St. Joe’s boys among top five at GMC meet

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

JAMESBURG — With a record of 5-2 and a third place position in the Greater Middlesex Conference’s Red Division, the St. Joseph High School boys cross country team was looking for a top five finish at the GMC cross country championships.

Heading into the championship meet at Thompson Park, the St. Joseph’s Falcons were forced to do battle without their second best finisher this season as senior Jonathan Salamon watched from the sidelines because of an injured ankle.

"Due to the circumstances, the team performed well," coach Gary Trojanowski said. "With Jonathan on crutches, we were looking for a top five placement and we were happy with the results. It might have been different with Jonathan in the race, but coaches must deal with these kinds of things all the time."

Despite the loss of Salamon, the Falcons took fifth place behind Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Spotswood and South Plainfield.

The Falcons were led by medal winners Chris Avallon and Kevin Carpenter. Avallon finished 14th in a time of 16:38 and Carpenter’s 29th-place finish at 17:21 helped pick up the slack for the missing Salamon.

Securing the team’s fifth-place finish in the overall competition were Matt Revolinski and Mike Fanelli who finished 36th and 37th with times of 17:32 and 17:34.

Ed Tessalone rounded out the field’s top 50 with a time of 17:53, finishing fifth for the Falcons.

"The Red Division is a particularly competitive conference this year," Trojanowski said. "Old Bridge and East Brunswick have performed well all season and the tough competition has made us a better team."

Trojanowski is hoping to use the team’s success in the county championships to prepare for the Catholic Conference Championships Nov. 8 in Elizabeth, and the Parochial A State Meet Nov. 15 at Holmdel Park.

J.P. Stevens boys perform well

Finishing seventh in the overall competition, the J.P. Stevens High School boys cross country team was led by senior Ron Fialk.

Fialk posted a personal best at the meet finishing in 16:15 and placing ninth to win the team’s only medal. Fialk improved upon his previous personal record set two weeks earlier at Merrill Park in a time of 16:32.

"We expected a top five or six finish," coach Chuck Rutan said. "The competition was tough and it was a quick race. My team did well and the teams that finished ahead of us are pretty good."Senior Sean Fry finished second for the Hawks and 33rd overall in a time of 17:30.

"Ron and Sean are great," Rutan said. "You couldn’t ask for better kids. Ron is a two-year captain and Sean is our other captain and the team’s most improved runner. They have pushed each other this season and Sean has kept up with Ron all year. They will be missed next year tremendously."

Fialk hopes to attend the U.S. Naval Academy next year and Fry is opting for West Point.

Finishing third and fourth for the Hawks and showing great promise for next season were brothers Jason and Robert Gulya. A junior, Jason ran the 3.1-mile course in 18:05 and sophomore Robert finished in 18:26. The Hawks are looking for a top five finish in the North Jersey Section II com­petition in two weeks.

"I like our chances in the sectionals," Rutan said. ""It is difficult to qualify in Central Jersey because of the fierce com­petition. It will be nice to get away from Old Bridge and East Brunswick."