Sunday, September 29, 2013

MXC Update - Sept. 29

Tuesday's Batch Meet vs. Delran, BCIT-M:
Moorestown went into Tuesday's batch with a clear goal for the varsity  -- continue the effort to develop our depth and define the Top 7.   To do so, the team was directed to hold together a pack of our top runners at the pace of our fifth man for the first two miles.   The hope?   The presence of the pack would push runners to stay up with our top guys.   On a beautiful afternoon (but with a still soggy course), the plan worked!   The teams top runners held back and settled in around the fifth man, ignoring runners from Delran, Riverside, and BCIT that sprinted ahead.   As the team leaders held back, the back half of the varsity pushed to keep up with the pack.   When the two mile mark arrived, the top guys took off, with Joe and Kevin passing the race leader with 1000m remaining.   Harrison, out comfortably through two miles, surged strongly in the last 800 and ran down the Delran runner on the rack, beating last week's time by nearly 20s.   Christian Cramer also surged strongly over the last mile, running confidently to a PR of 18:08.  And then there was Barsoum.  Clubbed hand aside, he stuck with the top pack and pushed through to a PR of 18:34, finishing fifth on the team.   Alex Topel and Sam Spirgel were not far behind, PRing and earning varsity letters in 18:49 and 18:52 respectively.   Zimmer, Entwistle, Novak, and Burns faded, punished by the early efforts to stick the fifth man. 

The JV runners continued to impress, as well.   With a sloppy course standing in their way, the guys still got after it and a whole host of guys improved over last week's race. Here are the highlights:
  • Special shout-out to the return of Greg Rothman, who crossed the line in 19:30, first among JV finishers.  
  • Max Argenterri continued his improvement, knocking 15 more seconds off his PR, continuing to close in on 19m with a 19:31.  
  • Brian Wright ran through some soreness to a 5k PR of 20:26.   
  • Andrew Voyack shook off last week's breathing problems and showed a strong finish to PR in 20:13.  
  • Not only did Kevin Runfola knock 10 more seconds off his PR, he did so with pulling any opposing runners back!  
  • Sam Feldan tore up the track with a strong kick, finishing the race with a big PR of 22:06.
  • Shayan Malta finally got his life PR, surging to a strong finish in 22:17.
  • Sam Infanger continued his string of PRs, pushing his life best to 23:15.
  • Welcome to new runners John Twomey, who should great fight on the track in his 23:05, and Joe Buck, who nearly bested his 2m time trial with his 5k time of 25:15.
  • And welcome back to Nick Contarino, who found out racing after returning from any injury is not always easy.  
The SJ Shoot-Out:
Joe Inglis did not race after experiencing tightness/pain in his right shin on Thursday.   We held him out of practice that day and he felt good on Friday after three miles easy.   But we decided not to take a chance on the hills of GCC.   A little shuffling ensued and Harrison Morris took his place in the stud race.   Reed Kramer also did not race.  His leg has gotten worse as the muscles are now failing to contract properly.  He has not run in four days.   He continues to see his doctor who has him heating and stretching to get the leg to fire properly.   He is probably at least a week away from training again.

Race Summary:

The frosh got things off to a flying start with some exceptional racing.   Kudos to Kevin Fox who ran a near perfect race.   Out in 21st place at the 800, he climbed to 14 by the mid-race mark.  After the hills, he was 11.   A strong push and a fantastic kick saw him pass five guys in the last 50 meters to finish 6th.   His 14:06 is second fastest in the last 10 years for a Moorestown frosh (K.Horten 13:38).   Following behind Kevin was Bavish Gummadi, who showed great toughness in the woods and finished in a medal winning 30th place.   Peter Kohart rose up the frosh ranks to finish just behind Bavish.   Also a shout-out to Joe Buck, who engaged in a back-and-forth battle with another runner over the last 250m, looking like he was broken before rallying to pass his opponent at the line.   Gutty running!

The JV race saw the continued resurgence of Greg Rothman and steady rise of Max Argentierri.  Both ran consistent races, starting wisely and rising up the ranks, PRing and winning medals in the process.   Kirk Zimmer finished just off the top guys pace even after wiping out on the hills.   Andrew Voyack and Sam Feldan posted their second straight strong races, again with very good finishes.   Jim Burns gets a shout-out for running through his abdominal strain and besting last year's time on the course.  

The varsity races started off with the 5/6/7s.   Mike Barsoum, Alex Topel, and Paul Entwistle got off to a slow start, as the trio sat near 50th place early in the race.   They picked up kids the rest of the way, with Entwistle rising all the way up to 26th, just out of medal contention.   All three worked together and got a good taste of being "depended on" as potential 5th man.

Christian Cramer broke through and ran a fabulous race in the 3/4 contest.   From the start he was consistent and strong, holding a spot near the top 10 the entire race, finishing 11th in a big PR time of 17:34.   Nick Paoletti ran a gutty race behind Cramer, fighting through the 2nd half of the course to finish in 18:00 flat, a PR.

The studs also raced very well.  Harrison Morris ran a strong race before, hindered by a tight groin, running out of gas with about 400 to go.   His tough finish couldn't stop him from clocking a PR of 17:36, good for 21st in the race.  
  And then there was Kevin Horten.   Horten, following instructions perfectly, settled in 10th after a good start, worked his way up to the Top 5 as he entered the woods and held form before finishing exceptionally strong and passing two guys to finish fourth.   It was a great race that truly showed Kevin a cross country stud!

Friday, September 20, 2013

MXC Update Sept. 18

9/17 Home Batch Meet Recap - We opened the season with a bang!  It was a perfect, crisp day for a cross country meet.  We had a ton of parents and friends out cheering us on. 

Times were FAST - perhaps the lack of wood chips and more stone make for a faster course.  Even considering that, the improvement since the Time Trial is remarkable and shows the hard work and miles the guys have been putting in.  The results have been updated on the website (, but it seemed like most VDOT's improved by 2-5 points.  We had 16 Personal Records - Poaletti, Cramer, Entwhistle, Barsoum, Novak, Topel, Munilla, Argentieri, Handlan, Graham, Cantwell, Feldan, Mayer, Infanger, Katz, and Sam Sprigel. And of course a bunch of new runners who show a lot of promise for the future.  One of the things we celebrate is improvement, and to see guys like Raul Espinosa start running in the beginning of the summer and barely be able to complete 2 miles progressing to the point he can throw down a 24:50 is AWESOME! 

Horten and Inglis led the race almost the entire way - Katz held the lead for the first 200 ;-).  They looked very strong running 16:53 and 16:56.  The high school course record is held by Anthony Horten, who ran a 16:45 in 2010 - so those are very impressive times.  Morris ran strong behind them finishing 3rd overall against the 4 other teams. It is nice to see him rounding back into shape after the broken collarbone took him out for about 5-6 weeks this summer.  Poaletti had a 1 minute PR and was our 4th man, with Cramer right behind him.  Entwhistle's hard training paid off as he was our 6th man and ran a very tough race.  Barsoum and Zimmer were in close pursuit to round out the guys who have qualified for Varsity by running sub- 19 minutes. Congratulations!

From a team perspective, we won all 4 races by scores ranging from 15-50 to 17-46 (the low score wins since you add up the place - for example Horten scored 1 point, Inglis 2 points, Morris 3 points and the Holy Cross runner scored 4 points, then Poaletti scored 5 points and Cramer 6 points - add them up and we scored 17 against Holy Cross).

Next Race - Saturday Cherokee Challenge.  See more info on this unique race done by class over a 2 mile course.