Cross country team aims for state title

Haddonfield Coach Nick Baker celebrated his 150th (as well as his 151st and 152nd) dual meet win in a row on Tuesday, Oct. 9, as the boys cross country team soundly defeated conference rivals Haddon Township, Haddon Heights and Sterling High Schools at Pennypacker Park.

The victories also clinched Haddonfield’s 15th consecutive Colonial Conference Championship. Baker’s current unbeaten streak dates back to September of 1997.

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Leading the pack for the Bulldogs was senior Greg Halla, who ran a personal best time of 15:27. Halla’s race-winning time was the 4th best time ever recorded on the 3.1-mile course.

In second place was Sterling’s Jimmy Daniels in 15:34.

Haddonfield junior Alex Gigliotti finished third in 15:53, followed by junior John Greenberg in 16:00.

Haddon Township’s Luke Kessler finished fifth in 16:09, followed closely by Haddonfield freshman Austin Stoner in 16:11.

Sean McPherson of Sterling, Andrew Shaw of Haddon Township, Chris Gandolfo-Lucia of Haddon Heights, and Owen Long of Haddon Township rounded out the top ten finishers in the race.

Sophomore Danny Brennan rounded out the Haddonfield top 5, finishing 12th overall.

Breaking out the dual meet scores, Haddonfield beat Haddon Township 20 to 35, Sterling 20 to 41, and Haddon Heights by 16 to 47.

The average race time for Haddonfield’s top 5 finishers was an impressive 15:59.6, which was more than 20 seconds faster than their closest competitors.

The next few weeks will be very busy for the Bulldogs, as they prepare for several invitational meets, as well as NJSIAA Sectionals at Delsea on Nov. 3.

Their ultimate goal is to make a run at the Group II State Championship title at Holmdel on Nov. 10, against very talented squads from Walkill Valley and Holmdel High Schools.

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