MHS Cross Country Starts Strong at the Petty Classic


George Thomson

The Manville High School cross country team started their season strong on Saturday, racing in the Petty Classic at Delaware Valley Regional High School. Running at a tricky opening course featuring an infamous second-mile hill, the Mustangs faced off against Warren Tech, North Warren, Belvidere, South Hunterdon, and Delaware Valley. This marked the end of a summer of road running, where the team took to the streets for workouts in lieu of renovations to the track. Coming off of a short but successful 2020 season, the team looks to move forward with a large group of rookie runners.

The MHS boys look to build momentum heading into 2021, having won the Skyland Conference Mountain Division last year for only the second time in school history. A strong senior core leads the team, with captains Colin Weber and George Thomson as well as Paul Kanyuch, Todd Peterson, and Mouctar Diarra. At the Petty Classic, Weber placed second with a 5K time of 18:35 while Thomson placed fourth and secured a career Personal Record of 19:08. With breakout rookie debuts from Diarra and sophomore Lucas Velando, the boy’s team secured first place overall and four of the top ten individual finishers.

This season sees the MHS girls grow significantly, adding several new runners to a young core of returning athletes. Michelle Miga led the girls at the Petty Classic, finishing 3rd overall with a time of 23:35; just behind her, Captain Natalia Musielak ran a four-minute PR finishing at 25:23. The top four girls Miga, Musielak, Carly Galvin, and Ana Yakobchuk each ran career PR’s, while Captain Anna Kontos rounded out the MHS top five to secure a second-place finish on Saturday. Meanwhile, debut performances from Ariadne Bolanos and Solomiya Mykhaylyshyn completed a varsity team averaging a time for the 5K of 25:43, lower than that of any race in 2020.

Manville XC looks to build on their strong opening performance with a dual meet against Warren Tech, before running a series of invitationals at Six Flags, Holmdel, and Thompson Park.