The 2003 cross country season began with a bang last weekend in Lincoln Park in Jersey City, when 30 different teams from around the state participated in the annual St. Dominic Academy Invitational.
While the weather gods weren’t kind, producing a rainy, windy day that turned the course into a muddy mess, the athletes were not distracted by the weather, producing some quality times and performances that were eye-popping for the first competitive meet of the season.
Among the local boys’ teams, St. Peter’s Prep had a very impressive beginning to the season, finishing third as a team behind nationally ranked Christian Brothers Academy and perennial state power Jackson.
Leading the way for the Marauders was senior Brian Lang, who finished second overall with a time of 17:31.51. Lang, who finished second in the same event last year en route to a highly successful campaign, seems like he’s ready to make his mark again in 2003.
The Marauders had four runners place among the top 20, followed by Sebastian Fidelus, who finished 12th with a time of 18:41.37, Dan Pata, whose time of 18:48.61 was good for 15th overall and Brian Wilson, who was 18th in 18:52.91.
The highest placing local boy runner outside of St. Peter’s Prep was Hudson Catholic’s Chris Flores, whose time of 20:01.81 was good for 47th among the 250 boys in the event. McNair Academic’s Ankit Shah was 49th in 20:06.58.
Among the girls, the host school put in an impressive showing, placing fifth among the highly competitive field, trailing only state powers West Windsor-Plainsboro South, Lawrenceville, St. Rose of Belmar and Morristown.
Leading the way for the St. Dominic Blue Devils was junior Christine Capetola, whose time of 21:41.28 was good for seventh overall.
"She slipped and fell near the Casino in the Park, which cost her a few seconds," veteran SDA head coach John Nagel said. "But other than that, she ran a good race."
Junior Rebecca Laracy was 13th overall with a time of 22:34.42, which was a full two minutes better than last year’s performance.
Sophomore Jill Lissenden was 31st overall, with a time of 23:35.33. Sophomore Afrika Williams was solid in 33rd place, with a time of 23:41.52.
"Afrika is vastly improved over last year," Nagel said.
Leading the way for runners outside of SDA was Jessica Hurtado of Union Hill, whose time of 23:24.99 was good for 27th place.
Nagel was impressed with his team’s performance.
"We did very well," Nagel said. "The kids ran well even though it was rainy and muddy. You would think that the conditions would cut down on the times considerably, but the times were good."
Nagel said that he was also impressed with the turnout.
"To get an event where 600 kids run in the rain, it’s a good meet," Nagel said. "It’s getting easier to run an event like this now, because we have a good crew of volunteers who help out. With the conditions like that, you just hope that no one gets sick. We invite every team in the state and we’re fortunate that 30 show up. It’s a good workout for all the teams that participate."
It was also a good outing that will keep the St. Peter’s Prep boys and the SDA girls on the local barometer all season…
St. Peter’s College’s Peacock has spruced up his feathers and is boasting of a new look.
Harvard on the Boulevard unveiled its new logo in a special ceremony Wednesday, highlighted by an appearance by famed sportscaster Ian Eagle.
The new Peacock, along with several accompanying marks and word types, will provide an updated signature look and feel, replacing a variety of depictions that have circulated in the past. The new logo, which will be used immediately by the College’s teams, will also appear on souvenir merchandise sold in the Saint Peter’s College Store.
SPC is the only school in NCAA Division I whose teams bear the Peacock (or Peahen) nickname. Going back to 1930, a peacock, which had significance to early Christians as a symbol of resurrection, appeared on the college seal (which remains unchanged, as do a variety of marks used in more formal contexts).
The new design was created during a nine-month process by nationally recognized Phoenix Design Works of New York City to apply to all forms of media and apparel.
SPC will work with the Holland, Michigan-based Licensing Resource Group to protect the new marks, along with the SPC’s other trademarks, and generate revenue through licensing opportunities.
A campus committee of students and administrators worked with Phoenix Design Works to develop a Peacock that was "animated while representing the true look of a Peacock."
So flock to the stores to get your new T-Shirts and hats with the new SPC Peacock logo… — Jim Hague