremy Morgan (distance).

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Cherry Hill East and Washington Township should pose the top competition in the Olympic American Division.

OUTLOOK: The Chiefs are the defending division champion and will be difficult to unseat. Cherokee could also be a Top 10 team in South Jersey.

Cherry Hill East Cougars

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior sprinters Alex Reber, Marcus Phillips and Brad Krell were part of the first place 4x400 relay team at the Penn Relays. Reber will continue his track career and education at Villanova. Senior sprinter Brian Regan was fourth in the 100 meter in the S.J. Group 4 championships and eighth in the 200 during his first year running track. Senior Dan Hagedorny was sixth in the S.J. Group 4 javelin. Senior D.J. Rodriguez placed seventh in the 3,200 in the Group 4 state meet in a time of 9:57. Other key veterans include junior Kevin Barry (sprints), senior Joe Pellegrino (sprints) and senior Johnnie Jackson (throws). Among the returning letter winners are senior distance runners Ricky Zhao, Tyler Russ, Russell Beatty and Ben Helfand, junior distance runners Mike Wang, Mike Bruce and Mike Minion, along with sprinter Joey Andalora, jumper Jared Athias and Kyle Bryant (jumps, sprints, hurdles). Sophomore distance runners Ben Dillon and Jared Dashevsky each posted sub-4:50 times in the 1,600 meter run at the S.J. Group 4 meet.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Defending Olympic American Division champion Cherokee poses the biggest challenge for the Cougars.

OUTLOOK: With a majority of veterans returning, the Cougars will make a run at the division title and could be a dangerous team in the South Jersey Group 4 championship. This is a team with great senior leadership.

Cherry Hill West Lions

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Ali Brown placed fifth in the long jump and 11th in the triple jump at the S.J. Group 3 championships. Junior Peter Skryzalin was 16th in the 3,200. Senior Edward Jung placed 27th in the S.J. Group 3 400 meter championships, but he is also an accomplished hurdler. Other key performers include senior John Vu (400) and sophomore Austin Plunkett (400).

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Timber Creek remains the solid favorite in the Olympic Conference Patriot Division.

OUTLOOK: The Lions won’t be ready to contend, so they will just look to improve. Brown could be one of the better performers in the Olympic Conference.

Eastern Vikings

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Steven Schneider was the S.J. Group 4 discus champion (139-11) and also throws the javelin. Michael Necky was ninth in thepole vault. Football standout Darius Merriweather was sixth in the 400 hurdles. Senior Alexander Barnish is also a key hurdler. Junior Kahlil Wyche was 13th in the 400 meter. Junior Michael Twist was 14th in the 800 meter. Sophomore Michael Montemurro was 14th in the S.J. Group 4 shot put and sophomore Mikhail Micheaux was 11th in the long jump.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Cherokee, Cherry Hill East and Washington Township are the major contenders.

OUTLOOK: There doesn’t appear to be enough experience to contend for the division title, but there should be some top individual performances led by Schneider, who will contend for a state title in the discus.

Gloucester Catholic Rams (pictured)

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Craig Malkowicz was tied for fifth in the high jump at the S.J. Non-Public A championships. Senior Jack Ogu was 11th in the triple jump at the sectionals. Junior Darren Raudenbush was 18th in the 400 meter dash at the S.J. Non-Public A championships. Senior Anthony DeAngelis was 17th in the javelin at the sectionals. Sophomores Colin Ward and Bill Simila were in the top 30 in the 3,200 meter at the sectional championships. Senior Bobby McLeer was 11th in the long jump and Ben Fichera was ninth in the pole vault at sectionals. Other returning veterans include senior Matt Buddle (pole vault), senior Kyle Quigley (pole vault), juniors John DeLaurentis and Anthony Ronketty, and sophomore distance runner Andreas Logothetis. Two sophomores up from JV are Mike Guilante and Sal Scaffidi, both with strong throwing arms.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Penns Grove and Glassboro are the teams to contend with in the Tri-County Diamond Division.

OUTLOOK: The Rams won three last year, which may not seem like much, but after three winless seasons the program is on the right track. Contending against the likes of teams like Penns Grove and Glassboro may be too much to expect, but the Rams are certainly heading in the right direction.

Haddonfield Bulldogs

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior Greg Halla is among the top distance runners in South Jersey. Sophomores Alex Gigliotti and Patrick Shea are also coming off strong cross country seasons and give Haddonfield great depth in distance events. Senior Tyler Tantillo was 17th in the javelin at the S.J. Group 2 championships.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: In the Colonial Liberty Division, Haddon Heights should give defending champion Haddonfield a real push. Willingboro, defending sectional champion Bridgeton and Haddon Heights are teams to watch in S.J. Group 2.

OUTLOOK: Last season, Haddonfield went on to win the state Group 2 title after placing third in the sectionals. The tradition of this program is as good as any area school, so the Bulldogs will be battling for division, sectional and state crowns, but it’s a team that may be much better in May than in the beginning of the season.

Lenape Indians

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Ryan Vance was fifth in the S.J. Group 4 800 meter. Sophomore Julian Greco was ninth in the S.J. Group 4 1,600 meter. Senior Sean Mulroy was fourth in the S.J. Group 4 3,200. The team boasts several key performing seniors, including Anthony Dennis (distance), Sukhwinder Singh (throws), Aaron Carter (throws) and Zakee Crudup (sprints). Other seasoned members include juniors Anthony Penny (sprints), Jordan Liebling (sprints) and Michael Williams (hurdles). Greco was ninth in the S.J. Group 4 1,600 meter.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Cherokee and Washington Township are the teams to beat in the Olympic American Division.

OUTLOOK: The Indians appear too inexperienced to contend. Improving on last year’s 1-4 division record is a realistic goal.

Moorestown Quakers

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior Sidney Ruffin was fourth in the triple jump and seventh in the long jump at the S.J. Group 3 championship, also competing in the New Jersey Meet of Champions in the triple jump and 4x100 meter relay. Junior Jeremy Wilbur placed eighth in the javelin and 10th in the shot put. Senior TJ DiPilla was fifth in the pole vault. Athletes expected to have a breakout season include senior distance runner Jack Inglis and juniors Patrick Visco (javelin), Justin Silver (sprints), Gerald Lamina (1,600), Dave Custis (hurdles), Jesse Trigiani (shot put), Delaney Wallace (springs), Amir Anderson (jumps), Brett Fedor (discus) and Anthony Bonett (sprints).

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Delsea remains a Group 3 power to deal with.

OUTLOOK: The Quakers will be competitive but they don’t appear to have the depth to make a run at a South Jersey Group 3 title. On paper, this could be a top five team in the SJ Group 3 race.

Paul VI Eagles

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior Neil MacFarlane was seventh in the 3,200 meter at the S.J. Non-Public A championships. Senior Mike Burkeitt placed 15th at sectionals in the 400 hurdles. Senior Peter Gallagher placed 12th in the 1,600. Other veterans include sprinter Gabe Gittens, senior sprinter/hurdler Brandon Holmes, junior Faheem Boyd (javelin/sprints/high jump), senior Brendan Whitehouse (pole vault), junior Luke Nelson (pole vault), senior Pat Langdon (middle distance/400 hurdles), sophomore Vinny Santarsiero (shot, discus), senior Shahbaz Ahmed (jumps/throws), and 400 runners Brian Lang and Adonis Jennings. Junior Zach Grant, a transfer from St. Joseph’s Hammonton, will help in the sprints.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Bishop Eustace and Camden join the Eagles as contenders in the Olympic National Division.

OUTLOOK: Pencil in Paul VI as a top conference competitor. Developing depth in the field events will be a key to the Eagles’ success.

Seneca Golden Eagles

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Rob Woods was fourth in the shot put in the S.J. Group 3 championships. Phil Zimmerman was fifth in the 110 hurdles and 17th in the 400, while senior hurdler Dan Connely was 10th in the 400. Junior Ed Bohi was 12th in the 800, while Tim Curtain and senior Brian Hotz were also strong players. Another key performer is junior Barry Porter (discus).

BIGGEST?COMPETITION:? Camden, Bishop Eustace and Paul VI are among the top teams in the Olympic National Division.

OUTLOOK: The Golden Eagles have a competitive team, but one that won’t be listed as a favorite in either the Olympic National or in S.J. Group 3. Still, led by Woods and Zimmerman, the Golden Eagles have performers capable of scoring a number of points.

Shawnee Renegades

PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Renegades have two of the top distance runners in South Jersey: seniors Connor Herr and Peter Murray. Senior Greg Biggiani placed fifth in the S.J. Group 3 championships in the 400 meter. He is also a hurdler. Reed Rech was 15th in the S.J. Group 3 triple jump. He is also a sprinter.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: State power Timber Creek remains the team to beat in the Olympic Conference Patriot Division

OUTLOOK: The Renegades have individuals who could score points in multiple events, but lack of depth is an issue. Shawnee will be a competitive team but one that needs intensity to be a championship contender.

Washington Township Minutemen

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Arthur Ashton was third in the S.J. Group 4 championships in the 400 hurdles (58.38) and sixth in the 110 hurdles. Classmates Tyler Stumm and Larry Floyd were fifth and eighth respectively in the 400 hurdles. Floyd was 13th in the long jump. Stumm was sixth in the S.J. Group 4 high jump.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Cherry Hill East and Cherokee are the major contenders.

OUTLOOK: The Minutemen will be contending for the division. There are some potential big scorers but depth will be the key.

Click here for the spring schedules.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family’s High School Spring Sports Preview, January, 2012.
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