Saturday, November 10, 2012

MXC Weekly Update - Nov. 9

In spite of the second best average team time in history, our team failed to move on to States in a very difficult race.  Here is the historical perspective:
Year - Top Runner - Time - Team Place - Team Average Time
2012 - Kevin Horten - 16:17 - 6th - 17:01
2011 - Jack Inglis - 16:50 - 5th - 17:16
2010 - Anthony Horten - 15:49 - 4th - 17:01
2009 - Anthony Horten - 16:41 - 3rd - 17:04
2008 - David Ringwood - 16:46 - 4th - 17:07
2005 - Ben Leonberg - 16:22 - 1st - 16:45
2004 - Ben Leonberg - 16:58 - 4th - 17:40
As is obvious, Horten ran a great race, setting a PR and running the second fastest time on this course ever by a Moorestown runner.  His 9th place finish earned him a spot at the State Meet next week (top 10 go).  Inglis was 11th after getting as high as 6th near the 2 mile point. He also ran a PR.  
Schneider, Kramer and Howard ran as a pack and finished within 4 seconds of each other.  Schneider's 17:24 was the fastest time ever by a freshman on the MXC team at this course.  Kramer ran a valiant race, overcoming a very painful IT Band.  Howard ended his MXC career with a solid race after a season of ups and downs battling breathing problems.  Morris and Siegel were both disappointed by running a bit slower than their earlier efforts on this same course at the SJ Open.
The good news is that everyone came out with a fresh set of eyes about the work required to be a top team in this very competitive Section and Group.  Our average team time would have placed us 5th even in the Group 4 larger school division (Horten would have placed 4th).  And we would have easily moved on in any other Section in the State.  We are looking forward to Track season and next year already!
Note that we will be training as a team this week with Horten.  And we will be taking a bus to Holmdel.  All Varsity runners are expected to go, and everyone else is welcome.  The coaches will be conducting exit interviews on the ride up and back - so if you want a review of the season, please plan on being on the bus.
MXC Banquet - Tuesday Nov. 13, 6PM!
Yes, it is that time of year again where we wrap up the season and all the miles and races with a feast from Sweet Lucy's Barbecue!  We will be handing out the Mileage T-Shirts and Jackets - please check the website to make sure we have your mileage right.
There are still a few people who need to give the forms and money ( to Robin Rothman (856-778-9148) ASAP!  We need a full count for the banquet by Wednesday so we can plan appropriately.  You can also leave completed forms at Robin's house at 709 Iron Post Road.

Turkey Trot!
Time to get the word out!  Tell your neighbors and friends it is time to sign up for the Turkey Trot!
We have a dedicated team of parent volunteers actively putting the pieces together for the annual Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving morning. We are always looking for help that morning, so please let us know if you can be there to help with the food and beverages, the set-up, registration, clean-up, course marshaling, and finish line.  This is our annual fundraiser, which brings added meaning this year as we are going to be donating $1,000 to the Orkeeswa School Running Club to support their program in addition to our normal Uniform Program and Trail Maintenance. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

MXC Weekly Update Nov. 4, 2012

MXC Banquet - Tuesday Nov. 13, 6PM!
Yes, it is that time of year again where we wrap up the season and all the miles and races with a feast from Sweet Lucy's Barbecue!
We need people to send in the forms and money (, or call Robin Rothman (856-778-9148) ASAP!  We need a full count for the banquet by Wednesday so we can plan appropriately.  You can also leave completed forms with Eagles, Cote, or drop them at Robin's house at 709 Iron Post Road.

Sectionals Saturday, Nov. 10 - The dates have shifted one week due to Sandy.  We run at 10AM at Delsea.  We would love to see as many runners from the team as possible to join us on the bus ride down to cheer on MXC!  We are striving for a Top 5 finish to make it to States the following week.

Turkey Trot!
We have a dedicated team of parent volunteers actively putting the pieces together for the annual Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving morning. We are always looking for help that morning, so please let us know if you can be there to help with the food and beverages, the set-up, registration, clean-up, course marshaling, and finish line.  This is our annual fundraiser, which brings added meaning this year as we are going to be donating $1,000 to the Orkeeswa School Running Club to support their program in addition to our normal Uniform Program and Trail Maintenance.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

MXC Weekly Update - Oct. 13, 2012

This Past Week
Country Championships - What a fantastic finish to the season for the non-Varsity Juniors and Seniors!  We had 30 PR's at the Mill Creek course yesterday - a testament to a lot of hard work from a bunch of the guys.

Klawunn had the race of the day - battling it out for the Open Race win with a Lenape runner.  Every time the Lenape runner opened up a gap Klawunn found it in himself to fight back.  The two of them traded places in that looooong finishing straightway with the Lenape runner nipping him at the end.  It was a courageous effort, and no shame in losing like that.  Of more importance is to note how far Klawunn has come since last year.  A real testament to a Senior who put in a ton of hard work in track, over the summer and this fall.  Also a great example of how to really race in this sport.

There were a ton of other great performances as well, with Caffrey locking down 4th overall, Poaletti setting another PR, and the early season injured pair of Rothman and Barsoum making fantastic comebacks.  Other PR's were recorded by both Spirgels (both BIG pr's), Contarino (former 400 man), Entwhistle, Bauscher, Insalaco, Khan, Dyer, Argentieri, Novak, Levinson, Andrew Voyack, Reubel (still a 400 man), Graham, Gross, Maier, Schaffhauser, Malta, LaGatta (again!), Feldan, Elia, Vanaria, Infanger, Sklar, and Marcus Topel (sooo much faster than even a short BCIT course at the beginning of the year!). You can see the season times at  

For the Varsity race, it was more of the same.  Just a super-competitive set of races especially by the top 4 guys.  It looked like Inglis decided just to go out with the top pack of Lenape runners and the great Shawn Wilson of Cherokee right from the start, and Horten was tracking right on him.  As the race progressed Wilson broke free, but Inglis and Horten held their ground very well, ending up 4th and 6th overall. Kramer and Howard got out aggressively as well and ran with absolute determination the whole race - keeping in contact with each other and living the "strength of the pack" motto.  Morris got out a bit slow, but battled the whole way, picking up important spots.

Our best competitor this year has been Northern Burlington, who ran faster than us at the SJ Shootout and in our Dual Meet.  On this day it was NB-Inglis-Horten-NB - essentially canceling each other out.  Then it was NB-Kramer-Howard-NB - again canceling each other out.  So those important spots Morris was picking up really meant something as he placed 34th and the NB 5th man was 39th - giving us the edge over NB by 5 points for the day.  Siegel also ran a great race and has a shot at playing an important role either as 5th man or in pushing back other team's 4th and 5th men in these Championship races.  We missed Schneider - he had a foot problem that hopefully will be gone by Thursday.  Lenape won the meet, but our 2nd place finish was fantastic!

This Coming Week

Monday - SJ Frosh-Soph Championships at GCC.  The bus will leave at 2:15 on Monday with all Frosh and Sophs racing.  This and the following Tuesday Burlington County Frosh-Soph meet are the final two races for those guys and a great way to end the season. 

Thursday - Liberty Division Championships at New Egypt.  The bus will leave at 2:15.  This is obviously going to be another head-head matchup with Northern Burlington.  We want to win this one, and will be doing a bit of tapering this week to give ourselves the best shot at getting after these guys.

Again, a special shout-out to all the Juniors and Seniors who finished their seasons on Friday.  We wish the Seniors well, hoping to see them in track season or that they remember their MXC days when running road races when they are 55.  For Juniors, we hope to see you at the benches this summer.  XC season is really made in the heat of July and August!

As you probably can tell, I (Bob Bickel) write these weekly updates as a way to express my excitement for the great work and effort this team puts forward. I am so lucky Eagles and Cote let me volunteer and hang around to help with this team.

I have asked the coaches and captains of the boys and girls team to support a program that has become very important to me - the Orkeeswa School Running Club.  This is the club my daughter, Allison, helped get off the ground this year at the school where she is teaching in Tanzania.  The school is in a remote Maasai village that had no secondary education opportunities until several years ago when it was founded by an American (Peter Luis) and Tanzanian (Rapha Robert). This year the Running Club was able to attend the Kilimanjaro Marathon with 37 students running the Half and the 5K.  They were also able to host the first ever XC Invitational with 4 other school coming.  We have decided that the Moorestown XC Teams will sponsor the Orkeeswa Running Club with a $1,000 donation each year from the Turkey Trot proceeds.

The founders of the school will be giving a presentation on Wednesday Night at 7PM at the Middle School.  I would like to ask that you do me the favor of attending - both parents and students.  This will be educational and hopefully inspirational for your families and friends.  I also want to show them our community support for the important educational opportunity they are bringing to these students who have so little, yet have so much heart.  Please see the Facebook page for more information - You can also see a video of the Cross Country race they held at 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

MXC Weekly Update - Oct. 7, 2012

This Past Week

We had our last dual meet of the season at Cinnaminson on Tuesday.  I don't have the meet results posted yet, but from the quick report I got it was a good, solid race.  The only two stories I heard were how Horten and Inglis had learned from the week before at the home meet and sat on the Cinnaminson runner for two miles and then pulled away for the win.  The other story I heard was how a couple of the guys took a wrong turn.  Another reason to go out with the leaders...

On Saturday we made the big trip to Holmdel Park for the Shore Coaches race.  There were 27 races from 9AM until 5PM - The Freshman got the day off to a great start with Schneider and Morris going 4th and 6th!  Certainly the best Freshman showing in Moorestown history. The Freshman team compete against each other, so it was important to get all 5 scoring runners across the line. They were followed by Cramer, Dyer and Wright with Argentieri in hot pursuit for a 4th place as a team - very nice. Feldon had one of the best finishes of the day battling back and forth with another runner coming down the line and holding him off.  We loved the determination of everyone on this freshman team!

The Varsity were up next and had a very solid day given that Schneider and Morris were in the Freshman race.  With a team average time of 17:50, we were one of the fastest Group 3 schools at the meet.  We were 14 seconds and 24 seconds off of the Ocean City and Kingsway team times.  Delsea, also a rival in the South section, was also at 17:50.  Horten and Inglis ran a great race together, finishing 10th and 12th.  Howard had an absolutely fabulous last mile picking up around 20 runners and finishing 37th.  Kramer had an off day, but we loved his guts at the end.  He was in a pack of about 8-10 runners.  Finishing a second faster or slower is a difference of 8-10 points to the team, and he ran aggressively and was at the top of that pack.  Siegel really put it out there running with Howard for almost the first two miles before Howard explosive mile drive.  Caffrey and Klawunn had a chance to run Varsity this week and had solid races.

The JV race was at the end of the day and I was not there to report, so can only look at the times.  Poaletti continues to improve and had a great time of 19:26 - 7th fastest of the day for 5K.  We also had three PR's (a difficult achievement since this course runs about 30-45 seconds slower than last week's Delsea course) - Insalaco, LaGatta and Elia - nice job!

Also special thanks to Brian Wright for figuring out where I had lost my iPhone at our McDonlads-BurgerKing-WaWa stop on the way home in Jackson!

This Coming Week

Friday - County Championships at Mill Creek.  This will be the last meet for Juniors and Seniors who are not part of the Championship Squad.  Always a bittersweet reminder of how fast time flies.  It will be a new course this year - eliminating the wooded section where a number of runners went swimming in the rain and high tide of last year's race.  For more info, go to 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

MXC Weekly Updates Sept. 16

This Past week
This week marked the start of the racing season!  On Tuesday we got our Batch Meet season started with solid wins over Delran (21-40), Bordentown (17-44), New Egypt (18-50), BCIT Westhampton (15-50). Bordentown and Delran took the pace out quickly the first mile, and our guys settled into a set of packs running together, staying calm, and knowing the race was a full 5K.  Horten and Inglis went 1-2 with very, very fast times (that might have been courtesy of a somewhat short course).  We had a full minute gap between our 1 and 5 runner, which will need to come down by the end of the season to be as competitive as we want to be in the big meets.

We had nearly 30 new guys, who were "initiated" into the world of XC, and it was a great learning experience.  Everyone across the board has made a lot of progress from those time trials we did in August.

On Saturday, we went to the Cherokee Challenge.  This is a HUGE race with over 2,500 runners this year.  Each race had 300+ runners on the starting line, so the guys got some great experience in a fast, crowded start that will pay off down the line.  It is really not our kind of race, as our team really trains for the full 5K (3.1 miles).  A lot of our guys, including Horten and Kramer, got caught off guard by the fast start and were in 80th+ place after 600 meters, with no room to pass people in the back woods.

The Frosh got the day off to a very fast start.  Morris was 5th, Schneider was 12th and Cramer was 25th - all bringing home medals. Dyer, Boyle and Argentieri all broke 13 minutes as well - laying the foundation for the fastest freshman class we have ever had.  Hill and Feldon both improved over 2 minutes from their 2 mile time trial, while Topel and Klawunn ran a faster pace over 2 miles than they were able to do a mile on the track at the beginning of the season!  The improvement is what we strive for on this team, and it has been outstanding!

We have a small Sophomore class, but the improvement there has been just as impressive. Bauscher, Spirgel and Graham all improved over a minute, and Infanger and Voyack both improved by over 2 minutes from their time trials.

We had 29 Juniors and 11 seniors "toed the line". Inglis ran a superb race and also brought home a medal with a 14th place finish. LaLumia, Hillman, Topel, Entwhistle, Waldin, Voyack, Handlan, Moorer, Schafhauser, Dugan, Elia, and Spirgel all had over 1 minute improvements from their time trial.

I wanted to highlight two seniors, Siegel and Klawunn. First, they both ran very good, solid races - picking up runners the whole way. Second, I wanted to give some perspective to the power of the hard work they have put in over the past 4 years and this summer. Their freshman year, Siegel ran 12:37 and Klawunn ran 12:52. Yesterday they ran 11:00 and 11:19.  Neither are naturally "talented" runners, but the thousands of miles they have done in high school have brought them to the point that they are key contributors and leaders on the team. Congratulations to both of them!

This Coming Week
Meet at BCIT Westhampton (again). The bus will leave right after school from the front of the MAC center. The gun will go off sometime between 3:45 and 4:15. Northern Burlington is our big competition in our league this year, as usual. This will be a tight race, so we can use all the support we need! Taking the times from Cherokee, they beat us 27-30 head-head.

Also make sure to take a look at Pre-Race Preparations on our website -  The big two things to remember are run in packs and respect your competitors.

South Jersey Shootout. This is a fun race with separate events for Frosh, JV and a 1-2 race, a 3-4 race and a 5-6-7 race. We will have to determine who is running in those during the week. Bus departure time will be announced during the week at practice.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

MXC Weekly Update - Sept. 8, 2012

This Past week
This was our final pure week of just workouts because the meets start this coming week!

The rain really hurt our schedule on Tuesday.  We had figured Monday was a good rest/fun day with Frisbee and we had counted on a good long run for Tuesday.  Most guys were not able to get a good workout in, but we made up for it with a stellar workout on Wednesday.

If you have never been on a track with 60 guys broken into 3 groups running between 5 and 7 800's, it is a real treat.  Mass bedlam. Everyone is rounding into shape to be able to make this a quality workout, so there was some fantastic effort being put forth.  On Saturday we did another Holmdel Hill day.  Special thanks to all the parents for driving!  

This Coming Week
Meet at BCIT Westhampton.  The bus will leave right after school from the fron of the MAC center. The gun will go off sometime between 3:45 and 4:15.  This is a full 5km (3.1 miles) course for everyone.  it is a batch meet where we will face 3-4 other teams.  Take a look at the VDOT charts - most everyone should improve from their 2 mile time trial - to get a feel for what pace you should be running. Make sure you bring food and drinks.  It is tough to run a race at 4 if you have been in class all day and have not had enough food and water.  Also make sure to take a look at Pre-Race Preparations on our website -  The big two things to remember are run in packs and respect your competitors.

Cherokee Challenge.  This is a huge race.  There will be 10 races on Saturday ranging from Middle School to Frosh, Soph, Junior and Senior races for both boys and girls. There can be as many as 200 runners in a race.  The distance is only 2 miles for everyone so it will be fast!  Bus departure time will be announced during the week at practice.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

MXC Weekly Update - Aug. 30, 2012

This Past week
We are putting this out early because of some special announcements on when and where we are getting together this weekend. But first, we have to give a few call-outs from this week so far.  

First, this is a really, really great team.  Every guy is putting forth some great effort.  And there is a lot of support for each other. Whether it is BWright letting us know that Vanaria is hopelessly lost and made a wrong turn and is likely in Cherry Hill still, or Morris making sure the pack was together on the thresholds today - all of these guys have the whole team in mind first and foremost.

We took the top 25 guys up to Holmdel on Tuesday.  What looked like a brutal rainy day turned out to be beautiful.  Everyone left a lot on those hills.  Ty Schneider made a case as one of the contenders for the Varsity 7 on The Bowl.  Horten, Seigel and Morris all looked very strong. Kramer started slowly as he usually does and finished looking like he was only half way thru the workout after 4 tough repeat miles averaging around 6 Minutes on rugged, wet terrain.

Today was a refreshing Threshold workout.  The guys are really getting a feel for what this about.  The top guys automatically go back to the line after 2 minutes rest and were packed tighter than sardines in a can. Cramer looked great from all the hard work he has been putting in, big Klawunn sticking, and Caffrey transforming his sea legs into terra firma monsters.  Hillman, LaLumia and Entwhistle looked awesome for the mid pack - nice and steady.  Special kudos to Travis Klawunn for leaving a bit of himself on the trail.  And it is amazing how far Marcus Topel has come since we first saw him this summer - a 6 mile day. Imagine what a bit of work is doing!

We are doing a workout at 8AM in Haddonfield on Saturday to get hills in.  We are meeting at 5 East Upland Way, Haddonfield, NJ (type it into Google Maps.  There is a swim club parking lot there near the railroad tracks. Rough directions are Kings Highway to left on Warwick Road to left on Upland and just past the tracks on the right.  It takes about 25 minutes to get there, and we appreciate parents taking the effort to figure out car pools and getting the guys over there!

Yes, we are practicing on Monday at 8AM.  The good news is that it will be an Ultimate Frisbie practice.  We still run a warm-up and warm-down, and get a good speed workout in chasing Frisbies.

Tuesday and Onward
Practice shifts to 2:45 on Tuesday.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

MXC Weekly Update - Aug. 26, 2012

This Past week (and a Half)
The first week and half of practice has gone well.  We had our 2 mile time trial to establish baseline VDOT's for everyone. You can see the times and VDOT on our website - We use VDOT to help us guide the pace and workout level capabilities of our various runners.  One of the great things about XC is that everyone can do it, and it does nto matter what level of runner you are.  The point we are after is how everyone can set goals, improve, and support the overall team.  So our goal for everyone is to improve over the course of the season, and over the course of multiple years.  You can learn more about our approach on these pages:

There is a lot of information on our website.  Sorry it is a bit out of date and the menus do not look so good.  I will get time someday to update this - but the basics are all there, and the front page will include the important information.

For those who are new to the team, we break the team up into 3 general groups - High, Mid and Low mileage groups.  The goal is for these groups to get to about 9, 7 and 5 miles per day, 6 days per week.  The new guys who did not run over the summer are still working their way up, but most everyone did at least that much on Saturday.

We will have a Parents Meeting the first week of school - we will likely announce that in next week's Update.

The top 5 guys (Horten, Siegel, Inglis, Kramer, Morris) look very solid, and there a number of guys who will be competing for the 6-7 spots on the Varsity.  The Freshman class looks like it could be the best we have had in years.  Morris enters as a top 5 runner, with a great background and lots of racing experience.  Cramer and Schneider did great work during the summer and came ready to run - they are both doing most of their runs with the High guys.  And a bunch of guys who look ready to work hard and learn about this great sport.

This Coming Week
Tuesday Trip to Holmdel.  We are taking the high guys and some of the mid guys up to Holmdel Park on Tuesday.  We leave at 7 and will be back around noon-1PM. Holmdel Park is the site of the big Shore Coaches meet as well as the State Championships.  It has some great hills where will will be doing some mile repeats.

This trip is not for the whole team - those not making the trip will run on their own.  Note we are only taking one bus, and the workout is meant to focus on the guys who have a shot at making the State Team (top 7), though we are inviting a number of other guys. Here is the list (if you have questions, please feel free to contact us):
Horten, Inglis, Siegel, Morris, Kramer, Howard, Caffrey, Klawunn, Scheider, Munilla, Burns, LaLumia, Wheeler, Micro Spirgel, Saldutti, Entwhistle, A Topel, Godlstein, Harris, Insalaco, Argentieri, B Wright, Loveland, Vanaria, Dyer, Waldin, Voyack X2.