BELMAR, NJ — For Belmar Elementary School eighth-grader Tyler Lisko, it’s been an achievement in the making for four years — emerging as the winner in the Middle School Cross Country Meet of Champions.

With a time of 8:34 over a 1½-mile course, the 13-year-old was the first to cross the finish line among some 160 other runners on October 24 at Big Brook Park in Marlboro. He took home the event’s top trophy — capping an undefeated season with seven wins as a member of BES’ fall cross country team.

Tyler’s long-distance racing feat could not have made his coaches of four years — BES teachers Lucrecia Stierman and Jeanice Arcos — more proud.

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“Even as a fifth grader, he was an exceptional runner, and we knew he was only going to get better,” Stierman said. “It has been our pleasure to see him excel for this season and over the past four years. We are excited to see him take his running to the next level in high school.”

His mother, Dawn, credited his perseverance for his victory to take the coveted championship crown. “He started running in the fifth grade and progressively improved,” she said. “He especially likes to run cross country — anything that’s one mile or more.”

When it comes to earning athletic accolades, it’s been quite a couple of weeks for the Lisko family of Belmar. Tyler’s twin brother, Gavin, is a member of the BES’ boys soccer team, which last week captured the Monmouth County Athletic League’s championship, and his sister, Lucinda, was instrumental in Manasquan High School gymnastics team's win in its conference division.

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