MARLTON, NJ - Gov. Livingston Highlanders Cross Country kicked off its 2017 season by traveling south to Marlton, NJ for the Cherokee Challenge on Saturday, September 9. All team members participated in this invitational meet. Runners were grouped according to gender and class year, and each ran a distance of two miles (3,200 meters) in their respective races, with approximately several hundred participants in each race.
The Highlanders were among thousands of runners from New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania who participated in this meet. GL’s girls team and boys team enjoyed both individual and team success, with the girls team finishing 12th among 46 teams and the boys finishing 26th among 67 teams.
The top 30 finishers for each class year per gender were recognized, with the first place finisher receiving a trophy and the 2nd through 30th place finishers receiving medals. Several Highlander girls received such recognition.
Leading the sophomore girls, Victoria Vanriele placed 1st in a time of 11:39.2, with Mackenzie Lloyd placing 11th in a time of 12:37.8 and Rachel Mustacchi placing 13th in a time of 12:40.3. Caroline Mondelli also made a strong showing, placing 5th among the freshman girls in a time of 12:33.7. Junior Katelyn Quinn, who placed 34th in her race, and senior Angela Bonetti were GL’s top finishers in their respective races, each turning in solid performances.
For the Highlander boys, Matthew Saia was GL’s top finisher in the freshman race. Sophomore Alex Aranas finished 34th out of more than 450 runners in a brisk time of 11:01.7. Lorenzo Pagdanganan was GL’s top finisher in the junior boys’ event, clocking in at 11:09.7, and senior Logan Calichman finished the day on a high note for the GL boys by running the Highlanders’ best time of the day, 10:45.5.
Many veteran Highlanders improved their times during this meet, compared to the times they earned last year at this meet. This bodes well for both the girls and boys teams, which had advanced to the State Group Championships last year.
Up next, the team competes on Saturday, September 16 at the St. Dominic Academy XC Invitational in Jersey City’s Lincoln Park.