The Shore Coaches Invitational in Holmdel marks the halfway point in the season and serves as a benchmark for programs as they target the championship season. Both the boys and girls XC programs won their respective races with impressive performances from seniors. The boys JV squad captured the team title as well, with the JV girls finishing 2nd. The freshmen boys finished 8th overall and ranked 10th best as a squad when compared to all the teams from within the state. There were nearly 300 schools competing in the meet.
On the boys side, senior Ryan Sula led the way with a 5th place finish in a time of 16:56, which is #7 all-time SHS. Ryan’s time is :54 improvement from the last time he ran at Holmdel. Other scoring members of the varsity team were junior John Cho, 12th 17:12; Sophomore Emre Kusmin, 18th, 17:37; Senior Teddy Robertson, 23rd, 17:44 (:14 improvement); Junior Jackson Levine, 27th, 17:47; and Junior Marek Muzyka, 40th, 18:17. The Hilltoppers tally of 80, bested the West Winsdor Plainsboro Knights score of 125. When the seven Varsity boys race results were merged, Summit came out 10th overall in the state.
The girls captured their race by a much slimmer margin, defeating NV-Old Tappan by a score of 97-100. Summit was once again led by Senior Lara Cota who was the overall winner of the race and ran the 3rd fastest time in school history, 19:08. Contributing to the victory were Sophomore Cami Valdes, 10th, 21:09; Senior, and first-time XC runner, Sydney Zagorin, 28th, 22:19; Junior Caroline McCann, 32nd, 22:29; Senior, and also a first time XC runner; Virginia Lustenberger; 35th, 22:33; Junior Nora Shields, 37th, 22:36, and Senior Summer Cullen, 83rd, 24:11. Cota’s time not only is a 1:13 improvement but also ranked 6th fastest of the day on the girls side.
The JV squads made the statement that the future is bright for Hilltopper XC. The boys dominated the race by placing seven runners in the top thirteen and twelve in the top 25. By doing so Summit finished ahead of second place Prinecton by a score of 25-38. The girls finished behind Mendham in the team standings.
Top JV performances and runners who established anew personal best are as follows:
2nd Soph Nate Roberts 18:03
3rd Junior Sam Ard 18:04
5th Senior Adam Schnipper 18:43* (-0:59)
6th Junior Liam Bernens 18:46
9th Soph Jonah Malik 18:52
11th Senior Micahel Speer 19:06* (-0:41)
13th Junior Joaquin Gonzalez 19:09
15th Andrew Semsel 19:19* (-0:04)
16th Joey Gingeleski 19:19* (-0:32)
4th Junior Maria Knipe 24:01
10th Senior Anya Feeney 24:40* (-0:08)
22nd Senior Gillian Heimple 25:45
25th Junior Delaney Driscoll 25:51
27th Senior Victoria Burgdorff 25:57
28th Junior Olivia Canavasio 26:00
46th Senior Jessica Luo 27:21