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Hill guides CBA to 16th straight county cross-country title

Another Monmouth County Cross-Country Championships race was run and another championship was achieved by Christian Brothers Academy (CBA).

A sunny Holmdel Park on the afternoon of Oct. 18 was the venue once again when CBA claimed the county cross-country boys’ title — its 16th straight — when the Colts scored 56 points and came in with an average time of 16:32 in Holmdel.

The individual awards were also dominated by CBA.

Brian Hill crossed the finish line first with a time of 16:02. He was followed by fellow senior teammate Ryan Miele, who placed second with a clocking of 16:06. Hill is the first CBA county champion since George Kelly, who won in 2011.

Hill, who had a personal record on the day, was more happy with how the rest of his CBA team performed.

“It was my personal best today, which was cool,” Hill said moments after the race. “I came in just over 16 [minutes]. But I was more impressed in Ryan’s time with him being No. 2 because that looks really good for the program. All the great CBA teams, they don’t have one guy — they have three, four guys that finish high, so this is really good.”

Hill pointed out that the team can improve even more in the races to come.

“We didn’t have all of our varsity guys out here,” Hill said. “If we did, I think we could have ran a lot faster. But I think it’s good that we can put out all these different types of combinations and have a good performance.”

CBA regularly mixes its lineup between experienced and younger runners over the course of the season.

The Colts’ championship effort was sparked by John Sheridan, who placed 14th in 16:41; Justin Durney, who ended 16th in 16:47; and Nick Rienzo, who came in 23rd with a clocking of 17:07.

Hill hopes to help CBA bring home a national championship.

“I’d like to try to take a shot at the Shore Conference next week,” Hill said about the conference championships taking place Oct. 26 at Ocean County Park in Lakewood. “The main goal is to help CBA go to nationals and win nationals.”

Colts Neck High School finished second in the county race with 105 points and produced an average time of 16:57. The top finisher for Colts Neck was Matthew Schaefer, who placed ninth with a time of 16:30.

Schaefer, who was coming off an injury, was pleased that he was able to run and perform well.

“I’ve been out for a while,” Schaefer said. “I’ve just been training for the past couple of weeks and haven’t raced yet. So I’m happy with the result because I think I had my track best by a second or two.”

Schaefer has high goals for himself.

“I want to get under 16 [minutes] here,” he said. “That’s the goal. I have to continue to get faster so I can accomplish it.”

Red Bank Regional High School finished third with 149 points and an average time of 17:13. Tyler Schwinn was the top finisher for Red Bank Regional, as he crossed the finish line in fourth place with a clocking of 16:16.

The season before CBA began its 16-year championship run, Red Bank Regional had won the county title in 2001.

Drew Maher of Shore Regional High School followed Hill and Miele to come in third with a time of 16:11. Shore Regional placed fifth as a team with 182 points in an average time of 17:15.

Louis DiLaurenzio of Raritan High School placed fifth with a time of 16:18.

Other notable runners in the race were Howell High School’s TJ Hillyer, who finished 11th with a time of 16:34, and Middletown High School South’s Matt Lepine, who finished 15th with a time of 16:45.

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