Over the last several weeks, Delbarton Cross Country athletes have been working hard on the course in order to achieve success.
In the “Boys Championship Large School” division of the NJAC (Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference), the Delbarton Cross Country team found some success at the 5K course at Greystone Park. In the Varsity division, Colin Boler ran a scorching 15:55, which was almost 25 seconds faster than the next runner and the first of three championship wins for Boler. Reagan Crann also ran one of his best races of the year with a 17:04 and an 11th place finish. John Cuzzocrea Jr., Evan Dolan, and David Collini helped round out the Varsity teams top five runners. In Cross Country, the team with the lowest total score of their top five runners wins. Overall, the Delbarton Cross Country team performed well enough to obtain 5th place out of 14. In the JV race, Everett Jania ran a personal record of 17:56 en route to a league championship win and a third place finish for the JV team on the day.
A week after the NJAC League Championships, Delbarton competed at the Morris County Championships. Colin Boler, and his twin brother Brian, finished in 15:58 and 16:12 respectively en route to 1st and 3rd place finishes. With the team missing some of its top runners, the team had a less than expected result but still finished a very respectable 5th out of 21. In the JV County Championships, Charlie Mikula ran an 18:35 and helped lead the JV team to a 3rd place finish.
After finishing up our season in Morris County, the team headed down to the mostly flat Oak Ridge Park in Clark, New Jersey, for the New Jersey Catholic Track Conference Championships, which was one of the team’s most successful meets of the year. In the Varsity division, Colin Boler again led the charge for the Green Wave finishing with a blazing 15:43 and winning the race. Reagan Crann finished with a season best of 16:44 and finished in 13th place. But other Green Wave runners also set personal bests, with Evan Dolan finishing with a 17:12 and David Collini with a 17:44. The team finished 3rd out of 14, only finishing behind perennial power Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) and St. Peter’s Prep. In the JV division, the team had another strong performance, with Charlie Mikula, Andrew Maguire, John Jagoe, Matthew Pasko, and Richie Mistichelli all finishing under 19 minutes, allowing the Green Wave to finish 2nd, again behind CBA. After a strong final race, the JV Cross Country team concluded their season. Captain Richie Mistachelli later remarked on the 2021 season that for him “cross country has allowed me to develop friendships that will last a lifetime while also maintaining an active lifestyle. The sense of community that the sport emits is unreal, and I am very thankful for this support system.”
Finally, the Delbarton Varsity Cross Country team competed in the Non Public-A NJSIAA Group Championships at the notoriously difficult Holmdel Park, in Holmdel, New Jersey. After a lightning delay pushed the race to Tuesday instead of the original Saturday, the team persisted. Colin Boler finished 3rd overall with a time of 15:59, later followed by his brother Brian. Reagan Crann finished with a time of 17:37 and was followed by a pack of Delbarton runners including Evan Dolan, Everett Jania who both ran under 18:26 and John Cuzzocrea Jr who ran an 18:32. David Collini also finished with a 19:16. The Delbarton Varsity Cross Country team did not qualify for the NJSIAA State Championships as a team, but Colin Boler individually qualified for the Meet of Champions and placed 87th in the state.
Despite injuries and rain delays, the Delbarton Cross Country team persisted and had an overall great season. While graduating numerous seniors, the future is looking bright for the Green Wave, as next year the team returns Juniors Colin Boler, Brian Boler, David Collini, Patrick Moore and Matthew Pasko, sophomores Everett Jania and Michael Banker, and freshman John Cuzzocrea Jr.
Photo Cred: Martha and Andres Lopez