Seton Hall Prep cross-country team wins Essex County Championships title

Photo Courtesy of Chris Barnitt.
The SHP cross-country team gathers after winning the Essex County Championships.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — On Friday, Nov. 1, on the finest day of Seton Hall Prep cross-country running in years, The Prep harriers ran their way to victory in both the Varsity and JV races at the Essex County Championship at Brookdale Park in Bloomfield. Under head coach Chris Barnitt, the Varsity last won the Championship in 2004 and the JV last won in 2005. The last time both won in the same year was in 2004.

With 64 Pirates taking the line over three races, there was great anticipation for a strong team performance. The Varsity had the weight of great expectations upon their shoulders, having won the regular season title and the Conference Championship. The squad would hit the mile at 4:55-5:17, a fast but restrained first mile. After some jockeying and big moves in the second mile, senior co-captain  Colin Schweitzer would establish himself in second place and junior Kevin Harvey would follow closely in fourth, followed by senior co-captain Nolan Orr in the top 10. At the finish, Schweitzer (2nd-15:52), Harvey (4th-15:57), Orr (8th-16:08), junior Chris Gizzo (12th-16:46), and sophomore Ben Ferrara (16th- 16:51- PR) would score for The Prep. They would turn in an impressive 16:19 team average with a 58 second compression. This team average would be the fastest run by a Seton Hall Prep cross-country team on the Brookdale course.

The last race of the day would be tremendous display of the team’s collective strength. Forty-four JV racers were eager to make a statement. After a fast first mile where the Pirates were still accompanied by their Montclair rivals, sophomore Danny Collum, sophomore Anthony Bottino and junior Gabe Ferriero opened up the race and by mile 2 were sitting in first, second and fourth place. At the finish, The Prep would have a stunning 1, 2, 3 finish of Collum (17:22), Bottino (17:27), Ferriero (17:31). Scoring would be rounded out by strong performances by freshman TJ Sparno (10th-18:12) and junior Luke Avigliano (12th-18:14). They would clock an impressive 17:45 team average with a 52 second compression.

WOHS finished in fifth place in the team Varsity standings. Shane Brosman, a sophomore, placed ninth in 16:14.60 to lead the Mountaineers. Alexander Aromin-Gabbay, a junior, was 11th in 16:40.70; senior John Lupkovich took 14th place in 16:50.00; junior Mali Coleman was 48th in 17:53.60; junior Senay Dani took 63rd in 18:36.10 and junior Scott Moul was 67th in 18:41.30.

On the Varsity girls’ side, junior Leila Garraud placed 12th out of 115 runners in 20:13.50 to lead WOHS, which finished ninth in the team standings among the 15 schools. Vanessa Frederic, a sophomore, was 37th in 21:48.00; freshman Taylor Frederic was 48th in 22:01.30; sophomore Santija Moul was 61st in 22:33.00 and senior Angelyne Silverio took 68th in 23:02.90.

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