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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Dec 23, 2020

Teams Battle it Out at Monmouth County Cross Country Championships

By Tim Morris

Colts Neck’s Matt Bogdan

Matt Bogdan joined the pantheon of Colts Neck champions while Christian Brothers Academy continued its dominance at the Monmouth County Cross Country Championships.

This year’s championships, held Nov. 5 and 6, were run at Bucks Mill Park in Colts Neck and raced in Large School and Small School divisions because of restrictions on the number of competitors. The results from the two races were merged to produce one final result.

Bogdan joined the likes of Colts Neck state champions Craig Forys and Jordan Brannan as a Cougar county champion out-dueling CBA’s Chris DeSousa in a race that came down to the final strides.

“I wasn’t feeling my best,” the Cougar senior explained. “My plan was to stick with DeSousa and, when I felt comfortable, make my move. I went with 300 [meters] to go, and he went with me. I threw everything I could in the last 150.”

That last surge was just enough to give Bogdan (15:53) a one-second win at the finish line over DeSousa.

“I’m super proud to put my name up there with the other winners,” Bogdan said.

This was the third time the two standouts have raced each other this season, with Bogdan winning on all three occasions.

With the cross country season reduced this fall, the Colts have been focused on making a statement at every race, and at the county championship, they did just that with a dual meet-winning score of 26 points. Behind DeSousa, who had his battle upfront with Bogdan, the Colts went 3-6-7-8 in a show of strength. Ben Santos was third (16:04) with Patrick Sullivan (16:20), Sean Elliott (16:33) and Chase Cauvin (16:34) in sixth through eighth. Just 40 seconds separated the CBA’s top five. As further proof of their depth and dominance, the Colts’ Jack Moran (16:34) was ninth across the line, giving CBA six of the top nine finishers. CBA’s team average was 16:17.

This was CBA’s 19th straight triumph in the meet.

Middletown North’s Connor Finch was one of the harriers (Freehold Township’s Daniel Valentino being the other) who broke up the Colts’ pack. The Lion finished fifth in 16:17.

Other top finishers were Colts Neck’s Christian Mariner (10th in 16:37), CBA’s Daniel DeMasi (14th in 16:49), Colts Neck’s Ryan Johnson (15th in 16:58), Middletown North’s Jack Hutson (18th in 17:04) and Christopher Shay (19th in 17:05), Holmdel’s Ethan Hood (20th in 17:08), Middletown South’s Ty Hashemi (24th in 17:20) and Lang Day (25th in 17:21), Rumson-Fair Haven’s Gabe LePage (28th in 17:25), Colts Neck’s Joe Allegro (29th in 17:27), and RFH’s Michael Schroeder (30th in 17:29).

Colts Neck confirmed that it has one of the best teams in the state, finishing a solid second to CBA with 87 points and a team average of 16:54.  Middletown South was a solid third (117) followed by RFH in seventh (226), Middletown North in ninth (251) and Holmdel in 10th (274).

Although there was no separate championship, Rumson finished first in the Small School race led by LePage and Schroeder, who finished fifth and sixth in that race. The Bulldogs had a team score of 51.

Whether there was a Meet of Champions this season or not, CBA’s goal is the same as always, to be No. 1 in the state. To do that, the Colts had been impressive in their limited races.

“We’re looking to run fast,” Head Coach Sean McCafferty simply said.

During the season, the Colts extended their national record for consecutive dual meet victories to 377.