Sunday, November 10, 2013

2013 Headed to States!

It was a beautiful day at Delsea Regional High School, site of this year's SJ Group III Cross Country Championships.   But the bright sun could not hide the nerves in the pre-race banter of the coaches.   We knew the remnant of runners toeing the line this day had evolved into a very good team.  But we also knew the race's field was deep and fast.   Pre-race prognosticator Christian Cramer had us ranked a tenuous 5th in the section, good enough to qualify for next week's State Meet, but Timber Creek was coming on strong.  We knew the competition would be tough and if we didn't run well.... It could be the end.

Well, our team did everything they could possibly do to keep our season going.  From the gun, every man raced out with speed and conviction.   Top runners Joe Inglis and Kevin Horten quickly mixing it up with some of the best runners in the state.   Christian Cramer, our strong #3, pushed towards the Top 20.    Nick Paoletti settled in as our fourth man.   Mike Barsoum and Kevin Fox went out together, working hard for the 5th spot.  And Paul "Sam Spirgel" Entwistle raced out, closing out the Top 7 for the Quakers.  

And then they raced, pushing through the fast first mile and coming out of the woods looking strong and right on-target.    They settled in and held spots through the second mile.   With a mile to go, Joe Inglis was holding on to the Top 5.   Kevin Horten was surging from 13th place up to the Top 10.   Christian Cramer was holding steady in the mid-20s.   Paoletti holding on to a Top 40 spot.   Barsoum was making up ground around 55th place.   Fox, gutting it out through a late season foot injury, pushed past a runner.   Entwistle continued in PR pace.   Everyone was where they need to be.   The team was running a great race.   All they had to do was finish. 

And finish they did.   In one of the more inspiring team performances, each and every guy hit the track and, with the memory of repeat 800s in their back pockets, proceeded to tear it up.    Inglis surging and finishing 6th overall in 16:09.   Horten showing the best finishing power of the season, passing bodies, rising up to 8th, in a season PR of 16:20.  Cramer crushing the opposition, picking up key spots to finish in 22nd in a PR time of 17:08.   Paoletti almost running down a rival runner from 10 yards behind with 50 to go to PR in 17:29 and finishing 36th.  And, Barsoum.  Dang, Barsoum.   Flying around the curve and picking up valuable points, PRing in 17:45 and finishing 46th.   Points that would hopefully propel us to Holmdel Park. Fox would finish a gutty 6th on the team and Entwistle would finish in 18:35, fittingly a PR.

For the coaches, the best part was the post-race gathering.   The atmosphere was energized.   Guys were hugging and high-fiving.  We knew we had run well, there were big PRs all around.   We had left it out on the course with our best effort of the season.   Now, we waited for the results.    And....   who knows who won SJ Group III?   At the time, not us!   Because the announcement was drowned out by sustained cheer of 15 Moorestown boys, their coaches, their parents, and one alum (Kyle!) as we found out we had done it!  We had grasped the 5th spot.   We were through!  We're number 5!  We're number 5! 

The season is not over.   This team is not finished.   A great race Saturday has bought us one more week. 

Now it is on to Holmdel! 

Special Thanks to Shayan Malta, Greg Munilla, Greg Rothman, Alex Topel, Andrew "put me in coach" Voyack, Harrison Morris, Ty Schneider, Jake Kramer, Marcus Topel and, especially, Captain Reed Kramer for coming and supporting your teammates.   It makes a big difference and your presence was definitely appreciated.   Clear your calendars for next weekend.  Bus leaves at 8:00 for Holmdel Park!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

MXC Update Oct. 20, 2013

Burlington County Championship Race Summary:   The County Championships are always bittersweet for the cross country team.   For the non-championship roster juniors and seniors, the race is the end of the line.   Therefore, a number of guys were in their last official XC race for Moorestown.  And, as we've come to expect from a class full of guys with class, they raced boldly and courageously, ending their careers on high notes.   Special shout-outs to:
  • Senior Paul Entwistle, who capped a great year of training and racing to finish as our #1 runner in the Open Race, carving over a minute off his Mill Creek time last year. 
  • Senior Greg Munilla, who actually sat in 2nd place through the mile before fading to 9th in the Open Race.
  • Senior Greg Rothman, who, while he came up short in his quest to break 19m, boldly pushed to the front of the JV team, the third Moorestown finisher. 
  • Senior Nick Novak, who saw a summer full of training again side swiped by injury, running his first race in weeks aggressively, finishing in 20:00.
  • Senior Kevin Harris, who, finally healthy, raced his 3rd 5k in near-PR pace.
  • Seniors Ryan Wheeler, Shayan Malta, Dominic Insalaca, and Chuck Spirgel also ran well. 
Thanks to all of our seniors.   You are a beloved class and your day-to-day impact will be missed!

Other performances of note:
  • Brian Wright continues his late season surge, narrowly missing breaking the 20m make but still PRing and medaling in
  • Mikey Vanaria has now thrown together back to back good efforts, again pushing his PR lower in the process.
  • Vidas DeFilicis overcame acorn-gate to drop significant time off his 5k PR, lowering it to 22:25.  Bonus credit for finding the racing chip that fell off his shoe after the race.
The Varsity:

Kudos to Northern Burlington, as our league rivals ran away with the County title.   Moorestown ran well, regardless, finishing in 4th, only 4 points behind Cherokee and 10 behind runner-up Lenape.   The squad, as usual, was anchored by strong performances by Joe Inglis and Kevin Horten, who bested last year's times at Mill Creek to finish 5th and 7th overall.   Christian Cramer continued his solid string of performances, finishing 16th overall as our third finisher.   Harrison Morris, miraculously back after what seemed like a season ending injury last week, finished in a gutty 17:50, pushing through knee pain and tightness on the last mile.  And Nick Paoletti, the only varsity finisher to PR, finished right behind him in 17:51.  Frosh Kevin Fox continues to figure out how to race, this time show a killer kick to come in 6th on the team and 41st overall.   Mike Barsoum held down the 7th spot, running a solid race in 18:36.   All should feel good about the team effort, especially considering we trained through the race, working the guys hard for the sectional meet in November even at the expense of the Counties....

Upcoming this week:
We will be transitioning to the Championship portion of our season.  This means only the top dozen guys will continue to run, along with Freshman and Sophomores (who have two races left). So we big a fond farewell to the non-Championship Squad junior and seniors. Freshman and Sophomores are invited to continue to race through next week, with the SJ Frosh/Soph Championships on Monday, Oct. 21st and the Burlington County Frosh/Sophs the following week.   Continuing is NOT mandatory, as we only want runners focusing on strong finishes to their seasons.  

Divisional Championship - Thursday, Oct. 24.  We will be the last race of the day.

MXC Season Banquet is scheduled for Nov. 19th.  Everyone should plan on attending (all runners and their Parents), so please mark your calendars.  Robin Rothman is again spearheading the effort - Thank You!. Please fill out the formto let us know who will be attending. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

MXC Update - Oct. 6, 2013

Shore Coaches Race Summary:   Another beautiful Saturday had the team at Holmdel Park for the 2013 Shore Coaches Invitational.    The race is the traditional kick-off to the championship season, as teams began to take stock and see how they stack up against the rest of New Jersey.   Moorestown runners continued to acquit themselves nicely, with strong performances across the ranks.   Here is the recap.

Frosh:  The first race of the day again belonged to the freshman.   And the squad again set a high standard for the rest of the team.   Especially with the performance of Kevin Fox.   Kevin again ran like a runner with tons of experience, starting off in the top 20 of the 200 person field before slowly moving up on the lead.   Another strong kick had him crossing the finish line 6th in a stellar 12:03 for the 2 mile course.   Tim Fleming had his best finish as a Moorestown runner, finishing second on the team when he finished strong in 13:36.   Special shout-out to Bavish Gummadi who came back with the first battle wounds of the day after taking a tumble in the woods. 

Varsity:  The Top 7 toed the line next.   With several of our expected Top 7 testing (SATs) or injured, the team relied heavily on runners attacking the Holmdel course for the first time in a varsity race.   Of course, that is not the case with senior captains Joe Inglis and Kevin Horten.  The two went into the race determined to prove that they are amongst the best runners in the state.   Today, they did so, going out aggressively with the top pack and running exceptional races.   Joe found himself in 2nd after the bowl and held his spot with a fantastic 16:40 on the course, making his the 2nd fastest Moorestown finisher at Holmdel.  Kevin wasn't too far behind, finishing 6th overall in a course PR of 16:56.  The rest of the top guys, rookies to the varsity race, ran well, too.   Christian Cramer continued his string of solid weekend performances, breaking 18 minutes and finishing 3rd on the team.   Harrison Morris survived a fall with 1000m to go and gamely finished as our fourth man.   The 5/6/7 crew was paced by Mike Barsoum, who cut a minute off last year's Holmdel time to finish fifth for our squad.    Overall, the team finished 7th in the Varsity "B" race, but earned valuable experience that will hopefully help key improvement as the season progresses.

Junior Varsity:   After a long wait, the JV finally headed to the start for their 4:30 race.   They, too, had grand ambitions for their tour around Holmdel Park.   And they, too, ran races to be proud of.   Up and down the line-up, kids ran gutty races to achieve personal goals.  Kirk Zimmer, desperate for a medal, went out fast in the top 20 and showed grit and determination holding over the final mile, holding on to first on the team and 29th place overall - good enough for a medal.   Max Argentieri, looking to continue his surge up the team ranks, did just that, finishing 2nd on the team in another medal winning performance.   Sam Spirgel, determined to push through a troublesome hip injury, looked strong and pain-free as he knocked 30s off last year's Holmdel time.   Paul Entwistle ran through a troublesome head cold and still broke 20 minutes.   Jim Burns and Andrew Voyack obliterated last year's times and looked strong and fresh.   Jim flash a big smile and put on a burst of speed with 1000m to go, Voyack on his tail.   (Later stories would also reveal Jim's mental toughness at the top of the bowl, which he made sure to share with everyone around!).   Voyack set a life PR -  a particularly difficult task on a tough course.  Not to be outdone, Brian Wright finished next, also with a life PR, as he continues a late season push for faster times.    Nolan Maier and Sam Infanger, running together the whole race, picked up 7 guys in the last 1000m.  Overall, tremendous individual attitudes and efforts.   Even with the pathetic cool down, the JV effort today makes even really long days at Holmdel totally worthwhile for the coaches! 

A couple other notes:
  • Full Results -
  • Thanks to alum Anthony Horten for working with the top guys all day.  
  • Kevin Harris and Ryan Graham continue to prove themselves great teammates, spending a long day at Holmdel supporting their teammates and coaches.   Thanks for taking times. 
  • Welcome back to the "basketball" crew.  Thanks for your attitude and effort today.   Back to work on Monday!
  • Shout out to Coach Eagles for not leaving anyone at McDonalds!
This Coming Week
We have a HUGE Batch meet on Tuesday at 3:45 at the Rancocas Valley Sports Complex - NOT the High School.  See the Website under Races and Course Directions.  We will be racing very tough RV and Northern Burlington squads that based on Saturday's performances project to beat us.  So we will really have to step up our game.  Come out and cheer us on!

Saturday will be the South Jersey Open down at Delsea.  This is a flat and fast course for everyone to get a good PR.  For the Varsity 7, this is where Sectionals will happen on November 9 - so an important day for everyone. Learn more here - The Varsity will race at 10:20, Frosh at 11:20, and JV at 11:50.

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.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

MXC Update June, 2013

This is the first week of the new season!  And Captains Practices are in full swing.  We had 19 guys out this morning - 5 of them Freshmen!

We all know that the cross country season is really made in the summer. Running takes time to get in shape, and simply starting up in mid August barely puts you in shape to run your best in October and November. It does not matter if you are trying to be one of the Top 7, make the qualifying time of 19 minutes to earn your Varsity letter, or trying to set PR's.  Now is the time to get out.

Captains run the practices each morning Monday - Saturday at 8AM.  We meet at the "Benches" - by the Admin building between the middle school and high school.  Coaches show up occasionally, so this is really about self motivation and developing the self discipline to get out the door that early!

We have posted some mileage guidelines on the website. It is labeled Aggressive Plan. Note the very top guys have made a serious commitment this year to go way beyond previous teams in terms of their mileage commitment and level of work they want to put in. This is a bold statement about where they want to be in November.

Note we do not have the new people on this email list yet - so pass the word.  And of course Alumni and runners from other schools are welcomed!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bickel Bucknell Freshman Track

I did not remember putting this together, but I just found my log from freshman year at Bucknell Track season.  Brings back some good memories.

It looks like it was mostly volume, and not many races and not that much track work.  My highlight, target race was the ECC meet and I got 4th, which was a major improvement over finishing the XC season as the worst guy on the team (I burned out during xc season from all the mileage).

I only ran 3 real races that season.  We concentrated on mileage - about 100 per week.  My hardest workout was only:

880 @ 2:26
880 jog;
1mi @ 4:43
1320 jog;
1320 @3:35
880 jog;
880 @ 2:25
880 jog;
4X 440 65, 65, 70, 70 ‐ 200 jog between

My workout the Tuesday before the Saturday race was:

2 X 880 @ 2:16 ‐
jog 880 btw;
4 X 440 @ 66‐67 w 440 jog

I dropped mileages from 100 to 89 to 50 the week of the ECC race.

Coach had amazing luck with the heavy on distance approach.  A lot of us average runners in high school got pretty good with the volume approach.  He was a Lydiard follower.