HOLMDEL, NJ - The Gov. Livingston Cross Country Teams have had a successful 2017 season, with both the girls and boys varsity squads advancing to the NJSIAA Group 2 Championships for the second consecutive year. In frigid weather, the Group 2 Championships were held Saturday, November 11th at Holmdel Park, and served to qualify the top three teams and top ten individuals for the NJSIAA Cross Country Meet of Champions (MOC).
For cross country team scores, the placements of the first five out of seven team members are used in the computation, with the lowest score winning the race. The GL girls had a combined score of 147 points to finish sixth out of the 20 participating teams at the Group 2 Championships. This was an improvement on the ninth place finish from last year. The GL team placements were led by sophomore Victoria Vanriele, followed by freshman Caroline Mondelli, junior Katelyn Quinn, sophomore Rachel Mustacchi, junior Evelyn Doskoch, senior Pascal Youssef, and sophomore Valerie Diamond. The team score was 20 points removed from the third place MOC qualifying threshold. However, Vanriele, with an individual sixth place finish that was two positions better than last year, advanced for her second time to the cross country MOC.
Separately, the boys finished 12th at the Group 2 Championships, as they had last year, with a combined score of 335 points, led by sophomore Alex Aranas, then junior Lorenzo Pagdanganan, senior Michael Zacieracha, senior Logan Calichman, senior Nick Zambrotta, junior Chris Harriott, and junior Vincent Berlinski.
The culmination of Groups brings to a close the high school cross country careers of the graduating varsity runners. Their various contributions have been invaluable. Running cross country for her four years in high school, Youssef has been a steady and reliable presence on the team. As team leaders, the senior boys, Calichman, Zacieracha and Zambrotta, have demonstrated commitment and provided a welcoming atmosphere for newcomers.
The team gained a number of freshmen this season who show potential to be developed into key participants in future seasons. Indeed, for this season, freshman Mondelli was placed on the varsity squad upon demonstrating her abilities by winning two invitational freshman races. Mondelli was among the varsity girls who captured the Central Group 2 Sectional title for the school.
Following the MOC, which will be held at Holmdel Park on Saturday, November 18th at 11 a.m., all the cross country girls and boys will celebrate their various achievements for the 2017 season, including numerous victories as well as personal and team records, at the annual team banquet on Monday, November 20th.