Old Bridge to host XC invitational

Saturday at Thompson Park


Staff Writer

With its victory over J.P. Stevens on Monday, the Old Bridge High School boys cross country team secured first place in the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Red Division.

The Knights, 7-0, are on tap to host the first Old Bridge Classic Invitational on Saturday at Thompson Park, which will also serve as the site for the GMC Championship and the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV meet.

Old Bridge, a perennial Red Division power, last won the division in 2004, when the Knights went on to win the GMC crown and capture the state title. Last season, Old Bridge took third in the conference and fifth in the CJ Group IV meet.

“Last year we were a little inexperienced, but the team still did pretty well,” coach Rich Gebauer said.

“This year they wanted to get back on top, and they’ve done that.”

In addition to its dual-meet triumphs, Old Bridge also captured the Stuart Memorial and finished second in the Shore Coaches Invitational earlier this season.

Senior Matt Ciambriello is once again the Knights’ top runner. He set a team record with a 15:54 finish to win the Holmdel Invitational. A tri-captain, Ciambriello also crossed the finish line first at the Stuart Memorial and at the Shore Coaches Invitational.

Other top runners include the Knights’ other captains, senior Nick Carbone and junior Brendan Lyman. Both are usually near the front. Carbone’s best time was 16:37, while Lyman has a 16:44 finish to his credit.

Seniors James Hauser (17:19), Kyle Kauth (17:24) and Aghi Changa (17:46) have lowered their times, as have juniors Peter Jodogne (17:37) and Zach Garrison (17:26), who won the junior varsity race at Holmdel.

Jodogne did the same at the Stuart.

“This is a very competitive team: at Holmdel we had 12 runners with times under 18 minutes,” Gebauer said.

“That’s pretty impressive. These guys have all worked hard and they deserve the success, but we still have several big meets left.”

After the Old Bridge Classic, the Knights move on to the GMC meet on Oct. 28 and then it’s on to the CJ Group IV competition on Nov. 4, where Gebauer’s team will be looking to duplicate its success of two years ago.