Monday, November 7, 2011

Sectional Rewind

Boys XC 2011 SJ GR 2 Sectional winners
On a spectacular day this past Saturday, the Dawgs made history.  They narrowly defeated Highland 50-56 to capture the South Jersey Group 2 sectional.  In doing so they broke a state record of 31 Sectional titles by a program. Going into Saturday, the Dawgs were tied with  Bernards who  had won 30 sectional titles. 
There might have been closer titles over the years, but not with in the last 10 years.  The Dawgs showed tremendous courage and heart as the top two Dawgs were not 100%. 
Junior Rob Spaeth stepped up in a big way by finishing 15th overall and 9 places better than Highland's 5th man. 
Only two of the seven that raced on Saturday had ever run in a sectional final.  Junior Greg Halla & Sophmore Alex Gigliotti.  They were racing against a Highland team that was dropping down from Group 3, and  made up of mostly seniors.  Highland is also coached by one of South Jersey better coaches in Bobby Wagner. To win was a remarkable accomplishment. Congrats!!

Girls Race:
The girls dominated on Saturday by putting 5 runners in the top 10.  Led by the best one- two punch in the State, Meghan Malloy & Shelby Cain, the lady Dawgs easily won 24-90.  This Saturday also marked the Varsity debut of Junior Juliette Strasser.  Juliette placed 18th overall.

SJ Gr 2  girls Sectional winners

Special Guests:

Dr. Perry - Superintendent of Haddonfield Schools.
Mr. Michael Wilson - Principal of HMHS.
Mr. Lefty Banos - Athletic Director  of HMHS.

The support from the administration is second to none compared to other programs.  Thank you for making the effort to support the boys & girls XC teams this past Saturday.

Next up:
The State group meet Saturday 12th.  Jim Lambert of the Star Ledger "The best day of the year is this Saturday.  The Group 2 race is going to be crazy!  Could be the best race of the day"  Jim, I couldn't agree more.

Look for my state preview later this week.

See you on the course.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sectional Preview

Greg Halla at lasts year Sectional
 With conference and league titles having ended last week we now enter what coaches call the “Championship” season.  The first leg of the XC Triple Crown starts this Saturday @ Delsea high school with the South Jersey Sectionals.  Winning states is ultimately almost every teams goal. The dream starts when spring tracks ends and the hot summer of base building begins.  The dedication of logging endless miles, running twice a day and attending XC camp is all necessary to help fulfill their team and individual dreams, in November, by winning a state championship.  Well, it all gets under way this Saturday. So how does it all work you ask?

 According to NJSIAA:
"The first five (5) teams plus the first ten (10) place runners in each Group in each Section will
qualify for the State Group Championships."
The Teams:

Burlington C.I.T. Medford
Camden C VT Pennsauken
Gloucester Cty VT
Highland Regional
Lower Cape May
Middle Township
West Deptford
Group 2- Defending team Haddonfield
The Dawgs have won 14 of the last 15 sectional title according to there teams web site.  They missed out in 2003.  They have 30 sectional titles dating back to 1967.  Make 2011 number 31!  Jim Lambert of the Newark Star Ledger reports, "If the Dawgs win the sectional title they will break the state record currently held by Bernards."   According to NJ Runners,  Boo Vitez, in 2009 set the  course record at Delsea with a time of 15:24.  Boo's time is the fastest ever run at Delsea  for all groups.  Ben Potts ran 15:55 last year  to win Group 2.   Other teams that could advance to next weeks group state championship are;  Highland Regional, West Deptford, Barnegat, & Plesantville.
Individuals in no particular order that could be in the top 5 are:
  • Matt Nelson - Barnegat
  • Greg Halla -HMHS
  • Miles Devine- HMHS
  • Jimmy Daniels- Sterling
  • Steve Maine-Highland
  • Jacob Clark- Pleasantville
  • Isaac Clark-Pleasantville
The Course is flat and fast with a finish on the track. Link below is a map of the course.
See you on the course

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Five good minutes with John Greenberg

The Varsity Boys had an off week from racing, as they prepare to head into the championship part of the season.  I caught up with Sophomore John Greenberg and asked him a couple of questions about the season etc.  John recently ran a huge pr at pennypacker.  He dropped 2:39 from last years time on the same course.  His mile pr from spring track  is 4:56.   John shared some thoughts about his breakout season.

Tim Malloy:  What did you do differently this year between freshman year to sophomore year?

John Greenberg:   "Coming into my Freshman year I did no summer training whats so ever.  Heading into this summer I was sure to train really hard.  I had some good mentors to run with this past summer like Ben, Matt & Timmy.  They pushed the pace which I think really help me out.  As the summer went on I got stronger which has really help me race this season"

TM: Did the coaches give you a plan on how to train this summer?

JG: At the end of track season we had a meeting about XC and we were given a summer calender, but I really wanted to step it up and I felt confident that I could step it up. The days I felt good I tried to run as many miles as I could.

TM :What do you like best about XC?

JG:  Nothing is better than getting a PR. I also like helping the team win a big meet like in NY when we won the NYC XC carnival.

TM: Talk about what its been like following in the foot steps of some of the great XC teams Haddonfield has had in the past.

JG: We definitely felt it (pressure) and coming into this season we all knew we had a lot of hard work to do.  I think if we continue to work hard we will be right there with some of those past teams in the coming years.

TM: Whats your favorite class?

JG:  Accelerated US History 1 with Mr Miller.  It's my hardest class, but its also my favorite.

John Greenberg=Hard work
TM: Do you have any pre-race superstition?

JG:  Before dual meets when we do our warm up we never go through the chute at the finish line.

TM:  How did that come about? Was it passed down from previous teams?

JG: I am not sure, but Greg Halla (captain) told us at the beginning of the season that we could never do it.

TM: Do you have any personal superstition?

JG: I have two pair of trainers.  A light pair and a heavy pair.  On meet days I warm up in my heavy trainers.

TM:  Special pre race meal or food?

JG:  I like to eat Italian before races.

TM:  If I stole your I-Pod what would I be listening to?

JG:  Most likely Rap & Bruce Springsteen. I like to listen to Jungleland by Bruce Springsteen before races.

TM: If you weren't running for the bulldawgs this fall what would you be doing?

JG: Playing soccer

TM:  How did you get interested in running?  Did you run on Mrs. Baker middle school xc team?

JG: Yes, but I would only show up once every two weeks.  I'd played soccer for Mr. Earhardt and he would tell me,  "you two look pretty quick".  I went out for middle school track and ran the half mile and I liked it.  Erin Donahue was my coach and told my parents that I would be good at running and that I should go out for cross in the fall. 

TM:  This time last year your season was over.  As you head into the championship part of the season do you have any team &/or personal goals?

JG:  Team wise we would like to get on the stage @ MOC & personally I would like to break 17 minutes at Holmdel.

TM:  Your mile pr is 4:56, you went out last week  in 5:02.  What was going through your mind when you  heard your mile time & it was only 6 seconds slower than your open mile pr?    Did you panic?

JG: Coach Baker said it was going to go out hard & I knew it would.  I went out with Patrick Shea who has done a good job of pacing me all season.  He knows what he is doing and I trust him.

TM:  Were you surprised by how well you ran last week at the All Star meet?

JG:  Yes.  At camp this summer one of my goals that I wrote down was to break 16:45 at Pennypacker.  I knew I was capable of doing that.  The summer training and hard work carried me through to my pr of 16:15.

I want to thank John for taking the time to answer my questions.  John is a perfect example of what makes XC so great.  No if & buts or candy & nuts.   Its not as hard as Mr. Miller's accelerated  US History class.  Do the work and results will follow.  We wish John & all the other Dawgs to stay Healthy, Happy & Hungry as they head into sectionals next week

Look for my sectional preview next week. 

Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone for reading my blog.  This week my blog registered its 1,000 visitor.  I wonder how many Courier Post subscriptions that would equal if they still covered XC?

See you on the course.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Miles is Devine at All Star Meet

I waited a few days to post this recap, because, quite frankly, it has taken me that long for the results to sink in.  Last Thursday on Senior Day, senior Miles Devine stunned the standing room only crowd by running the fourth fastest time EVER at Penny Packer park!!  His 15:34 is a whopping 1:26 improvement.  To try and put into perspective, he ran faster than Matt Nussbaum, who was a 4 time HS All-American and the owner of a 4:15 mile pr.  His time at Pennypacker is faster than Colin Baker, who blazed a school record 4:09 mile.  Mike Burke, who in 2006 has the 14th fastest time, has a mile pr of 4:17.  Lastly, Miles owns Tim Malloy,  who has the fading 16th fastest time.  Tim  went on to break an 18 yr old record in the 3200 that same spring  at the Camden County track meet while running 9:18. 
Greg Halla ran extremely fast as well.  His 15:35 is 6th all time and Greg is only a junior.  Greg ran a pr by over 30 seconds.   The other Dawgs that raced out of the minds & flats were Sophmore Patrick Shea who cracked the top 30 by running  16:07 for 23rd place all time. Sophmore, John  Greenberg who owns a mile pr that is measured by a sun dial ran 16:15 that is only a 2:39 improvement from last year.  Alex Gigliotti  another super soph, ran a pr as well and his 16:29 would have cracked the top 30 from last year.
Junior Robert Spaeth & Freshman Danny Brennan rounded out the top 25.

Next up is the 15th annual Haddonfield Invitational on Wednesday @ Pennypacker park.

What to look for in the coming weeks?   A Q&A with some current dawgs.  Also a Sectional preview.  Until than.

 See you on the course

Miles in last years sub varsity race

Alumni Update

The other day I had  the pleasure of eating dinner with critically acclaimed Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Paul Nussbaum.  I asked Paul for some writing tips for my blog and he had this advice, "more pictures"

ALL  Conference CACC
Eric Lacy & Tim Malloy
Tim Malloy, Erin Donahue & Eric Lacy
"Two Men & one fast lady"
This weekend is the Heps in West Windsor where Boo Vitez of Princeton & Ben Potts of Cornell will be racing.
On the girls side Greta Feldman a 2009 grad will be racing for the lady tigers of Princeton.
Also, Marielle Hall  will be racing in the Big 12 championship where the Lady  Long Horns are favored.  Down in NC on the campus of UNC-Charlotte 2008 grad Maureen O'Donnell will be racing for the lady hawks of Saint Joe's.

I will be at the Heps -live results on twitter @tmalloy20

See you on the course

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Colonial Conference All Star Meet Girls Preview

The lady Dawgs finished the regular season undeafeated.  They capture the Colonial Conference title for the 12th straight year.  The All Star meet is a chance for the girls to see how fast they can run on the home course..
The top 10 times from 2006 to the present are the following:

NameSchool       YEAR       Time
Marielle HallHMHS200817:49
Meghan McGlincheyWD200818:00
Lizzy SikkemaHMHS200818:43
Jackie SikkemaHMHS200818:44
Mia SpinelliHMHS201018:49
Rachel QuinnHH210118:55
Holly GallagerHT200719:03
Monica RamstedHMHS200919:05
Shelby CainHMHS201019:06

Girls Preview:

Shelby Cain & Meghan Malloy on the bridge
 Look for Meghan Malloy & Shelby Cain to try and crack "18" minutes which has only happened once in the histrory of this meet.   Haddon Twp's Alicia Pipkin , Haddon Heights Dani Hornef  & West Deptford's Millie Kipp should round out the top five.  The remaining five spots should be Junior Sophie Martin, Sophmore Molly Bollinger, Junior Kara Rosengard, Senior Taylor Fenton & Freshman Lauren Decoursey.  All from HMHS.

No team scoring just all conference honors at stake.

****Erin Donahue & Vanessa Wright never raced on the current course.  No times are available for them, but chances are they would have gone sub 18 minutes  on the new Pennypacker course.

Colonial Conference All Star Meet Boys Preview

Ben Potts & Boo Vitez 3rd & 1st fastest times
ever run @ Pennypacker

 Journalist Ed Bradley once wrote " And I realized that there was no sports reporter, so I started covering sporting events" 

This brings me to my blog.

Boys Preview:

Last year the Dawgs made All Star history by sweeping the first seven spots. This years team will feature six runners who didn't run the All star meet. So what can we expect this year? Most likely some very fast times if the weather cooperates.  This current crop of distance stars are having an amazing year- they are currently ranked 6th in NJ & number one  in SJ. There is only one current Dawg on this years team that is  listed on the top 30 all time. That would be Greg Halla who owns the 18th fastest time in 16:04, which he ran in  last year all star meet. In order to crack the top 30, & make this esteemed  list you need to run sub 16:29.

Look for Greg Halla & Miles Devine to finish first & second, followed by Haddon Twp Tim Kenna & HH Nick Gandolfo-Lucia. The remaining Dawgs should round out the top 10 which should  include Pat Shea, Alex Gigliotti & John Greenberg.
The current course record is held by HMHS standout,  Boo Vitez who blistered a 14:57 in 2009. No team competition exists, however the first 10  finishers earn all conference honors.

What makes tomorrow so exciting in my mind, is that the dawgs run & train on the course most Tuesday afternoons, but rarely are they allowed to race.  Coach Baker & Coach Brennan typically have a plan that starts in early September and continues into October. That plan consissts of working out, doing tempo runs, & training through the conference schedule. The Dawgs usually save their racing for the Invitationals on Saturday. However, once a season at Pennypacker, the home course, during the Conference All Star meet the gloves come off, the flats come on, and the Dawgs are allowed to throw down. It is the highlight for each Dawg, prior to heading into the championship part of the season which starts the first weekend in November. The same questions get asked each year.   How fast can I go?  Can I make the list?  How fast did Matt Nussbaum run as a sophmore?   Did Colin break 17 minutes as a freshman?   All these questions and more will be answered tomorrow.
Senior Day
 This will be captain Miles Devine last time racing on the home course. Miles truly epitomizes what it takes to be a Dwag. Hard work, dedication & having the  heart the size of Texas. It's his heart that has enabled Miles to make the sacrifices to stay with the program & push past the pain. Congratulations Miles!

Live results as they happen on Twitter @timmalloy20

See you on the course.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NYC XC Rewind

I feel that one of the greatest things about XC is its an individual sport with in a team concept.  Often times you need both an outstanding individual effort as well as a  total team effort to succeed.  At the NYC XC Carnival that's exactly what needed and exactly what happened.     The scoring was so close this past Saturday,  the outcome wouldn't  be decided until  the 5th & 6th runner crossed the finish line.  On a wind swept afternoon in the Bronx, the Dawgs were able to win 45 to 46.  After Greg Halla won in13:00.69 (9th fastest in NJ this season according to NJ Runners) the Dawgs traded places with Pope John XXlll and were actually behind 31-30 with four runners in  for each squad.    It wasn't until  Sophomore John Greenberg & Junior Robert Spaeth finished 13th & 14th -one place ahead of Pope John XXlll 5th man that the dawgs were able to win.  Coming in to Saturdays action on paper  HMHS was ranked 6th & Pope John  7th.  It would appear to be even closer on the trails of Van Cortlandt Park.  The Newark Star Ledger famed writer Jim Lambert is quoted as saying "its a instant classic".

JV action:
HMHS went 1,3 & 5 with freshman standout Danny Brennan winning the race,  followed by sophomore Chris Ehrhardt & Matt Troanio.  It wasn't enough, however as Pope John XXlll reversed their varsity fortunes and won the JV race 31-40

Finishing at Van Cortlant 2010
Next Up-  The Colonial Conference All Star meet @ Pennypacker park, Thursday 10/20.  Look for my special preview edition of both  the Girls & Guys this week.  Until than...

See you on the course

Alumni Update

Matt Raced w/ one shoe

This past weekend many former Dawgs were in action.  On Friday,  Colin Baker competed in the Penn State Invitational.  Saturday Tim Malloy & Eric Lacey were running at Liberty State Park in beautiful Jersey City @ the NJCTC's Championship.  The big event however, was right up the route 130 corridor in West Windsor, NJ @ the Princeton Invite.  Boo Vitez, Ben Potts & Matt Nussbaum were all racing in a preview of what is to come later this month when Princeton host the Hep's

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dawgs keep streaking!

Today might have seemed like an ordinary xc meet to most,  unless your connected to the HMHS boys XC team.  Today a streak, that started after an early season loss in 1997, and has continued through October,  2011.  I would compare the streak to the 1972 Miami Dolphins. The 1972 Dolphins are the only team to complete an entire season, including the playoffs undefeated.    Every year, when an NFL team doesn't go undefeated, the '72 fish crack open champagne to celebrate.  The Alumni and those associated with this years team, have reason to celebrate, albeit for a different reason.  The current undefeated dual meet streak continues.  That's 15 years, and 142 straight dual meet wins with out a loss and counting!   Most of the team members on this current crop of young men weren't even born when the streak started.   Running on the "A" course for the first time this year, the dawgs were able to beat West Deptford, Overbrook, & Lindenwald.   I caught up to coach Tom Brennan and asked a couple of questions about the streak.

Boo Vitez & David Twitchell keep the streak going during the 2008 season

TM: Tell me what the streak means to you, the team & the school?

TB: I think what it really means is the program coming together.  I was on that team that lost, and it was a battle between Haddon Twp & Haddon Heights in the early part of the streak.  It all started coming together when 10 guys would go to XC camp, show up in the summer to train and be willing to do the work.  Once the program got rolling it was easier to maintain.

TM: Haddonfield is a relatively small school that fields a Varsity, JV & freshman Football team as well a the same for boys soccer.  Is it ever a struggle to get kids out to keep a streak like this going?

TB: Not since Maureen Baker put the middle school program in place.  That is the number one reason we able able to get kids.    Every year we get 5 or 6 kids (freshman) to buy in to our program.  Also the tradition of seeing previous teams succeed at the sectional, state, & national levels help.  The younger kids see the work necessary to keep the program & the streak going,  and they want to get there to. They know the work that is necessary to continue being good.

TM: The last couple of years you and coach Baker knew the kind of teams you had.  How exciting has this year been so far, especially after the recent success at Shore coaches?

TB: Coach Baker & I knew we were going to have a good one.  I don't think anybody outside of our program  knew we were going to be good. Coach Baker & I couldn't wait for this season.  As much as we love Matt, Ben& Timmy it was time for them to move on. This year is exciting, and I don't want to seem over confident, but it's fun to worry about states & sectionals.  Highland moves to Gr 2 and we have to worry about them.  Last years team was MOC & Nationals-this year we have to be ready to run at sectionals & States as opposed to years past.  Theses guys, (6 new Varsity runners) the first day after MOC track they started meeting.  They didn't want to be the group that had the streak stopped.  At first they were running and training out of fear, then they got strong and wanted to be good. Winning the conference and keeping the streak going is a direct result of the hard work they have put in to this point.

TM: The streak has been going on for 15 years now.  Why do you think kids have become some much better over that 15 year period?

TB: This may sound a little out there, but I believe its because of the Internet.  The first time I saw Dyestat was when Erin Donahue had her hands raised after winning a national title. Dyestat became huge to a sport that wasn't all that popular.   Back when I was running you got results once a month and had no idea how kids were training. There was a little paragraph about meet from each state that happened a month earlier.  Today, because of the Internet you know what a kid in CA is doing in a  workout an hour after he did it. The amount of information that gets shared is also a reason .  I think corporate sponsor like Nike, Adidas & New Balance have created big time events and created some hype.    Also, I think the kids do more work & mileage, due to the information available on the  Internet.

Thanks Coach Tom for the time today - Good luck as the Dawgs head into the championship part of the season.

See you on the course

Monday, October 10, 2011

Alumin News

Current & Past Dawgs

I had a chance to catch up with Connor Jacobs who was in attendence @ the Jack Sinclair Invitational on the famed Belmont XC course in Philly.  Connor who was a 4 year varisty XC member while at HMHS is currently running for the Big Red of Cornell. 

I also ran into Ray Schlitt who was at the SJ open in Delsea cheering on his younger sister Helene. Ray was also a 4 year varisty XC member and is currently wrestling for the Bison of Bucknell.

Matt Nussbaum made his college debut this past saturady as he was racing for the Yale Bulldogs.  Matt finished 3rd on his team that was competing in the New England Championships.
Great to have Matt back healthy and racing again.

Some of you may recall  Eric & Breton Bonnette.  Eric this past weekend finished 108th at the Chicago Marathon in a very respectable time of 2:33. 39.
Breton currently coaches PVI boys XC team which is ranked 10th in SJ by the SJTCA.  

SJ open

Danny Brennan-Eyes up
 Acccording to the web site: your not allowed  in South Carolina to operate a dance hall, sell music equipment or do work on Sunday. Good thing we dont live in SC or we wouldnt have been able to do work at Delsea.   Due to a religious holiday on Saturday the SJ open was held on Sunday.

The Dawgs assembled what coach Baker calls the "little Dawgs" aka the pups.  Led by Junior Robert Spaeth who finished 6th overall, the little Dawgs gained some  valuable expierence on a course  where future sectional championships maybe held.

Frosh Race:

Danny Brennan raced to a second place finish overall while Nick Forbes 7th & James Spinelli  rounded out the top 20.  James Spinelli had extra motivation - his older sister Mia, who was a standout  runner for the lady Dawgs in both XC & Track  was in attendence.  She was home from the U of  Penn on fall break.  It was great to see Mia and  we all wish her well. 

News & Notes:
Currently the Dawgs are ranked first in South Jersey  by the South Jersey Coaches Association. 
On the state level they are ranked 6th by & 6th by Jim Lambert who covers high school XC for the Star Ledger.

Next Up:
A dual meet @ Pennypacker park on Tuesday- Hopefully we can get the "A" course back.  Saturday  the Dawgs travel to Van Cortland Park in the Bronx NY.

See you on the course

Monday, October 3, 2011

Shore Coaches

The HMHS boys XC team competed in the Shore Coaches invitational at historic Holmdel park.  The boys competed in various races ranging from freshmen, JV & championship races.   The beauty of Holmdel is that you  can go any where in the world and talk to someone who competed at Holmdel and compare times. 

This year Championship race featured the No. 1 XC team in the nation in CBA & the No 13  in WWPS.  It also had the No. 2  XC runner in the country,  Edward Cheserak from St. Benedict's.  So how did the Dawgs do?  Very well.  They finished 4th!  The team stepped up in a big way.  This years team ran a team avg.  of 17:04.  It saw 5 of the 6 dawgs set PR's.  In some cases it was the first time on the course in a race. 

Halla 10th
 Holmdel has a way of ripping out the souls of many of men.  You can't  go to the line hoping tradition will carry you  to a nice time. If your not ready, this course can break you.  This years Dawgs are getting ready for another late season run, and creating there own tradition.

There is still a lot of work to be done , but if I had to give a mid-term grade  it would have to be an "B"  

Next up the for the dawgs the  SJ open at the sectional course on the campus of Delsea.  This years race will be run on Sunday due to a religious holiday on Saturday. 

See you on the course.

Alumni Update

Dawgs for Life
 This past friday five former dawgs were in action. Boo Vitez & Colin Baker (Class of 2010).Boo, who currently competes for power house Princeton University & Colin who runs for Penn State  competed at the Notre Dame Invitational in South bend, IN.  Three other former Dawgs toed the line at Paul Short on the campus of Lehigh.  Ben Potts who runs for the Big Red of Cornell, Tim Malloy & Eric Lacy who run for the Rams of Philadelphia University. 

On October 29th the Ivy league Heps will be contested on the fields of West Windsor, NJ. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dawgs Continue To Streak

OK so this is a re-building year correct?  Don't tell that to the "pups" of Haddonfield.  Vegas Dave had the the bulldawgs as slight under dawgs to the senior laden Haddon Twp Hawks.  The Hawks were trying to stop a streak that started 15years ago when the HMHS Boys XC went undefeated that year.  The Dawgs haven't lost a dual meet -134 straight dating back to 1996.   Since then the closest the "streak" was seriously tested was in 2008, when once again Vegas Dave pick Haddon Heights to beat the Dawgs. 
So the course was different this time, thanks to the record rain fall this summer.  So was the team.  With only one returning varsity runner from last year, the Dawgs were able to produce the same results. The old guard of

Greg Halla & Miles Devine 1st & 2nd
 Vitez, Baker, Nussbaum, & Potts have moved on.  They made way to the likes of Halla,Devine, Spaeth, & Greenberg to carry on the tradition and hopefully curb any possible change.

Unfortunately, for the teams in the Colonial Conference things seem to be the same. 

As always thanks for reading.