Boys Cross Country ranked top 20 in the state


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Senior Pat Griffin running during the Somerset County Championships on October 20th

Spencer Sorge, Staff Writer

Bernards boys cross country currently ranks 18th in the state, not accounting for school size. Their season has been off to a very successful start. Beginning with a win at Oak Ridge on September 24 where the average 5K time for the varsity team was 16:59. They continued to win the boys varsity E race at Shore Coaches on October 1st without their top runner, Ben Conell. The next week they took first through seventh places in a dual meet against Somerville despite the course’s flooded condition. This past Tuesday at the Skyland conference, they won the Valley division title and came in 4th out of 21 teams, losing only to 3 significantly larger schools, Ridge, Hunterdon Central, and North Hunterdon. 

Not only has their competitive season been very successful, their home course at Natirar Park in Peapack Gladstone, was altered this year. Because of this, Bernard’s runner Ben Conell now holds the “Natirar Speedway” course record. 

This year they have three additions to the varsity team Brody Watt, Julian Bonk, and John Richardson. Their influx of new talent along with their pre-existing varsity runners Ben Conell, Tyler Stevens, Pat Griffin, and Cody King have made up this year’s very strong team. They are led by captains, Tyler Steven and Pat Griffin. When asked about their success team captain Tyler Stevens said “Pressure is a privilege. The boys from Bernards can beat any team on any given day!”. This attitude has certainly been put forth in their performances so far. Team captain Pat Griffin said “Our success doesn’t come from our talent, but from our hard work and dedication. Our passion for the sport and our drive to pursue our goals has pushed us and will push us to achieve success.” Coming off of an injury at the beginning of the season, and working through to be able to compete in the heat of the season this is definitely true for him. Clearly the team’s incredibly hard work has paid off in their competition so far. Varsity runner Cody King says “We’ve had a really great season so far, but I wish we had the spirit that the girls team has.” While they do not have the girls team beat in that regard, their team spirit will continue to grow as the season progresses. Cody mentioned that they have quite a few pasta parties planned for the coming championship season. 

Their next meet, and senior night is county championships at Pleasant Valley Park on Thursday October 20th. From there they will advance to Sectionals at Oak Ridge, Groups at Holmdel and hopefully the Meet of Champions which will also take place at Holmdel.