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High School Sports Preview: Runners to watch, Meets to watch


Emily Action, Pennsville

Senior returns for her second year to try to lead her team back to the top as the defending Salem County Champion.

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Veronica Tortella, GCIT

The junior looks to continue the success of her team after they were hit hard by graduation. She ran a 19.55 at the Tri-County Conference Championships where she took 10th.

Roisin Breen, Kingsway

The senior returns to lead her team who finished as the Tri-County Conference Champions. Breen took 19th with a time of 20:20 in the NJSIAA South Sectional Championships.

Victoria Thaler, Millville

Senior is returning as the Cumberland County Runner of the Year along with the Cumberland County Track Athlete of the Year. She ran a 19:55 at the South Jersey Open taking fifth place last season.

Kiersten Lapp, Pitman

The senior placed fifth in the county and at the Tri-Co meet with respective times of 20:21.40 and 19:33. … Took second in S.J. Group I with a time of 19:50.52 and fifth in the state in 20:14. … Posted a 20:04 at the Meet of Champions.


Noah Culbreth, Kingsway

The junior clocked a personal-best 15:57 at the Tri-Co meet for third place after finishing second in Gloucester County with a 16:44.40.

Ray Parsons, West Deptford

The senior ran his best time of the season with a ninth-place finish in the Colonial with a 16:20. … Took 11th at Group II sectionals in 16:55 and 39th at states with a time of 17:35.

Steve Maine, Highland

The senior and South Jersey Times Runner of the Year had an astounding second half of the season after coming back from a foot injury, picking up a county title in 15:58 at Gloucester County College before finishing third in S.J. Group III (15:47) and fourth at states (16:13) on a tough Holmdel Park course.

Kyle Evernham, Kingsway

The junior officially made a name for himself after placing fourth in Gloucester County with a time of 16:48.20 before finishing eighth in the Tri-Co with a 16:20. … Took 13th at Group III sectionals with a time of 16:37.

Jonathon Ladner, West Deptford

The junior posted a personal-best 16:50.20 at the county meet, placing fifth in the process.

Cherokee Challenge at Cherokee

Saturday, Sept. 21

Two miles of terrain may not give a perfect gauge on how the locals will do on the 5K courses for the rest of the year, but it will certainly give everyone an idea of who to keep an eye on.

South Jersey Shoot Out

Saturday, Sept. 28

Vickie Ajimoko will look to hold on to her title as the Shoot Out Champion.

Shore Coaches Invitational

Saturday, Oct. 5

The most populated meet of the year gives every local team the opportunity to see what the treacherous hills of Holmdel Park have to offer before attacking them again at the state championships.

Gloucester County Championships at Delsea

Saturday, Oct. 12

With the bitter fight between Kyle Leonard and Noah Culbreth who were seconds apart last season, Culbreth looks to take the victory now that Leonard is graduated.

Salem County Championships at Schalick

Thursday, Oct. 24

Pennsville took the girls title last year with their first year runner Emily Action. This year, Action looks to lead her team right back to the top once again.

S.J. Sectionals at Delsea

Saturday, Nov. 9

Time for the show case of the best runners in South Jersey.

Meet of Champions at Holmdel Park

Saturday, Nov. 23

You might not find anyone in the area who can challenge for glory at this best-of-the-best meet this year, but there will certainly be a lot of locals who at least make it back to Holmdel for one more race.

Contact Zach Bates at 856-845-9478 or zbates@southjerseymedia.com

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