Manville Cross Country Continues its Fast Form at the Fall Classic

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George Thomson

This past Saturday, October 9,  the Manville High School Cross Country team returned to Thompson Park in Jamesburg, NJ to race in the Fall Classic. Thompson Park has been a regular location on the XC schedule, with the team having raced there each of the past several years. This year would prove to be a memorable one, as both the boys and girls recorded fast times and high placements while continuing their strong seasons.

The MHS girls improved their Varsity team average again, racing over a minute faster on average than in 2020 and 2019. Finishing 4th overall in the small school’s varsity race, they took first among group 1 teams. Michelle Miga came in 15th place out of 84 individual runners, with a 5K time of 21:36. Captains, Anna Kontos and Natalia Musielak followed, with Carly Galvin and Ana Yakobchuk rounding out the MHS top 5. Ariadne Bolanos, Vivian Dickson, Solomiya Mykhaylyshyn, and Franchessca Vottler all ran career Personal Records. As a team, the girl’s varsity average fell under 25 minutes for the third time in the season, despite not reaching that threshold at all in the previous two years.

Boys captain Colin Weber continued his strong form at Thompson, running a 5K time of 17:47 that would be good for 8th out of 104 runners overall. Mouctar Diarra secured another sub-19 minute performance finishing in 18:59; on his heels, Paul Kanyuch ran a career PR to come in ahead of Lucas Velando, both finishing in under 20 minutes. Frank Docwra also ran a career PR, and despite major side cramps, Todd Peterson secured a 5th place team finish, behind just one Group 1 school in the overall standings. The varsity team continued their success, running faster than the last two years at the same course.

The Mustangs begin their postseason this Thursday with the county race at Pleasant Valley Park, before building up to the Conference meet at Phillipsburg on October 21. They will return to Thompson Park on November 6 for Group 1 Central sectionals, as both teams look to advance to Groups for the first time since 2016.