MAPLEWOOD – Capping a surprisingly successful season, Columbia High School fielded a young varsity boys’ cross-country team in the New Jersey State Group 4 Championship meet on Saturday, Nov. 14, at Holmdel Park in Holmdel. Group 4 includes 70 teams from the largest schools in New Jersey, which competed in various Group 4 sectional races this year leading up to Saturday’s championship.
Although this hilly and wind-swept 5K (3.1 mile) course challenged the Columbia team, they finished 16th in Group 4, a much stronger position than ever expected at the season’s start in September.
Columbia was again paced by the duo of junior Jared Pangallozzi, who finished 35th out of the top 147 runners in Group 4 with a time of 17:01, and sophomore David Ives, who placed 45th in 17:08. Finishing out the scoring for Columbia, as the third through fifth runners, were senior Jacob Paul, followed by sophomores Tim Depue and Jon Salinardo.
While the Group 4 race was the last competition of the season for the Cougars, the varsity team will run one more race – the Foot Locker Cross-Country Northeast Regional on Saturday, Nov. 28, at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, N.Y. The upperclassmen will run the open section of the race while the sophomores will compete in the underclassmen’s division. Thinking ahead to the 2016 cross-country season, the Foot Locker race will provide the Cougars with another opportunity to compete against top-level runners.