ELIZABETH - The 81st running of the Union County cross-country championships was held Wednesday, October 24th, at Warinanco Park in Elizabeth

The Jonathan Dayton Boosters Club of Jonathan Dayton High School, for the second year held its “Senior Day” celebration.  Jonathan Dayton seniors were honored. This set the stage for an excellent day of personal bests to be had.

Sophomore Abbey Hochreiner ran the fastest time, (since Liz Pabst, JDHS class of 1988) by a girl on the historic Warinanco championship course. Hockreiner finished 25th overall.

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The Dayton's girls team overall had some outstanding performances. The top seven runners of Dayton were very impressive. Catriona Corbett continuing her impressive recovery from injury ran a 21:06 improving her performance from the Conference Championship. Juniors Lily Dvorchik, Emma Gouiran along with sophomore Shannon Kennedy ran a personal best.

Top 7 Runner Emily Kessel was held out due to injury. It is expected Kessel along with the top six girls will form a formidable lineup for the North 2 Group 1 State sectional that will be held at Greystone Park November 3rd.

Seniors Erica Carrie, Lisa Mayevsky, and Julia Cohen set PRS yesterday. Jenna Galapate, Cyra Gandhi, Jenna Lashuk, Isabella Matute,  Adriana Nguyen and Samantha Potito all either set personal records or season best results.

The top 7 for Jonathan Dayton placed 9th in the county out of 12 teams. The team's five Runner split was the lowest since 1985.

Second-year girls cross-country head coach Jen Martinez XC, “I've been very impressed with how hard the girls have worked. They have supported each other and pushed each other this entire year. We are relatively young and the future looks very bright.”

The boys cross-country team sports five seniors in its top 7. All five seniors PR'd in their last run at Warinanco, capping off their careers in style.

Adam Cohen team captain came in first with a 17:48. He was followed by sophomore standout Daniel Birkman-Galao, Senior Captain James Tiu, senior Tyler Kwinta, senior Pablo Birkman-Galao, Jibran Absarulislam, freshman Ian McLeer.

This group of seven runners won the Union County Mountain Division Conference Championship October 16th. This was the first boys cross country championship since the 1985 season.

“This is the fastest collection of top seven runners I've had my coaching career, said Dave Campbell in his thirteenth year at the helm. I'm really excited for these young men to run at the state section. It's the first time at the state section I can say that I believe we have a good chance to do something great.”

In the first race of the day sophomore Harrison Turner set the stage by running a personal best at Warinanco. Turner broke 20 minute barrier for the first time. “This let the top 7 know that they would have to run a good result to keep their spot,” said Campbell.

Excellent career best performances were turned in by senior Jeremy Tornatore, juniors Nicholas DiCosmo, Matthew Fleishman sophomores Jordy Frie, Ryan Sickinger and freshmen Chris Tiu Ian Kaesshaefer and Sean Myrthl.

The cross-country team would like to thank Ms. Cohen, Mrs. Tiu, Mr and Mrs. Kwinta and Ms. Mowbray and the track booster club for providing such a wonderful setting for the seniors. This was the second year that “Senior Day” was held for the XC program. Before the run each senior was honored with a tri-fold containing pictures of him or her and the team created by the underclassmen. Each also received a cross-country shirt . After the meet food and refreshments was provided to the runners. 

“All in all the kids appreciated and enjoyed the day,” said Campbell.  

“We are very fortunate to have a group of supportive parents, added Marinez

The cross-country County Championship is the last time the entire team is together before the competitive state meet schedule begins.