Submitted by cross-country parent Rob Depue
(Left to right) Justin Dyer, Ricky Hankey, Tim Depue, David Ives, Avery Coreschi, Jared Pangallozzi, Jonathan Salinardo
On Saturday, November 5, Greystone Park in Morris Plains was the site of the North Jersey State Section II Cross Country Championships. Jared Pangallozzi and David Ives led the way for the Columbia Cougars as they qualified for the second straight year in the Group 4 state championship race.
In a field of 118 runners, Pangallozzi, a senior, finished 2nd in 15:53, just two seconds behind the winner. Ives, a junior, followed in 5th place. These two impressive performances staked the Cougars to an early lead in the 16-team race with the top five teams moving on to the state finals.
Following Columbia’s fast start perennial cross country powers North Hunterdon and Westfield were able to quickly rally to finish first and second in the team race and the contest began for 3 rd place. Columbia’s team average time of 16:39 per runner for the 5K (3.1 mile) was two seconds faster than Ridge. In the end, however, Ridge’s third through fifth runners were able to edge out Columbia for third place by a score of 85 to 94. Closing out the scoring for Columbia were three juniors: Jonathan Salinardo 24th , Tim Depue 26th, and Avery Coreschi 37th. All seven members of the Columbia team received a medal commemorating their 4th place finish and qualifying for the state championship race.
The New Jersey Group IV Championship race will be held at 12:00 noon on Saturday, November 12th at picturesque Holmdel Park in Holmdel, NJ. The Columbia cross country team encourages the SOMA community, especially any aspiring runners, to take the short ride to Holmdel to support the team and enjoy the festive atmosphere of the state championship race.