The Nutley Raider Cross Country teams pulled into Brookdale Park last Friday for the Essex County Cross Country Championships. The Boy’s team was lead by senior Vinny “Sauce” Marinaro who crossed first for the Raiders with a time of 16:59 to finish 23rd overall. It was the first time Marinaro broke the 17 minute barrier. As a team the Boy’s finished 8th overall with a total of 208 points and a season best team average of 17:32. The Girl’s team was lead by senior Kate Contini who clocked a lifetime best on any course with a 21:31 to finish 35th overall. As a team, the Lady Raiders finished 11th overall with 250 points and a season best team average of 22:41.
In the freshman and junior varsity races, the Raiders turned in a bevy of PRs and SBs. Freshman Sebastin Alcalde ran his first 5K of the year clokcing a 27:17. In the next race, the Raiders saw all five of their runners achieve lifetime PRs and SBs. Skylar Demikoff, coming off a serious leg injury, ran a SB time of 25:32. Meghan Macaluso(26:49), Alexa Hergenhan(29:05), Kelly Waddleton(29:41) and Madison Kwiatkowski(29:46) all clocked SBs for themselves. The Raiders finished in 9th overall as a team with 228 team points and a seasonal best team average time of 28:11. In the Boy’s JV race, the Raiders were paced by Anish Kumar(19:08) and Luca Vespa(19:28) who were able to dip under the 20 minute barrier. Freshman Dan “The Man” Harrington clocked a PR 20:07, while Brandon Defluri crossed in 20:35. Rich Robinson clocked a 21:00 for the 5th spot in the Raider lineup. As a team they finished in 9th place with 251 points. Jimmy Bernardo(21:17), Alvin Briones(22:07), Evan Ran(23:39), Anthony Gola(23:40) and Zihon Azama(26:31) all ran SBs in the race.
The Raider girl’s team was missing senior Isabel Lopez who was out with an injury. Coaches and teammates are hoping to have her back by next Saturday for the opening round of states. On the course, they were paced by Contini’s lifetime PR of 21:31, and also had Morgan Defluri run her fastest time of 2018 clocking a 22:20, right behind her was Izzy Bernardo who came in at 22:21. Gianna Marinaro clocked a 23:35 for her fastest 5K of the year. Emily McIntyre crossed in 23:38 for her fastest time of the year.
In the Boy’s race, Marinaro paced the team with his first ever sub 17 5K. Finishing right behind him was junior Nick Duca who clocked a 17:03. Sophomore Sean Bernardo clocked a lifetime best of 17:27 for the 3 spot in the Raider lineup. Aiden Hamlin(18:03) and Kevin Zhang(18:04) were in the 4/5 spots for the Raiders. Abhishek Dixit got way under 19, crossing in 18:46, while Brian McCormack rounded out the Raider scorers with his first ever sub 19 5K, finishing in 18:50.
The Raiders will compete in the first round of the NJSIAA state championships next weekend. The Raiders will race at the Greystone course. The Boy’s race at 11:40 and the Girl’s will go off at 12:30.