The Secaucus High School boys and girls cross-country squads are off to another fine season.
The squad opened up at the Washington HS (New York) Wizard Invitational on September 5th. Coach Stan Fryczynski surmised the course as the toughest one he has seen in his career. The patriots managed to have a medalist at this elite meet as co-captain Mehek Parikh placed 16th in 21:50 over the very hilly 3.0 mile course. Sophomore Ming Ling was the top Patriot boy placing 48th in the varsity race. Sophomores Victoria Saniko was 29th in the JV girls race and Oscar Martinez was 82 in the JV boys race.
The Patriots opened their NJIC season with victories over Ridgefield and North Arlington. The boys swept 6 of the top ten spots with Dan Pokras (2nd), Ming Lin (4th), Chris Bernabe (5th), Keith Widener (6th), freshman Austin Hawxhurst (7th) and Ameer Ahallnd (9th) . The girls also cruised to double wins with a 1-5 sweep. Mehek parkih was first followed by Victoria Saniko (2nd), Juliet Nowak (3rd), Saumya Parikh (4th) and Emma Bowers (5th).
Secaucus traveled to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx on September 12th to compete in the CHSAA developmental meet. The Patriots were the only New Jersey school present at this competition. In the varsity girls race, Secaucus placed 5th in the team standings in a field of 104 runners. Mehek Parikh was the top girls in a time of 17:50 over the famous 2.5 mile trail. There were 147 runners in the varsity boys field as Ming Lin was the first Patriot to cross the finish line in 34th and a time of 16:28.
The ladies upped their team record to 4-0 with victories over Becton Regional and Dwight Englewood. Mehek parikh was the first place finisher in the race at 22:19 for the Garret Mountain 5k course. Roshni Patel, making her debut after sitting out the first week with a minor injury, placed 2nd in 23:02. Juliet Nowak was 4th in 25:55.
The boys team split their contest, losing to Dwight Englewood by a close 24-33 margin, but defeated Becton 15-50. Their record moved to 3-1. Daniel Pokras placed 3rd in the race, with Ming Lin (6th), Keith Widener (7th), Chris Bernabe (8th), Joe Lacap (9th) and Suhail Kapoor (10th).
At the September 19th Maroon Invitational, Secaucus managed to bring home some individual awards.
In the Boys Grouo1-2 JV race, Oscar Martinez was 29th and Ali AlObaidi was 31st to garner individual medals in the field of 126 runners. Genevieve O’Brien was 27th in the girls Group 1-2 race to earn her individual award. In the Varsity girls Group 1-2 race, Mehek Parikh was 7th in 22:06 and Roshni Patel was 10th in 22:19. Dan Pokras was the top runner for SHS in the Varsity Boys division, placing 54 in 19:51.
At the Passaic Coaches Invitational on September 26th, the “Runnin Patriots” managed some solid performances. The JV boys race (Groups 1 -2) saw Secaucus place 9th in a very difficult race of 17 teams and 152 runners! Sophomore Adam Khriss, running his first ever cross-country race was 38th in 20:59.
Sophomore Keith Widener was the top boys’ varsity runner, placing 55th a personal best of 20:28 over the Garret Mountain Reservation course. Roshni Patel was 7th and Mehek Parikh placed 16th in the Varsity Girl’s division. Patel had a superb performance of 22:14. Abigail Collins was 25th in the JV Girl’s groups 1-2 division, earning her first XC medal. Her time was 27:35.
“For the most part, we are really a young team, “ explained coach tan Fryczynski, “The improvement has been remarkable and we have so much more to learn yet, but I am truly confident in this group. It has been exciting and fun.”
Text and photos provided by Secaucus coach Stan Fryczynski