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Oct 05, 2022

Brookdale Men’s Cross Country Team Finishes Ninth at Metropolitan Invitational

By Tim Morris

Led by returning All-American Teddy Purdon (Red Bank Regional), the Brookdale Community College’s men’s cross country team is looking to build on last year’s national success.

In 2021, the Jersey Blues won the Region 19 championship and went on to place ninth at the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III Championships. Brookdale Head Coach Mike Tursi has a deeper team than ’21, and while Purdon is the standout up front, the gap behind him is closing.

Purdon, Josh Seba (Mater Dei Prep) and Joshua Beer (Shore Regional) are the sophomore returners from the Region champions.

Purdon had a historic fall, becoming the first BCC harrier to win the Region 19 individual championship while leading Brookdale to the team triumph. The ex-RBR star then finished seventh at the national championships to become the first Brookdale runner to earn All-American honors since 2017. He is off and running in ’22 as his 12th place at the competitive Metropolitan Invitational will attest.

Seba was All-Region in ’21 after his ninth-place finish at the meet. His performance was big as Brookdale topped favored Bergen by 10 points, 33-43. It was just Brookdale’s second Region championship, after the first in 1982.

Beer was consistently among the Blues’ top seven throughout ’21, finishing 23rd at the Region championships.

Behind the sophomores, Tursi has put together a deep roster of freshmen that provide depth that last year’s squad lacked. Casey Brown (Point Pleasant Boro), Jayden Morris (Monmouth Regional), Matt Newman (Rumson-Fair Haven), Joshua Cabral (Middletown North) and Aewshawn Carney (Long Branch) are the newcomers. If they can run as a pack while limiting the gap between themselves, Seba and Beer, the Blues will be a strong invitational team.  

Brookdale opened its season, running in the Metropolitan Invitational held on the historic Belmont Plateau Park course in Philadelphia.

Of the 16 teams in the field, the Brookdale harriers were one of just two junior colleges there. The Blues placed a respectable ninth, led by Purdon’s 12th place. Behind him, less than a minute separated the scorers – a good sign for the Blues.