ELIZABETH, NJ - A beautiful day greeted the Jonathan Dayton Cross Country as it entered Warinaco Park in Elizabeth, New Jersey for the 80th running of the Union County Championship.
The day was started off with a joyous Senior Day Celebration. Spearheaded by parents Ms. Cohen, Mrs. Kwinta, Ms. Mowbray, Mrs. Strauss, Mrs. Potito and Ms. Tiu, the seniors were presented with a picture of themselves running and well-crafted posters made by their teammates.
Four-year letter winners Colin McCormack (manager), Paige Goldstein (manager-captain), Adam Gelo, Kevin Haskins, Louis Monaco, Horace Giambattista (captain), Greg Winicoff, Julia Roth (captain), along with Fabian Mestanza (captain), Jacob Thompson, Jessica Lagemann, Amanda Dominguez and Daniel Domena were given their first “last time” celebrations as the fall season is nearly drawing to a close. The Union County Championship is the last time that the entire team is to be together at a meet.
Warinaco is a 5,150-meter course. Most of the seniors have run it close to 20 times. Some notable senior accomplishments from yesterday. Jacob Thompson’s first run in 2014 was completed in 36 minutes and 14 seconds. Jacob’s personal record is now 25:04. Fabian Mestanza ran a 17:56, breaking the 18-minute barrier for the first time in his career. He is the first Dayton runner to break this barrier since Ben Castor did it in 2011.
The boys top 7 finished the race 13th out of 14 teams in a competitive Union County race. The teams average split of 18:58 was the lowest the team has run in the past twelve years at the event. Juniors Adam Cohen, Ben Morley, James Tiu, Daniel Birkman-Galao and Horace Giambattista rounded out the top seven. Freshmen Birkman-Galao nearly bested the freshmen record of Castor. He missed the mark by nine seconds running the course in 19:39.
The girls team, led by sophomore Catriona Corbett, freshman Abbey Hochreiner, junior Captain Lisa Mayevsky, junior Erica Carrie, sophomore Emma Gouiran, freshman Emily Kessel and Ciara Corbett finished ninth out of thirteen teams.
Each run at Warinaco has seen cross country newcomers Junior Ishan Patel and freshmen Ryan Sickinger, Harrison Turner and Jordy Frei set and then reset their personal bests.
On the girls’ side, freshmen Shannon Kennedy lowered her personal best by nearly three minutes. Freshmen Ciara Corbett saw every one of her runs at Warianaco improve over the course of the season.
On November 1, the majority of the team will compete in a meet at Thompson Park in Jamesburg, NJ.
On November 4, the top seven runners of both the boys and girls team will represent Jonathan Dayton Bulldogs at the North 2 Group 1 meet at Greystone Park in Morris Plains, NJ.
Both teams hope to continue the two-year string of qualifying for the Group 1 State Championships that will be held at Holmdel Park on November 11.