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After winning Preps and the Non-Public A Championships last year, among many other accomplishments, Big Blue returns one of its strongest teams in recent history, and looks to once again advance to the Meet of Champions.

Led by captains Josie Jahng '19, Margot Present '19, and Avery Didden '19, this season's team is seven seniors strong and looking to improve upon their winning record last year.

Big Blue Beat: Boys' Varsity Cross Country
adawson

By Miro Bergam '19

 

Head Coach: Matt Horesta

Last season's highlights:
Last year's cross country season was one of the most successful in recent memory, with the team accomplishing many personal and competitive goals. The team achieved their goal of winning the Prep A Championship for the second year in a row. They also took first at the Skyland Conference Valley Division Championships. In addition to these distinctions, they placed fourth in the Somerset County Championships and fifth in the NJSIAA Non-Public A Championships. It was the team's first year competing in Non-Public A, a larger division populated by powerful teams like Christian Brothers Academy, Don Bosco, and Delbarton, so their fifth-place standing was a highly notable achievement.

What to watch for this season:  
• Despite graduating varsity scorers Ben Vazquez '18, who was the team's number one runner at the Non-Public A Championship, and co-captain Colin Edwards '18, the team retains a strong lineup. This season's captains Tom Drzik '19 and Jeffrey Xiao '19 will be integral to the team this year. These two, along with Henry Wood '21, who had one of the best freshman cross country seasons in the state last year, make up a strong "top three" for the team.

• Roger Matthews '20, Henry Shavel '20, and Bert Yu '20, three runners who had strong sophomore seasons in both cross country and spring track, will also fuel the team's continued success.

• Winning the Prep A Championship for the third year in a row is the team's main goal this year; Lawrenceville and Peddie will be their biggest opponents. Breaking the top three in both the Somerset County and Non-Public A Championships, two more goals this season, would result in one of the team's most successful seasons (in 2012, they won both Preps and the Non-Public B Championships).

• In terms of training, the cross country team will continue to put in consistent mileage. Summer training mileage ranges from 35 to 50 miles per week, based on runner ability, while school-year mileage varies from practice to practice, depending on the terrain and tempo of workouts. Whether or not the team does weight training on any given day is another factor. Above all, the team hopes to forego injuries.

• The team will attend RunningWorks, a running camp in the Poconos, from August 13–18. Their on-campus preseason will begin on August 20. The season will officially kick off with a home meet against Somerville, Gill-St. Bernards, and Immaculata on September 11.


Full-court press:
"The cross country team has always been a tight-knit group. That close bond and friendship has always been a product of the kindness and leadership of the upperclassmen; I know that will continue this fall." —Head Coach Matthew Horesta


Contact: 
Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer, adawson@pingry.org