Bishop Eustace Crusaders
Players to watch: Junior Chris Smith took fifth in the triple jump at the Non-Public A state meet and was all-conference second team in the long jump. Junior Shawn Hutchinson placed fifth in the 3,200 at the Olympic Conference meet and was named all-conference first team. Senior Anthony Morelli is another strong distance runner who was all-conference second team. Senior Eric Bjorklund (all-conference second team in the javelin) and junior Dan Rule are talented throwers. Other returners are seniors Anthony Profaci, Brennan Edel, Ben Tso, Ryan Giarraputo and Andrew Klamo, juniors Andreas Papadourakis, Dominic LoPinto, Praveen Vulimiri, Matt Cairoli and Vincent Purcell, and sophomores Jack McCaffrey, Evan Adams, Jack Smith, Jason Varley, Sebastian Fenerty, Cameron Acito and Jason Stott.
Outlook: Eustace finished 11th in South Jersey and 19th in the state in Non-Public A and finished with a 3-1 record in dual meets, good for second place in the Olympic National. Despite losing an elite distance runner to graduation in Eric Franklin, the Crusaders have a strong core back and should contend for a division championship.
Camden Catholic Fighting Irish
Players to watch: Senior Kyle Kirk is one of the top distance runners in the area, while senior Collin Pierlott finished third at the Olympic Conference Championships and fifth at the South Jersey Non-Public A meet in the 800. Benny Walls had a strong freshman campaign, taking fourth in the conference and fifth in South Jersey in the 400. Senior Ben Yang took third in South Jersey and sixth in the conference in the triple jump and is also a solid sprinter. Other returners include junior middle distance runner Tim Slack, sophomore sprinters Kris Noone, Nadir Shakir and Kimtom Vork, and sophomore hurdler Triet Nguyen.
OUTLOOK: Camden Catholic placed 10th in South Jersey and tied for 20th in the state in Non-Public A. The Fighting Irish return some talented athletes on the track and should make noise at the season’s biggest meets.
Players to watch: Junior sprinter Shawn Tracey took fifth in South Jersey Group IV in the 200, while senior Kaleb Burch leads a strong pack of distance runners. Senior pole vaulter Jordan Aughenbaugh took fifth in the Olympic Conference. Also back are sprinters Marc Woodard, a junior, and Ronnie Oxendine, a senior, while junior James Transue and sophomore Tyler Kurzawa are returning middle distance runners. Other returners include sophomore distance runner Brandon Arencibia and senior hurdler Brent Lobascio. Three newcomers expected to make an impact in distance are freshmen Jack Shea and Nick Falk and senior Nick Maccariella.
OUTLOOK: Cherokee tied for eighth in South Jersey Group IV and finished with a 2-2 record in dual meets. The Chiefs said goodbye to Shawn Wilson, the state champion in the 3,200 and one of the top distance runners in the state who is now at Syracuse University. But this remains a solid program that should be in contention in the division and South Jersey.
Cherry Hill East Cougars
Players to watch: Senior Ben Dillon won the Olympic Conference title and took third in South Jersey Group IV in the 3,200, and also had a strong cross country season in the fall. He leads a strong group of distance runners that also includes junior Dan Helfand, who took sixth in both South Jersey and the conference in the 1,600, and sophomore Aaron Groff, who took sixth in South Jersey in the 3,200. Senior Jared Dashevsky (pictured), who ran 4:36 in the 1,600 as a sophomore, is fully recovered after knee surgery last spring and should be a big contributor. Also back are two standout throwers in junior Terry Hall and senior Stephen Benigno. Hall was the conference champ and placed fifth in South Jersey in the javelin, while Benigno was third in the conference, sixth in South Jersey and sixth at Group IV states in the same event. Other returners include sprinters Vladhimir Theophile, a junior, and sophomores Jordan Clark, Keyon Bell, Kyle Encarnacion and Kennedy Omari; distance runners Isaiah Jean-Baptiste, a sophomore, and Jeff Braun, a junior; hurdlers Ian Dunn, a junior, and Bobby Zografos, a senior; and throwers Jason Stitt, a senior, and sophomores James Garth and Robert Bica.
OUTLOOK: The 2012 South Jersey Group IV champions could make another run at the sectional title and will also compete for the Olympic American crown.
Cherry Hill West Lions
Players to watch: Senior distance runner Giancarlo Martines is coming off a strong season in which he placed second in the 1,600 and sixth in the 800 at the Olympic Conference Championships. He also placed seventh in the 1,600 and 13th in the 800 at Group IV sectionals. Senior sprinter Geronimo Santana took fourth in the 100 at the conference meet and 14th in the long jump at sectionals. Senior Jason Caspe placed 15th in the triple jump at sectionals. Other returners include junior sprinter Albert Enriquez; middle distance runners Kevin Trinh and Dolapo Ogunsami, both seniors, and Dylan Coverdale, a sophomore; distance runner Liam Coverdale, a sophomore; hurdlers Nickolas Boensch, a senior, and Colin McBride, a junior; senior high jumper Darin Hlavaty; and senior long jumper Calvin Sambo.
OUTLOOK: The Lions have several runners who should compete for individual conference titles and are looking to make progress as a team.
Players to watch: Senior Bill Dolan is one of the premier distance runners in South Jersey. Last spring, he was the South Jersey Group IV champion in the 1,600 and took second at Group IV states. He was also third in the 800 at sectionals and broke school records in both events that had stood since 1966. Other key returners are senior pole vaulter Jon Norcross, who was seventh at sectionals, and junior Nahir Nelson, a talented thrower and sprinter. Also back are seniors Greg McLeer (sprints), Kevin Parrott (pole vault), Justin Hunt (throws) and Adam Cartwright (throws); juniors Casimir Kmiec (distance), Julian Perotti, Marshall Muldoon and Bryan Mohrman (throws); and sophomores Chris Jones (sprints) and Nathan Shivers (distance).
OUTLOOK: The Pioneers placed 13th in South Jersey Group IV last year and finished with a 1-4 record in dual meets. With Dolan leading the way, they will definitely make their presence felt at the major meets this spring.
Players to watch: Last year was a huge one for Mikhail Micheaux, who was the Group IV state champion in the long jump and took second at the Meet of Champions as a junior. He also took third in the 200 and fifth in the triple jump at states, was the Olympic Conference champ in the long jump and triple jump, and took second at sectionals in both events. Junior Cinque Hill took fourth in the high jump and eighth in the triple jump at sectionals, while senior William Civatte placed fourth in the javelin, senior Michael Montemurro was sixth in the shot put and senior Kingsley Ayeni was seventh in the discus at sectionals. Other key returners are junior sprinter Gino Dougan; senior sprinters David Childs and Brian White; sophomore distance runners Nicholas Pschunder and Vipul Bhat; senior hurdler Jameel Ali; and senior pole vaulter Erik Lee.
OUTLOOK: The Vikings were second in South Jersey and sixth at states in Group IV. Despite losing state champion high jumper Jeffrey-Jon Tucker, they will remain a threat in the Olympic American and sectionals.
Gloucester Catholic Rams
Players to watch: Seniors Colin Ward, Andreas Logothetis and Bill Simila lead a solid group of distance runners that also includes sophomores Sean Simila and Matt Dyson. Senior hurdler Matt Davis is another key returner. Also back are sophomore Chris Kain (sprints, jumps), junior Mike Quigley (jumps) and senior Pat Rafferty (jumps).
OUTLOOK: After going winless in dual meets in 2013, the Rams aren’t likely to contend for a division championship, but they do have the returning talent to make strides.
Players to watch: Despite graduating an elite runner in Greg Halla, Haddonfield returns a tremendous distance team. The Bulldawgs won the Group II cross country state title in the fall, and runners from that team who are expecting strong spring seasons include seniors Alex Gigliotti and John Greenberg, junior Danny Brennan and sophomores Austin Stoner and Greg Pelose. Senior Luke Pease was the South Jersey Group II champion in the pole vault, and in the javelin he placed fifth in the state and third at sectionals. Also returning is senior Brendan Werner, who took fourth in the 400 hurdles at sectionals.
Outlook: The Bulldawgs placed third at the South Jersey Group II meet. Despite the loss of Halla, they can contend for another top finish at sectionals.
Players to watch: Senior Dylan Altland was the South Jersey Group III champion in the pole vault and took second at states. He also took fifth at states and sectionals in the high jump and sixth at sectionals in the long jump. Senior sprinter Matthew Lemmo placed third in both the 100 and 200 at sectionals, while another senior sprinter, Ray Lawry, was fourth at sectionals and sixth at states in the 100. Junior Noah Culbreath finished fourth in the 3,200 and sixth in the 1,600 at sectionals and enjoyed a terrific cross country season in the fall. Other returners include junior sprinter Jermaine Coleman, senior pole vaulter Ryan Sharp, and throwers Densel Polk, Connor Bell and Andrew Beamer, all juniors.
Outlook: The Dragons won the South Jersey Group III team title in 2013 and finished second to Timber Creek at states. The graduation of state champion Derrell Manhertz is a huge loss, but this program is consistently one of the best in the area.
Players to watch: Lenape returns one of the outstanding sprinters as well as one of the elite distance runners in the Olympic Conference to its lineup. Senior Joel Bartow was third in the 100 and sixth in the 200 at last year’s conference meet and also took fourth in the 200 at Group IV sectionals. Classmate Julian Greco was the Olympic champ in the 1,600 and took fourth in the 1,600 and seventh in the 800 at sectionals. Another strong distance runner is senior Dan O’Leary, who placed fourth in the conference and eighth at sectionals in the two-mile. Other key returners include seniors Jermaine Owens (jumps) and Alex Pilling (throws).
Outlook: The Indians took fourth in South Jersey Group IV and, despite the graduation of state champion hurdler Michael Williams, they have the returners to make a run at another top five finish.
Players to watch: An experienced pack of distance runners returns for the Quakers. The group includes senior Kevin Horton, who took ninth in the 3,200 in South Jersey Group III, as well as classmates Joseph Inglis and Nick Contarino, and sophomores Harrison Morris and Christian Cramer. Also returning is sprinter Melvin Sheppard, thrower Trevor Allen, and vaulters Angus Unruh and Kyle Loveland-Boyle.
Outlook: The Quakers won the Burlington County Scholastic League Liberty Division meet, placed second at the Burlington County Championships and took fifth in the team standings at the South Jersey Group III meet. They graduated a terrific senior class that included state champion long jumper Sidney Ruffin and state place-winning throwers Jeremy Wilbur and Jesse Trigiani, so this could be a rebuilding season for the program.
Paul VI Eagles
Players to watch: The Eagles are paced by senior thrower Vincent Santarsiero, who was the South Jersey Non-Public A champion in the discus and took second at states. He was also fifth at sectionals in the shot put. Paul VI also has a promising young sprinter in sophomore Stefon Moore-Green, who took fifth at sectionals in the 200. Also back are sophomore sprinter Maxwell Dickens, senior middle distance Matt Pluta, senior distance runners Robert Cleary, Jake Durante-Koller and George Balzer, and senior thrower Jabari Mani.
Outlook: After placing ninth in South Jersey and 16th in the state in Non-Public A, the Eagles have the potential to move up at both meets. Santarsiero will certainly be an athlete to watch at all of the major meets.
Seneca Golden Eagles
Players to watch: The Golden Eagles graduated a strong senior class, but senior thrower Ryan Szelc leads the list of returners. He took sixth in the Olympic Conference and 16th in South Jersey Group III in the javelin. Junior long jumper Mike Mulvihill and junior sprinter Danny Nesko are also key returners. Also back are senior thrower Shane Grady and sophomore distance runners Kevin Curtain and Devon Dye. Sophomore hurdler Roosevelt Jordan and his twin brother Sam Jordan are transfers from Cherokee and could have a major impact.
Outlook: Seneca was 11th at the South Jersey Group III meet and could have a hard time moving up after the graduation of a solid senior class that included state place-winner Alex McGrainer.
Players to watch: Senior Trevor Sye is a talented distance runner who placed 10th in the 3,200 at the Olympic Conference Championships, and 17th in the same event at the South Jersey Group IV meet. Senior sprinter Justin Wigley was eighth in the conference in the 400 and is another key returner. Sophomore thrower Josh Clark was a top scorer in the shot put and discus, and his brother Eric Clark, a senior, is strong in the long jump and triple jump.
Outlook: The Renegades will look to build a solid foundation for the future as they compete against some of the top teams in South Jersey in their division and sectionals.
Washington Township Minutemen
Players to watch: While senior Andrew O’Neill suffered a foot injury near the end of football season, he will look to recover in time for his final season on the track. Last year, he was fourth in the Olympic Conference and tied for eighth in South Jersey Group IV in the 200, while also placing seventh in the 100 and 11th in the 400 at sectionals. Senior thrower Connor Hunt is also back and hoping to improve on a fourth-place showing in the conference and 11th-place performance at sectionals in the shot put. Anthony Mills is the team’s top returning distance runner and is coming off an all-conference season in cross country in the fall. Other returners are junior distance runners Zach Hartnett and Andrew Torney, junior hurdlers Norris King and Koy Connors, and junior thrower Ed Hicks.
Outlook: The Minutemen graduated a spectacular distance runner in Kyle Leonard, but with O’Neill leading the way will look to improve upon last year’s 16th-place finish at sectionals.
Click here for this season’s schedules.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family’s High School Spring Sports Preview, January, 2014.
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