2006 Cross-Country News



Making History: The 2006 PJXC Preview


Sparta, nj (Sept. 10, 2006) � In the history of the New Jersey Cross-Country Meet of Champions, only two high schools have ever won both team titles in the same season.In 1982, Bernards High School led by John Carlotti and the Meyer sisters became the first team to win both titles.The following year, North Hunterdon High School turned the trick led by Brad Hudson and Andy Martin on the boys� side and Jeanne LaPlaca and Stacey Bilotta on the girls� side.Since then, no other high school has won both titles.Both the 1982 Bernards team and 1983 North Hunterdon team were known for their competitiveness, depth and, most of all, quality.The names of the members of these teams are scattered on all known record books for New Jersey cross-country and track and field.Most went on to successful college careers and some to professional careers.With an abundance of talent returning from last season�s successful squads, the Pope John XXIII cross-country teams are seeking to end this drought.


Last season, the PJ Girls� XC team ran to impressive 3rd place finish at the NJ Meet of Champions.Led by a determined trio of seniors (all running for their respective college teams now), the team was able to win every meet they entered and averaged 19:40 at Holmdel Park, the 8th fastest in NJ history.Despite losing this plethora of talent, the 2006 team has plenty of firepower returning.Leading the charge, as she did all last season, will be Lara Heigis (2:16 / 5:02 / 10:40) for her final campaign.Over the past three seasons, Lara has rewritten the PJ record books and has earned two first team and one second team All-State selection.She has been named the West Jersey runner of the year in all three seasons.She comes into this season as the number four returnee from last year�s Meet of Champions race.Following Lara across the line in most races was fellow senior Lauren Bariexca (2:13 / 5:07).Along with Lara, Lauren earned All-American citations in both the winter and spring track seasons.With a solid year of training under her belt, Lauren looks to improve upon her 19:52 Holmdel PR.And based upon, her early season time trials, she is already faster.Another senior returning from the 3rd place team of a year ago is Kelsey Murphy (5:28).Battling a nagging ankle injury last season, Kelsey rebounded with her best race and Holmdel PR at the Meet of Champions.After a great summer of training and freedom from injury, Kelsey seeks to solidify the lineup and get under 20 minutes at Holmdel.Also returning from last season�s MOC team are junior Casey Keller (5:18 / 11:27) and sophomore Jenny Heigis (5:14 / 11:26).Both girls had exceptional races at the 2005 Meet of Champions and parlayed that success into even better track seasons.Based on their track performances, Casey and Jenny look to run in the low 19�s this upcoming season.Other returning members from the 2005 squad include senior Grace Wilson (6:42), junior Caitlin Lees (2:52 � a sprinter in track season), and junior Zaharo Tsekouras (2:45 / 6:20).Newcomers expected to contribute include junior Katie Potter (2:46 / 6:25) and sophomore Sarah Cariati (2:22 / 5:31).With the addition of eight talented freshmen, the 2006 season could be one of unsurpassed success.


The 2006 PJXC boys� outlook looks just as promising as the girls.A slew of talent returns from the 9th place team finisher of a year ago and a fantastic track season delivered hopes of a team title.Top talent returning include seniors Jeremy Scheid (4:30 / 9:32), Tom Roy (1:56 / 4:22 / 9:45), Clay Smith (1:57 / 4:26 / 10:13), Tim Burns (2:03 / 4:36 / 10:09), Robert Lennon (2:06 / 4:53), Matt Pezzulo (2:01 / 4:40); juniors Nick Beese (4:42 / 9:56), Jon Juleus (4:34 / 9:53), Josh D�Anna (4:59 / 10:59), Doug Murphy (4:59 / 10:57); and sophomores Chris Gaus (4:55 / 10:42) and Kevin McCormick (11:08).Jeremy, Tom, Clay, Tim, Nick and Jon are all returning All-SCIL selections and were members of National qualifying relays during the 2006 spring track season.After a concentrated summer of training, breaking into the top seven positions will be challenging. Other returnees include senior Mike Peer (6:40), junior Graham Medak (5:09), junior Tom Wilson (5:49), sophomores Joe Benedetto, Jim Morrissey, and Matt Hansen.Promising newcomers include senior Mike Gaus (a pole vaulter by nature), junior Trevor Warden (raced as a freshman), sophomore Tim Paziora (4:44 / 10:36), sophomore Paraic O�Reilly (2:15 / 5:18), sophomore Matt Bourlier (5:20), sophomore Michael Williams, sophomore Raj Trivedi and six freshmen.With the ensuring battle for the top seven positions about to commence, the 2006 season could culminate in a NJ Meet of Champions title.


The 2006 Pope John cross-country season should be one dominated by success.Both teams wish to extend their SCIL dual meet streaks (boys 47 straight, girls 31 straight), SCIL Festival streaks (boys 6 in a row, girls 3 in row), and perform greatly in the NJCTC and NJSIAA post season championships.But ultimately, the team wishes to add their names to the likes of Carlotti, Bilotti, Martin, Hudson, Meyer and the entire 1982 Bernards and 1983 North Hunterdon teams as the combined high school cross-country teams in New Jersey history.


2006 Season Gets Underway


andover, nJ (Sept. 12, 2006) � The 2006 Cross-Country season got underway today against Wallkill Valley Regional High School at St. Paul�s Abbey.Beginning the season with ambitions of becoming the #1 teams in NJ, the girls and boys displayed their strengths to earn victories.The girls defeated Wallkill by a score of 21-39 while the boys earned a 15-50 shutout win.


Running without Casey Keller (�08), one of PJ�s top runners, the Lady Lions showed their upfront firepower by claiming the first two places in the race.Lara Heigis (�07) and Lauren Bariexca (�07) led from start to finish to pace the team.Finishing in 18:25, the girls showed their high fitness level.The time for Lauren was a personal best on the course and the 2nd fastest ever run by a PJ female (behind Lara�s 17:29 in 2005).Lara and Lauren also took over the top spot in the senior rankings (see PJXC Top20 list).Next for the Ladies was Jenny Heigis (�09) in 5th in 20:19, a faster performance than her debut race last season.Following Jenny was a trio of runners led by Kelsey Murphy (�07).Kelsey guided first-time runners, Sarah Cariati (�09) and Ashton Weiler (�10), throughout the race and brought them across in 21:27 to seal the victory.Ashton�s time places her #7 on the all-time freshman girls list for the Abbey.Also, having impressive debut races were Marissa Galante (�10) and Cat Carey (�10) in 10th and 12th place, respectively.


Displaying the depth that could lead to a NJ MOC title, the boys took 12 of the first 15 placements, including the first 7 to defeat the Rangers.Led by Tom Roy (�07), in a sweeper role, and Jeremy Scheid (�07), in a pacer role, the pack rolled to a time of 16:44 to earn the shutout.Remaining members of the pack included Tim Burns (�07), Clay Smith (�07), Nick Beese (�08), Jon Juleus (�08) and Chris Gaus (�09).For Chris, the time represents the #7 sophomore time ever for PJ (#15 AT), for Jon, it represents a PR, while for the seniors, it is the #10 time ever for a senior boy.Other top 15 performers included Josh D�Anna (�08) in 9th, Robert Lennon (�07) in 11th, Kevin McCormick (�09) in 12th, Matt Pezzulo (�07) in 13th, and Doug Murphy (�08) in 15th.Times for these five athletes were all significantly faster than their opening race last season.


The invitational portion of the schedule begins this weekend with the Regis Invitational for boys and the Villa Bears Invitational for girls at historic Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.��




Girls Results(3.0)

Boys Results (3.0)

1. Lara Heigis 18:25

1. Tom Roy 16:44

2. Lauren Bariexca 18:25

2. Jeremy Scheid 16:44

5. Jenny Heigis 20:19

3. Clay Smith 16:44

6. Kelsey Murphy 21:27

4. Tim Burns 16:44

7. Sarah Cariati 21:27

5. Nick Beese 16:44

8. Ashton Weiler 21:27

6. Jon Juleus 16:44

10. Marissa Galante 22:29

7. Chris Gaus 16:44

12. Cat Carey 23:27

9. Josh D�Anna 17:26

15. Caitlyn Lees 24:08

11. Robert Lennon 17:30

16. Zaharo Tsekouras 24:31

12. Kevin McCormick 17:35

20. Katie Potter 29:23

13. Matt Pezzulo 17:40

21. Kaila Hoer 29:37

15. Doug Murphy 18:06


17. Paraic O�Reilly 18:16


19. Mike Gaus 18:35


27. AJ Hanifin 19:51


28. Trevor Warden 19:51


32. Joe Benedetto 20:27


33. Tom Wilson 21:08


35. Dan Grund 21:27


37. Jim Morrissey 21:40


38. Greg Moore 22:53


39. Matt Bourlier 22:57


40. Mike Williams 24:04


42. Matt Hansen 25:47


44. Mike Peer 27:16


46. Jacob Williams 27:26



Van Cortlandt Park, Part I


bronx, ny (Sept. 16, 2006) � The Pope John Cross-Country teams traveled to historic Van Cortlandt Park for the 27th Annual Regis Invitational (Boys) and the 3rd annual Villa Bears Invitational (Girls).Using these meets as an early season fitness test and prep for the October Manhattan Invitational, the boys and girls posted solid results and learned of weakness areas to improve upon in upcoming training.


The freshman girls kicked the races off in fine fashion as five of the eight girls received medals.Leading the way for the freshman was Ashton Weiler (�10) in 10:31. Ashton�s time is the fourth fastest ever run by a PJ freshman on the VCP 1.5 mile course.Also moving on to the all-time list was Marissa Galante (�10) with a 10:42 clocking.Marissa�s time is the 6th fastest ever run on the VCP 1.5 course.Other medalists include Ali Taylor (�10) in 11:31, Cat Carey (�10) in 12:19 and Kaila Hoer (�10) in 12:19.The remaining finishers were Gabby Ferris (�10) in 13:48 and Angela Poccia (�10) in 15:04.


In other female races, the Varsity girls used a 2-3 finish by Lara Heigis (�07) and Lauren Bariexca (�07) to secure a 2nd place team finish.Running times of 15:20 and 15:44, respectively, Lara and Lauren claimed the top 2 spots on the PJ senior girls VCP list.Lauren�s time was a personal best for the 2.5 mile layout and is the 2nd fastest in PJ history (#2 AT).Rounding out the scoring for the Lions were Jenny Heigis (�09) in 17:12 (#5 AT Soph.), Kelsey Murphy (�07) in 17:46 and Sarah Cariati (�09) in 17:46 (#10 AT Soph. / #18 AT).Zaharo Tsekouras (�08) was the final finisher in 22:10.In JV action, Caitlyn Lees (�08) ran to a 20:41 clocking followed by Katie Potter (�08) in 22:29.The girls realize for post-season meets, they need to work on their top 5 compression (much too big) and get #3 runner, Casey Keller (�08), back to racing soon.


While the girls were competing in the Villa Invitational, the boys were involved in the non-scoring Regis Invitational.Racing in their first invitational were four freshman boys.AJ Hanifin (�10) was the first finisher for the team on the 1.5 mile layout.His time of 9:31 is the 10th fastest ever run by a PJ freshman.Other placers included Dan Grund (�10) in 10:30, Greg Moore (�10) in 10:36 and Jacob Williams (�10) in 14:22.Running in the sophomore division, the team was led by Kevin McCormick (�09) in 15:11 and Paraic O�Reilly (�09) in 16:17.In the junior varsity race, Matt Pezzulo (�07) led the way with a 15:02 clocking and was followed by the duo of Michael Gaus (�07) and Doug Murphy (�08) in 16:21 and 16:28 in that order.Another medalist of note was Trevor Warden (�08) in 16:49.


For the Varsity boys, the team was running without their top two finishers from their first meet of the season.While Jeremy Scheid (�07) and Tom Roy (�07) were visiting the University of Notre Dame on a recruiting visit, their teammates were challenging themselves on the VCP 2.5 mile course.Running against NJ adversaries, Don Bosco Prep and Jackson Memorial, the boys demonstrated their depth with some fine performances.Clay Smith (�07) was first across the line in a PR time of 13:39 (#8 AT) with Nick Beese (�08) right in his heels in 13:41 (PR & #9 AT).The #3 runner of the day was Jon Juleus (�08) in a big PR of 13:57 (#12 AT) followed by Tim Burns (�07) in the 4th slot in 14:05 (PR & #15 AT).Rounding out the top 5 was Chris Gaus (�09) in 14:16, a great time in his first race in the 2.5 mile course.His time is the 6th fastest ever for a sophomore boy and #18 all-time.The final placers were Robert Lennon (�07) in a personal best time of 14:39, a drop of almost a minute from last season, and Josh D�Anna (�08) in 15:19.The boys will continue to push their dangerous pack closer together and further up towards the race leaders as the season progresses.


The teams return to SCIL action at 4 PM on Monday (Sept. 18) at Station Park in Sparta with a dual meet against Sparta High School.




Girls Varsity (2.5)

Boys Varsity (2.5)

2. Lara Heigis 15:20

9. Clay Smith 13:39

3. Lauren Bariexca 15:44

11. Nick Beese 13:41

17. Jenny Heigis 17:12

18. Jon Juleus 13:57

27. Kelsey Murphy 17:46

24. Tim Burns 14:05

28. Sarah Cariati 17:46

28. Chris Gaus 14:16

119. Zaharo Tsekouras 22:10

44. Robert Lennon 14:39


68. Josh D�Anna 15:19

Girls Junior Varsity (2.5)


17. Caitlyn Lees 20:41

Boys Junior (2.5)

46. Katie Potter 22:29

15. Matt Pezzulo 15:02


41. Mike Gaus 16:21

Girls Freshman (1.5)

46. Doug Murphy 16:28

6. Ashton Weiler 10:31

55. Trevor Warden 16:49

9. Marissa Galante 10:42

64. Graham Medak 16:59

17. Ali Taylor 11:31

86. Tom Wilson 17:31

33. Cat Carey 12:19


34. Kaila Hoer 12:19

Boys Sophomore (2.5)

71. Gabby Ferris 13:48

18. Kevin McCormick 15:11

87. Angela Poccia 15:04

46. Paraic O�Reilly 16:17


63. Joe Benedetto 16:54

Boys Freshman (1.5)

71. Jim Morrissey 17:11

9. AJ Hanifin 9:31

??. Matt Bourlier 19:01

27. Dan Grund 10:30

??. Michael Williams 19:26

32. Greg Moore 10:36

??. Matt Hansen 20:05

110. Jacob Williams 14:22




Cariati�s Win Sparks Lions


Sparta, nJ (Sept. 18, 2006) � Sarah Cariati�s victory highlighted the action at Station Park in Sparta at the annual Pope John vs. Sparta dual meet.Running alongside Lauren Bariexca (�07) and Lara Heigis (�07), Cariati (�09) finished in 21:32 to pace the Lady Lions to an 18-41 victory over the Spartans with Bariexca and Heigis just behind in 21:33.Other top 10 finishers included Ashton Weiler (�10) in 5th in 22:44, Marissa Galante (�10) in 7th in 23:37 and Kelsey Murphy (�07) in 8th in 23:56.For Galante, this marked the first time finishing in the top 5 for the team.


In the boys� race, Jeremy Scheid (�07) led a 1-4 finish to lead the team to a 16-47 win.Together with Tom Roy (�07), Clay Smith (�07) and Chris Gaus (�09), Scheid won in 17:58 to pace the team.The next three came in just 11 seconds later to seal the victory.Other top 10 placements included Kevin McCormick (�09) in 6th, Robert Lennon (�07) in 7th, Matt Pezzulo (�07) in 8th and Josh D�Anna (�08) in 9th.Just missing out on the top 10 was Doug Murphy (�08) in 11th in 19:49.


The teams continue SCIL action on Thursday at Kittatinny State Park in a tri-meet with Newton and High Point High Schools




Girls Results(3.1)

Boys Results (3.1)

1. Sarah Cariati 21:32

1. Jeremy Scheid 17:58

2. Lauren Bariexca 21:33

2. Tom Roy 18:01

3. Lara Heigis 21:33

3. Clay Smith 18:04

5. Ashton Weiler 22:44

4. Chris Gaus 18:09

7. Marissa Galante 23:37

6. Kevin McCormick 19:07

8. Kelsey Murphy 23:56

7. Robert Lennon 19:07

11. Cat Carey 25:58

8. Matt Pezzulo 19:19

15. Caitlyn Lees 26:49

9. Josh D�Anna 19:23

16. Kaila Hoer 27:41

11. Doug Murphy 19:49


14. AJ Hanifin 21:07


17. Graham Medak 21:40


21. Joe Benedetto 22:07


22. Trevor Warden 22:07


23. Tom Wilson 22:24


26. Jim Morrissey 24:15


27. Matt Bourlier 24:25


28. Dan Grund 24:25


29. Greg Moore 24:26


30. Mike Williams 25:11


34. Matt Hansen 29:34


35. Jacob Williams 31:25



Scheid�s Course Record Leads Lions to 50th Straight


andover, nJ (Sept. 21, 2006) � JeremyScheid�s course record led the Pope John boys� cross country team to their 50th and 51st straight dual meet victory today at Kittatinny State Park.Scheid (�07) torched the course in 15:35 to become the first person to break 16 minutes on the Newton home course and lead the team to wins over High Point (17-44) and Newton (15-49).Other scorers for the Lions included Jon Juleus (�08) and Nick Beese (�08) in 2nd and 3rd in 16:20, Tim Burns (�07) in 4th in 16:31 and Matt Pezzulo (�07) in 17:19 for 7th place.Other significant happenings included personal best times (see chart below) by Josh D�Anna (�08), Doug Murphy (�08), Graham Medak (�08), Trevor Warden (�08), and first-time sub 20 minute runs by Joe Benedetto (�09), Jim Morrissey (�09) and Tom Wilson (�08).The good performances continued with the freshman as all freshman boys ran personal best times and included the first-time finishers Sean Reid (�10), Mike Grinthal (�10) and Pat Sheehan (�10).


Not to be outdone, the girls� team rolled to their 34th and 35th straight dual meet victory.Behind the controlled course record runs by Lara Heigis (�07) and Lauren Bariexca (�07), the girls defeated High Point 18-43 and beat Newton 15-49.Finishing the scoring for the girls was the trio of Sarah Cariati (�09), Ashton Weiler (�10) and Jenny Heigis (�09) in 4th, 5th and 6th in 20:15.Next across the line was Marissa Galante (�10) in a big PR of 20:40.Other significant developments included a PR for Cat Carey (�10), a PR for Kaila Hoer (�10), a first time finish for Angela Poccia (�10) and PR�s for juniors Zaharo Tsekouras (�08) and Katie Potter (�08).


Following a non-race weekend, the teams return to St. Paul�s Abbey on Tuesday, September 26th for a tri-meet against Lenape Valley and Vernon.




Girls Results(3.1)

Boys Results (3.1)

1. Lara Heigis 18:18*

1. Jeremy Scheid 15:35*

2. Lauren Bariexca 18:18*

2. Jon Juleus 16:20

4. Sarah Cariati 20:15

3. Nick Beese 16:20

5. Ashton Weiler 20:15

4. Tim Burns 16:31

6. Jenny Heigis 20:15

7. Matt Pezzulo 17:19

7. Marissa Galante 20:40

8. Josh D�Anna 17:21

12. Cat Carey 22:07

10. Kevin McCormick 17:31

19. Kaila Hoer 23:08

11. Doug Murphy 17:37

20. Zaharo Tsekouras 23:10

16. Paraic O�Reilly 18:26

29. Katie Potter 24:40

19. AJ Hanifin 18:32

34. Angela Poccia 29:59

21. Graham Medak 18:55

35. Grace Wilson 30:26

26. Trevor Warden 19:32


27. Dan Grund 19:32


29. Joe Benedetto 19:46


30. Jim Morrissey 19:49


32. Tom Wilson 19:56


34. Greg Moore 20:00

* = Course Record

41. Matt Bourlier 21:40


42. Mike Williams 21:46


50. Matt Hansen 23:37


51. Sean Reid 23:37


55. Mike Peer 25:27


56. Jacob Williams 26:35


57. Mike Grinthal 27:20


58. Pat Sheehan 27:33



Fast Times Lead to Resounding Victories


andover, nJ (Sept. 26, 2006) � In their final tune-up before a challenging weekend, the Pope John boys and girls cross-country teams raced to fast times at St. Paul�s Abbey to resoundingly defeat the Lenape Valley Patriots and Vernon Vikings.The girls defeated the Patriots 18-45 and swept the Vikings 15-50.The boys captured the first seven positions to sweep both teams by a margin of 15-50.


Leading the girls� team to victory was the dynamic duo of Lara Heigis (�07) and Lauren Bariexca (�07).Lara crossed the finish line first in 17:38 (just off her course record of one year ago) with Lauren slightly behind in 18:15.Lauren�s time is the second fastest ever run by a Pope John athlete at their home course (see updated Top 20 page).After a third place finish by Megan Murnane of Lenape Valley, the Lady Lions claimed the next 7 positions.In third and fourth were sophomores Jenny Heigis (�09) and Sarah Cariati (�09).Jenny�s time of 19:52 is #3 on the AT PJ sophomore list while Sarah�s time is a PR and #11 AT and #4 AT Sophomore.Sealing the win for the team was Ashton Weiler (�10) in 6th in 20:26 (#7 AT & #3 AT Frosh).Next up was Kelsey Murphy (�07) in 6th in 20:58 followed by a trio of freshman.Marissa Galante (�10) raced to a 20:58 with Kelsey, good enough for #7 on the AT freshman list.The other two members of the trio were Cat Carey (�10) in 22:08 and Kaila Hoer (�10) in 22:29.Cat�s time represents a 1:19 PR while Kaila PR�ed by over 7 minutes.Other members setting seasonal bests were Caitlyn Lees (�08) in 22:54 (a 1:14 PR), Katie Potter (�08) in 24:13 (over 5 minute PR), Zaharo Tsekouras (�08) in24:23 and Angela Poccia (�10) in 27:41 (her first complete race at the abbey).On the day, all finishers raced to seasonal best times.


On the boys� end, Jeremy Scheid (�07) raced to the third fastest time in the history of the course (#3 senior) to lead the boys to their dual wins.Also, running under the 16 minute barrier were Clay Smith (�07) in 15:46 (a 47 second PR, #4 AT & #4 senior) and Nick Beese (�08) in 15:58 (a 22 second PR, #7 AT and #3 junior).Also making the top 20 all-time list were Tom Roy (�07) in 16:14 (#8 AT &#7 senior), Tim Burns (�07) in 16:16 (#9 AT & #8 senior), Jon Juleus (�08) in 16:21 (#11 AT & #8 junior), Chris Gaus (�09) in 16:26 (#13 AT &#5 sophomore) and Matt Pezzulo (�07) in 16:46 (#18 AT).All told, the compression for the top 5 runners was a mere 44 seconds and only 55 seconds for the top 7 members.Other notable performances were turned in by Josh D�Anna (�08) in 17:12 and Robert Lennon (�07) in 17:18.All 29 Pope John finishers turned in seasonal best time on the 3 mile St. Paul�s Abbey course.


The teams travel to separate venues this weekend to challenge New Jersey�s #1 teams.The girls will venture to Buck Mill�s Park in Colt�s Neck to challenge the host school.While the boys will travel to Warwick Valley, NY and face Don Bosco Prep along with several, other nationally ranked teams.




Girls Results(3.0)

Boys Results (3.0)

1. Lara Heigis 17:38

1. Jeremy Scheid 15:32

2. Lauren Bariexca 18:15

2. Clay Smith 15:46

4. Jenny Heigis 19:52

3. Nick Beese 15:58

5. Sarah Cariati 19:53

4. Tom Roy 16:14

6. Ashton Weiler 20:26

5. Tim Burns 16:16

7. Kelsey Murphy 20:58

6. Jon Juleus 16:21

8. Marissa Galante 20:58

7. Chris Gaus 16:27

9. Cat Carey 22:08

9. Matt Pezzulo 16:46

10. Kaila Hoer 22:29

11. Josh D�Anna 17:12

14. Caitlyn Lees 22:54

13. Robert Lennon 17:18

19. Katie Potter 24:13

18. Doug Murphy 17:50

21. Zaharo Tsekouras 24:23

22. Paraic O�Reilly 18:12

29. Angela Poccia 27:41

26. Mike Gaus 18:32


27. AJ Hanifin 18:39


30. Graham Medak 18:46


32. Dan Grund 19:19


37. Joe Benedetto 19:51


38. Jim Morrissey 19:53


43. Tom Wilson 20:04


44. Greg Moore 20:09


55. Mike Williams 22:10


57. Matt Bourlier 22:33


61. Sean Reid 23:44


62. Matt Hansen 24:06


63. Mike Grinthal 24:06


67. Raj Trivedi 25:02


68. Pat Sheehan 25:16


69. Jacob Williams 26:09


72. Mike Peer 26:40



Girls 4th at Cougar Invitational


colts neck, nj (Sept. 29, 2006) � Unaccompanied by the �annoying boys� (Lara�s quote), the Pope John girls� cross-country traveled to Colts Neck, NJ for the 4th annual Cougar Invitational.Running in the quality six team field of the championship division, the varsity team finished a disappointing fourth.


Appearing fatigued from the gun, the girls lost to New Jersey rival Colts Neck and Red Bank Catholic and to Kentucky power Assumption High.On a positive note, they defeated Northeast ranked #7, Bronxville of New York.The top placers for the lions were Lara Heigis (�07) in 2nd and Lauren Bariexca (�07) in 5th.Although high finishes for the race, the twosome was disappointed in their performances and vowed to be better for the Eastern States on October 14th.The number three runner for the team was Sarah Cariati (�09) in 9th place in 19:30.This marked Sarah�s best time of the season, first time under 20 minutes for 5k, and first time as the #3 runner for the team.The final scorers were Ashton Weiler (�10) in 29th place and Jenny Heigis (�09) in 31st place.Kelsey Murphy (�07) concluded the placements with a 40th place finish.


On a more positive note, the freshman girls won team medals as they finished third overall in the freshman 2-mile race.Leading the young lions were individual medalists Marissa Galante (�10) in 7th, Ali Taylor (�10) in 11th and Cat Carey (�10) in 12th.�� Final scorers were Kaila Hoer (�10) in 16th and Meghann Cobo (�10), in her first race, in 29th.This marks one of the first times that a PJ freshman girls� team has won a team award in cross-country.


In JV action, Zaharo Tsekouras (�08) ran a nice time of 23:44 for 45th place.Caitlyn Lees (�08) was next across the line in 48th place in 23:50.Katie Potter (�08) was the #3 girl as she placed 63rd with Grace Wilson (�07) in 107th.


Overall, the girls were excited with the freshman team and Sarah Cariati�s big race, but disappointed in their missed opportunity.With the month of September behind them, they are looking forward to getting injured teammate Casey Keller (�08) back in the mix and are planning for some redemption come November.




Girls Varsity (3.1)

Girls Freshman (2.0)

2. Lara Heigis 18:34

7. Marissa Galante 13:23

5. Lauren Bariexca 19:06

11. Ali Taylor 13:57

9. Sarah Cariati 19:30

12. Cat Carey 14:15

29. Ashton Weiler 20:47

16. Kaila Hoer 14:24

31. Jenny Heigis 20:52

49. Meghann Cobo 18:43

40. Kelsey Murphy 22:12




Team Scores

Girls Junior Varsity (2.5)

1. Colts Neck 51

45. Zaharo Tsekouras 23:44

2. Assumption 69

48. Caitlyn Lees 23:50

3. RBC 71

63. Katie Potter 24:48

4. Pope John 74

107. Grace Wilson 30:02

Cougar Invitational Results



Boys Win at Wave Mania


warwick, ny (Sept. 30, 2006) � The Pope John boys� cross-country team traveled to Sanfordville Middle Schoolin Warwick Valley, NY (home of the NY State Championships) for the 3rd annual Wave Mania XC Festival.With over 100 high schools represented and evenly spread out among three varsity races, the boys easily won the division II race.Displaying great pack running tactics, the boys defeated Queensbury High School of New York by a score of 91 � 108.Overall, they had the fifth fastest team time average of the day.


Leading the charge for the lions was Jeremy Scheid (�07) in 3rd place in 15:38.Jeremy battled for the victory right up until the last 1000 meters and improved his time by 33 seconds from a year ago.The next harrier in was Clay Smith (�07) in 16th in 16:16.Clay moved up throughout the race and crushed his time of a year ago by over 2 minutes.The final scorers for the team was a pack of three runners, NicK Beese (�08), Tom Roy (�07) and Jon Juleus (�08), in 23rd, 24th and 25th place, respectively.Running together during the race, the trio moved up over the last mile to secure the team victory.All three runners dramatically improved their times of a season ago.Also moving up well over the last mile was Tim Burns (�07).Tim moved from approximately 60th place to his final placing of 30th in the second half of the race and just missed catching the PJ pack.The final finisher for the team was Chris Gaus (�09) in 42nd.Chris� time of 17:07 marked one of his fastest for a full 5k distance.


In junior varsity action, Matt Pezzulo (�07) and Josh D�Anna led four athletes to medals with a 16th and 22nd place finishes.The other two medalists were Doug Murphy (�08) in 33rd and Paraic O�Reilly (�09) in 35th.All four runners raced to PR or near PR performances.In the freshman race, AJ Hanifin (�10) closed well over the last half-mile to secure an 11th place finish to lead the team.


After the solid performances, the team will return to action next weekend at Holmdel State Park, home of the NJ state championships, for the annual Shore Coaches� Invitational.




Boys Varsity (3.1)

Boys Junior Varsity (3.1)

Boys Freshman (1.5)

3. Jeremy Scheid 15:38

16. Matt Pezzulo 17:19

11. AJ Hanifin 8:08

16. Clay Smith 16:16

22. Josh D�Anna 17:36

64. Dan Grund 8:44

23. Nick Beese 16:31

33. Doug Murphy 18:03

116. Greg Moore 9:14

24. Tom Roy 16:32

35. Paraic O�Reilly 18:06

151. Sean Reid 9:35

25. Jon Juleus 16:33

85. Mike Gaus 19:23

189. Mike Grinthal 10:45

30. Tim Burns 16:40

93. Graham Medak 19:36

200. Pat Sheehan 11:15

42. Chris Gaus 17:07

114. Joe Benedetto 20:07

208. Jacob Williams 12:11


115. Tom Wilson 20:11


1. Pope John XXIII 91

124. Jim Morrissey 20:38


2. Queensbury (NY) 108

145. Matt Bourlier 22:17


3. Pearl River (NY) 141

158. Matt Hansen 23:50



161. Raj Trivedi 24:14



163. Mike Peer 25:05


Wave Mania Results



Scheid, Frosh Girls Victorious at Shore


holmdel, nJ (Oct. 7, 2006) � Jeremy Scheid (�07) and the freshman girls� team emerged victorious at today�s annual Shore Coaches Invitational at Holmdel State Park.Running in the Varsity �E� race, Scheid used a big surge around the 2-mile mark to distance himself from his pursuers and finish in a personal best time of 16:14 (#2 AT).


Scheid�s effort led the Varsity boys to a 3rd place team finish.Also establishing personal bests on the state meet layout were Tim Burns (�07), Matt Pezzulo (�07), and Robert Lennon (�07).Burns� 17:25 (#14 AT) dropped his time by 41 seconds from the Meet of Champions race last season, while Pezzulo (17:48) and Lennon (18:19) improved their bests by one minute from previous attempts on the course.Chris Gaus (�09) and Kevin McCormick raced the Varsity course for the first time in their young careers with Gaus running an impressive 17:36 (#8 Soph.) and McCormick finishing in 18:31.The final finisher for the team was the injured, Josh D�Anna (�08), who finished in a valiant 18:41, good enough to tie his personal best.


The freshman girls� team dominated the Frosh �B� race with a superb 1-2-6-7-15 finish (20 points in team scoring) to outscore second-place Kennedy by 36 points and claim the first-ever freshman team award for PJXC.Ashton Weiler (�10) ran to her first career victory with a fantastic clocking of 14:05 on the 2-mile freshman course.Following immediately behind Ashton was Marissa Galante (�10) in an outstanding time of 14:28.In 6th and 7th place were the duo Cat Carey (�10) and Ali Taylor (�10) in 15:17 and 15:18.Closing the door on the team victory was Kaila Hoer (�10) in 15th in a time of 15:57.Rounding out the finishers were Angela Poccia (�10) in 53rd in 18:28.


In other races, the boys� freshman team placed 5th behind medalists AJ Hanifin (�10) and Dan Grund (�10).Hanifin�s time of 12:42 is #6 on all-time PJ freshman boys� list while Grund�s 13:00 falls in the #8 slot.Sophomore Paraic O�Reilly�s 6th place finish led the JV boys to an 8th showing, while Zaharo Tsekouras (�08) and Katie Potter (�08) were the top finishers for the Varsity girls with a 24:47 showing.


Both the boys and girls return to SCIL action on Tuesday with a tri-meet against Hopatcong and Kittatinny.




Boys Varsity (3.1)

Boys Junior Varsity (3.1)

Boys Freshman (2.0)

1. Jeremy Scheid 16:14

6. Paraic O�Reilly 18:53

9. AJ Hanifin 12:42

23. Tim Burns 17:25

39. Mike Gaus 20:02

16. Dan Grund 13:00

26. Chris Gaus 17:36

48. Joe Benedetto 20:08

37. Greg Moore 13:46

36. Matt Pezzulo 17:48

70. Jim Morrissey 20:42

87. Sean Reid 14:57

61. Robert Lennon 18:19

84. Tom Wilson 20:58

131. Pat Sheehan 17:27

71. Kevin McCormick 18:31

86. Trevor Warden 21:00

148. Jacob Williams 20:21

80. Josh D�Anna 18:41

174. Matt Bourlier 23:15



179. Michael Williams 23:33


Girls Varsity (3.1)

213. Matt Hansen 25:31

Girls Freshman (2.0)

117. Zaharo Tsekouras 24:47

214. Raj Trivedi 25:38

1. Ashton Weiler 14:05

118. Katie Potter 24:47

226. Mike Peer 26:57

2. Marissa Galante 14:28

164. Grace Wilson 31:06


6. Cat Carey 15:17



7. Ali Taylor 15:18



15. Kaila Hoer 15:57



53. Angela Poccia 18:28



Girls, Boys Cruise to 8-0


hopatcong, nJ (Oct. 10, 2006) � Using their final tri-meet as a tune-up for �the biggest and the best� cross-country meet, the Manhattan College Invitational, the Pope John boys and girls cross-country teams cruised to victories over the Hopatcong Chiefs and Kittatinny Cougars.The girls defeated the Chiefs 17-38 and beat the Cougars 17-42, while the boys won 22-39 over the Chiefs and 20-42 over the cougars.


Led by Sarah Cariati�s (�09) second victory of the season (most on the squad), the Lady Lions were able to place a quartet of runners in front of the other teams� top runner.Running with Sarah were Lara Heigis (�07), Ashton Weiler (�10) and Lauren Bariexca (�07).Rounding out the team scoring was Cat �Chatty� Carey (�10) in 9th.This marked Cat�s first time in the top 5 positions for the team.


Displaying pack running to the finest degree, the boys used to pack of six to easily outdistance their opponents.In the pack were Tom Roy (�07), Clay Smith (�07), Matt Pezzulo (�07), Nick Beese (�08), Jon Juleus (�08) and Chris Gaus (�09).


The teams travel to Van Cortlandt Park for the second time this season on Saturday for the Manhattan College Invitational.Check back for race times.



Girls Results(3.1)

Boys Results (3.1)

1. Sarah Cariati 23:01

3. Tom Roy 18:24

2. Lara Heigis 23:01

4. Clay Smith 18:24

3. Ashton Weiler 23:01

5. Matt Pezzulo 18:24

4. Lauren Bariexca 23:01

7. Nick Beese 18:24

9. Cat Carey 24:10

8. Jon Juleus 18:24

14. Kaila Hoer 27:00

9. Chris Gaus 18:24

17. Katie Potter 27:38

11. Kevin McCormick 19:30

18. Zaharo Tsekouras 27:38

13. Robert Lennon 19:48

23. Angela Poccia 32:06

14. Doug Murphy 19:59


18. Paraic O�Reilly 20:46


19. AJ Hanifin 20:48


24. Joe Benedetto 21:00


25. Graham Medak 21:04


27. Dan Grund 22:01


29. Greg Moore 22:53


30. Trevor Warden 23:00


31. Jim Morrissey 23:01


32. Tom Wilson 23:09


34. Matt Bourlier 25:45


35. Mike Williams 26:24


37. Raj Trivedi 26:35


38. Sean Reid 26:37


39. Mike Grinthal 27:13


40. Matt Hansen 27:14


41. Pat Sheehan 27:35


42. Mike Peer 28:27


46. Jacob Williams 30:50



Making It At Manhattan


bronx, ny (Oct. 14, 2006) � Coming into the 34th annual Manhattan College Invitational, the Pope John boys� cross-country team had some big aspirations.They have been tantalizingly close to the top teams in the Nike Northeast Regional rankings and to the top ranking in the state of New Jersey thus far this season and wished to demonstrate that they could be a force on a larger stage.After their performances at the biggest and best meet in the country, winning both a Varsity and Junior Varsity team title, they verified their ambition.


Running in the Varsity �D� race, the varsity was pitted against the #3 ranked team from Connecticut, Xavier High.All but forgotten in the preview by Dyestat and other media pundits, the boys were anxious to demonstrate their ability and disprove the doubters.Exhibiting one of the tightest packs of the meet, the boys easily outdistanced Xavier by a score of 74 to 98.This marked Pope John�s first male Varsity victory at Manhattan and their second major invitational victory of the season (Wave Mania over #9 Northeast Ranked Queensbury, NY).First across the line for the Lions was Jeremy Scheid (�07) in 6th in 13:06 (#3 on the AT list).The next two finishers were the difference makers in the scoring.Running their best races to date, Jon Juleus (�08) and Nick Beese (�08) finished 12th and 15th, respectively, with major personal bests.Jon�s time of 13:22 is a 35 second PR and #5 on the AT list while Nick�s time of 13:29 is an 11 second PR and #6 on the AT list.Closing the door on the rest of the field were Clay Smith (�07) and Tom Roy (�07) in 20th and 21st place.Their matching time of 13:37 ties them for #9 on the AT list.The sixth runner for the day was Tim Burns (�07) in a personal best 14:00 (#16 AT) with Chris Gaus (�09) finishing as the #7 man.Overall, the boys had a team time average of 13:26, good enough for the twelfth fastest of the meet.


Earlier in the day, the junior varsity boys started things correctly by running away with the JV Boys �A� race.Tim Paziora (�09) made his PJXC debut an impressive one by winning the individual title in 13:59 (#14 on the AT list).Also running impressively was the duo of Matt Pezzulo (�07) and Kevin McCormick (�09) in 3rd and 4th.Matt�s time of 14:23 just missed the top 20 AT list while Kevin�s time of 14:24 is #9 on the sophomore list.The final scorers were Rob Lennon (�07) in 11th in 14:38 and Doug Murphy (�08) in 23rd in 14:50.Josh D�Anna (�08) also medaled with a 25th place finish in 14:50 with Graham Medak (�08) finishing 60th in a PR time of 16:15.


In other races, Paraic O�Reilly (�09) ran a blistering 14:28, a 1:29 PR, good enough for 6th place overall to lead the team to a 13th place finish.In the race, all six Pope John runners ran to personal bests on the VCP 2.5 mile course, showing substantial improvement from earlier in the year.AJ Hanifin (�10) ran the 8th fastest time ever for a PJ freshman on the 1.5 mile VCP layout to finish 3rd in the �C� race and guide the team to an 8th place finish.All the freshman boys ran personal bests.


In the girls Eastern States race, the PJ Varsity girls finished 19th out of 27 teams led by Lara Heigis� 21st place finish.Running personal bests in the race were Lauren Bariexca (�07) in 15:39 (#2 AT), Sarah Cariati (�09) in 16:07 (#7 AT, #2 soph. and a 1:39 PR), and Ashton Weiler (�10) in 16:58, an impressive run for a freshman on the 2.5 loop.Other PR�s during the day on the varsity course were turned in by Katie Potter (�08), Zaharo Tsekouras (�08), and Caitlyn Lees (�08).For the freshman, Marissa Galante (�10) and Cat Carey (�10) became the 5th and 9th fastest PJ frosh on the 1.5 course while Kaila Hoer (�10) and Angela Poccia (�10) raced to personal bests.


The teams conclude the SCIL season on Monday (Oct. 16) at St. Paul�s Abbey in Andover with a dual meet against Jefferson High School.




Girls Varsity (2.5)

Boys Varsity (2.5)

21. Lara Heigis 15:07

6. Jeremy Scheid 13:06

55. Lauren Bariexca 15:39

12. Jon Juleus 13:22

90. Sarah Cariati 16:07

15. Nick Beese 13:29

142. Ashton Weiler 16:58

20. Clay Smith 13:37

148. Jenny Heigis 17:06

21. Tom Roy 13:37

200. Kelsey Murphy 17:40

46. Tim Burns 14:00


70. Chris Gaus 14:21

Girls Junior Varsity (2.5)


36. Katie Potter 19:43

Boys Junior Varsity (2.5)

38. Zaharo Tsekouras 19:44

1. Tim Paziora 13:59

39. Caitlyn Lees 19:45

3. Matt Pezzulo 14:23


4. Kevin McCormick 14:24

Girls Freshman (1.5)

11. Robert Lennon 14:38

12. Marissa Galante 10:35

23. Doug Murphy 14:50

33. Cat Carey 11:14

25. Josh D�Anna 14:53

61. Kaila Hoer 11:55

60. Graham Medak 16:15

91. Angela Poccia 12:57



Boys Sophomore (2.5)

Boys Freshman (1.5)

6. Paraic O�Reilly 14:28

3. AJ Hanifin 9:13

43. Joe Benedetto 15:39

21. Dan Grund 9:48

76. Jim Morrissey 16:34

53. Greg Moore 10:18

111. Michael Williams 18:02

63. Sean Reid 10:30

118. Matt Bourlier 18:26

120. Mike Grinthal 11:53

120. Raj Trivedi 18:32

135. Pat Sheehan 12:20


160. Jacob Williams 13:38




Senior Girls Become Undefeated Class


andover, nJ (Oct. 16, 2006) � History was made at St. Paul�s Abbey today as the senior girls became the first Pope John class of girls to end their high school cross-country career as undefeated in dual meet competition.In addition, they join the senior boys as the only undefeated co-ed class in Pope John history.�� Both teams concluded their SCIL regular seasons as SCIL Champions at 9-0 as they defeated the Jefferson Falcons 15-50 on the girls� side and 20-43 on the boys� side.They also extended their consecutive dual meet victory streaks to 40 straight for the girls and 56 straight for the boys.


Lara Heigis (�07) led a group of six girls across the line in 20:27 to notch the shutout victory and secure the championship.The group included two freshman, Ashton Weiler (�10) and Marissa Galante (�10), whose times place #3 and #4 on the AT freshman girl list and #17 and #18 on the AT list.�� Also, placing on the AT freshman list was Cat Carey (�10) with a 21:45 (#9 AT Frosh).Other PR�s were turned in by Kaila Hoer (�10), Katie Potter (�08), and Meghann Cobo (�10).


The boys were led by a second place finish by Tim Burns (�07) in 16:18 to collect their 6th straight regular season championship.Following Tim across the line was Matt Pezzulo (�07) in 16:29 (#14 AT), Tim Paziora (�09) in 16:46 (#19 AT & #10 soph.), Kevin McCormick (�09) in a PR of 16:52, Josh D�Anna (�08) in a PR of 17:11 and Doug Murphy (�08) in a PR of 17:15.On the day, 22 of the 24 racers ran personal best times for the Abbey course.


Congratulations to Lauren, Lara, Kelsey, Grace, Tim, Mike G., Robert, Mike P., Matt, Tom, Jeremy, and Clay for becoming the first combined class to never lose a SCIL dual meet.


Saturday marks the beginning of championship season as the teams travel to the Sussex County Fairgrounds to defend their SCIL Festival titles.Races begin at 1 PM.



Girls Results(3.0)

Boys Results (3.0)

1. Lara Heigis 20:27

2. Tim Burns 16:18

2. Lauren Bariexca 20:27

3. Matt Pezzulo 16:29

3. Jenny Heigis 20:27

4. Tim Paziora 16:46

4. Sarah Cariati 20:27

5. Kevin McCormick 16:52

5. Marissa Galante 20:27

6. Josh D�Anna 17:11

6. Ashton Weiler 20:27

7. Doug Murphy 17:15

7. Cat Carey 21:45

8. Robert Lennon 17:27

9. Kaila Hoer 22:26

9. Paraic O�Reilly 17:45

12. Katie Potter 22:49

11. AJ Hanifin 18:22

13. Caitlyn Lees 23:04

12. Graham Medak 18:23

18. Grace Wilson 29:11

13. Joe Benedetto 18:25

19. Meghann Cobo 29:12

14. Dan Grund 18:27


18. Trevor Warden 19:32


19. Greg Moore 19:38


20. Tom Wilson 19:40


21. Matt Bourlier 19:41


26. Mike Williams 21:05


31. Sean Reid 22:11


32. Raj Trivedi 22:21


33. Mike Grinthal 23:29


34. Mike Peer 23:49


35. Pat Sheehan 23:51


38. Matt Hansen 23:55


39. Jacob Williams 27:38



Festival: Two Course Records + Two Team Championships


Augusta, nj (Oct. 21, 2006) � The Pope John cross-country teams put on quite a display at the 32nd annual SCIL Festival last weekend.Seeking to extend their current dominance in the SCIL, the teams registered: two team titles, two varsity champions, one junior varsity champion, two freshman champions, two course records, one team time average record, and the lowest team point total in the history of the meet.


Starting the afternoon championship was the 2-mile combined freshman race and the PJ frosh did not disappoint.��� Running a perfectly executed race strategy, AJ Hanifin (�10) caught the race leader at the 1.75 mile mark and kicked in it for the overall win to join Billy Washer (�05), Dale Hammer (�06), Clay Smith (�07), Nick Beese (�08), and Kevin McCormick (�09) in the long blue line of recent champions.Joining AJ on the medal stand was Dan Grund (�10) in 3rd and Greg Moore (�10) in 10th.


The PJ girls fared just as well in the freshman race as they took 4 of the top 5 places.Marissa Galante (�10) continued the recent streak of female champions (Alison Heslin (�05), Liz LeMasters (�06), Kelsey Murphy (�07), and Casey Keller (�08)) with a 33 second victory.Following Marissa across the line were Ali Taylor (�10) in 2nd, Cat Carey (�10) in 3rd and Kaila Hoer (�10) in 5th.


In JV action, Matt Pezzulo (�07) led a strong Pope John contingent across the finish line.Winning in 17:12 (good enough for 19th in the varsity race), Matt was the first of seven PJ runners to continuously cross the line.Immediately behind Matt was Tim Paziora (�09) in 2nd and Kevin McCormick (�09) in 3rd in 17:16 and 17:17 respectively.Rounding the top seven was Doug Murphy (�08) in 4th, Rob Lennon (�07) in 5th, Josh D�Anna (�08) in 6th and Paraic O�Reilly (�09) in 7th.


JV Boys



The Pope John girls� JV entrants earned three medals as Zaharo Tsekouras (�08) finished 2nd, Caitlyn Lees (�08) finished 3rd, and Katie Potter (�08) finished 6th.Grace Wilson (�07) also had a strong race finishing 16th.


JV Girls (L to R) � Grace Wilson, Katie Potter, Caitlyn Lees, Zeharo Tsekouras



The real action of the festival came in the varsity races.The boys entered with a 6-year win streak and 12 of the past 14 championships while the girls were seeking their 4th straight title and 5th in 6 years.With Newark Star-Ledger Guru Jim Lambert on hand, the teams were looking to impress.


First off, the girls placed three runners in the top 4 and four in the top 9 to secure the championship.Lara Heigis (�07) earned her third straight championship to join Hopatcong�s Lisa Pakutka and Kittatinny�s Christi Constantin as three time champions.Running strong from the beginning, Lara was noticeably chasing the course record and knew she had the record when she reached the 2-mile mark in 11:13.Closing well off the fast pace, Lara finished in 17:55 to break her own course record by an astonishing 8 seconds and become the first girl to break 18 minutes on the 5k course.Right behind Lara was the duo of Lauren Bariexca (�07) and Sarah Cariati (�08).Lauren earned her second straight 3rd place finish but improved her time from a year ago by 8 seconds.Sarah finished in 19:03 to place 4th in her first XC festival and become the first non-senior finisher on the day.Finishing the scoring for the Lions were Ashton Weiler (�10) in 9th in a 5k PR of 19:47 (1st freshman finisher in the varsity race) and Jenny Heigis (�09) in 11th in 20:00, matching her time from a year ago.The final finisher of the day was Kelsey Murphy (�07) in 13th in 20:39.The 26 point total is tied for the second lowest in meet history for girls.


Varsity Girls (L to R) � Lauren Bariexca, Lara Heigis, Jenny Heigis, Ashton Weiler, Kelsey Murphy, Sarah Cariati, Casey Keller



The final race of the day was the Varsity Boys championship.Currently, the Pope John boys are ranked 4th in the state by Lambert and 2nd in the state by Ed Grant, so coming in to the race, the question was not if they would win but if they could break the record for lowest point total (20 points) set last season by the Pope John girls� team.As the race unfolded, another question was raised, as Jeremy Scheid (�07) came through the 2-mile mark in 10 minutes, could he break his brother�s course record from 2003.Racing virtually alone the entire distance, Jeremy finished in 15:35 breaking the record by 2 seconds. With that question resolved, the next was if the team could break the team points.Behind Jeremy, the chase pack of PJ runners and other SCIL racers was unfolding.Using their pre-race strategy to perfection, the PJ pack pushed the last 1.1 miles to claim the record with 18 points.Taking 4 of the next 6 places behind Jeremy, the boys laid claim to being the best SCIL XC team in history.Clay Smith (�07) and Jon Juleus (�08) started the ball rolling by placing 2nd and 3rd respectively in 15:59.For both, it was the first time under 16 minutes for 5k.Next in was Nick Beese (�08) in 5th in 16:05 (a PR).With four runners in, the team had 11 points and was near the record.Tim Burns (�07) raced down two opponents in the last 100 meters to finish 7th and give the team the record.Racing with a strained left quadriceps muscle, Tom Roy (�07) ended up 11th after racing with the leaders for much of the race.Chris Gaus (�09) was the 7th man on the day with a 19th place finish.Overall, the boys averaged 15:58 for the 5k course and proved to be one of the top teams in NJ and the Northeast Region.


Senior Boys (L to R) � Clay Smith, Tom Roy, Rob Lennon, Tim Burns, Matt Pezzulo, Jeremy Scheid, Mike Peer



Next up for the Lions is the New Jersey Catholic Track Conference Championships on November 4th at Warananco Park.The girls are defending champions while the boys seek their first ever overall title.



Boys Varsity (3.1)

Boys Junior Varsity (3.1)

Boys Freshman (2.0)

1. Jeremy Scheid 15:35

1. Matt Pezzulo 17:12

1. AJ Hanifin 10:49

2. Clay Smith 15:59

2. Tim Paziora 17:16

3. Dan Grund 11:38

3. Jon Juleus 15:59

3. Kevin McCormick 17:17

10. Greg Moore 12:30

5. Nick Beese 16:05

4. Doug Murphy 17:31

14. Sean Reid 13:09

7. Tim Burns 16:14

5. Robert Lennon 17:44

22. Mike Grinthal 13:53

11. Tom Roy 16:34

6. Josh D�Anna 17:47

24. Pat Sheehan 14:15

19. Chris Gaus 17:13

7. Paraic O�Reilly 17:50

31. Jacob Williams 16:53


16. Graham Medak 18:48


1. Pope John 18

17. Joe Benedetto 18:52


2. Vernon 101

21. Trevor Warden 19:15


3. Wallkill Valley 106

33. Tom Wilson 19:43



34. Mike Gaus 19:53



40. Matt Bourlier 20:11



42. Jim Morrissey 20:13



51. Michael Williams 21:11



55. Raj Trivedi 22:11



59. Matt Hansen 23:55



63. Mike Peer 24:39





Girls Varsity (3.1)

Girls Junior Varsity (3.1)

Girls Freshman (2.0)

1. Lara Heigis 17:55

2. Zaharo Tsekouras 22:33

1. Marissa Galante 12:52

3. Lauren Bariexca 18:51

3. Caitlyn Lees 22:51

2. Ali Taylor 13:25

4. Sarah Cariati 19:03

6. Katie Potter 23:03

3. Cat Carey 13:26

9. Ashton Weiler 19:47

16. Grace Wilson 27:14

5. Kaila Hoer 14:08

11. Jenny Heigis 20:00


18. Angela Poccia 17:07

13. Kelsey Murphy 20:39


19. Meghann Cobo 17:35




1. Pope John 26



2. High Point 74



3. Wallkill Valley 75



SCIL Festival Results


Photo Gallery



PJ Leads All-League Teams With 13 Honors


hampton, nJ (Nov. 1, 2006) � The Pope John Cross-Country teams earned 13 All-League citations today at the year-end SCIL coaches meeting.Voted on by the SCIL coaches, the All-League team consists of 15 male student-athletes and 15 female students athletes.The SCIL Champion girls� team earned 6 honors, while the SCIL Champion boys earned 7 citations.Matt Pezzulo and Marissa Galante earned All-SCIL Honorable Mention recognition.Below is the complete list of honorees.











Lauren Bariexca


Pope John

Nick Beese


Pope John

Sarah Cariati


Pope John

Tim Burns


Pope John

Jenny Heigis


Pope John

Chris Gaus


Pope John

Lara Heigis


Pope John

Jon Juleus


Pope John

Kelsey Murphy


Pope John

Tom Roy


Pope John

Ashton Weiler


Pope John

Jeremy Scheid


Pope John

Samantha Brummell


High Point

Clay Smith


Pope John

Danielle Czohla


High Point

Ben VanWyk


High Point

Stacey Lepes


High Point

Dan West



Leah DeYoung



Kyle Vaughan



Megan Murnane


Lenape Valley

Connor Grant



Molly McConnell



Sam McMullen



Susan Caputo



Anthony Santonastaso



Aimee Chegwidden


Wallkill Valley

Matt Behre



Kaitlin Chegwidden


Wallkill Valley

Ian Scott


Wallkill Valley



Boys Win 1st NJCTC Title, Heigis Repeats


elizabeth, nj (Nov. 4, 2006) �Coming into the 50th annual New Jersey Catholic Track Conference Cross-Country Championships, the Pope John boys� cross-country team had proven throughout their season that they should be contenders for the overall team title.Having gone undefeated in dual meets, won two major invitational titles, and a record 7th straight league title, they were ready for their biggest challenge of the season: Defeat the always powerful CBA team and try to end their 24 year win streak.After their race on Saturday, they proved they might be ready for some more challenges.Running a team-tactic race, the boys were finally able to defeat CBA (52-81) and claim their first ever (in XC or track) NJCTC championship trophy.


L to R: Tim Burns, Tom Roy, Jeremy Scheid, Jon Juleus, Clay Smith, Matt Pezzulo, Nick Beese



Leading the team was the selfless Jeremy Scheid (�07), who sacrificed a chance for a school individual record on the famed 3.2 mile Warinanco Park course to lead his teammates in the race.Running a controlled first half of the race, Jeremy led a pack of three other Lions, Jon Juleus (�08), Clay Smith (�07) and Nick Beese (�08), through a 5:13 first mile and to the fastest team time average ever at the park.Staying in control the entire way, Jeremy was able to finish 4th in a PR of 16:33 (#3 on the AT list) and lead Jon to 5th place in 16:34 (#4 AT & #2 junior), Clay to a 7th place finish in 16:36 (#5 AT) and Nick to a 14th place finish in 16:50 (#7 AT & #5 junior).Also running an exceptional race and delivering the final winning points was Tim Burns (�07) in 22nd in 17:01 (#9 AT) and a 1:20 PR from last season.The sixth man on the day was the quickly improving Matt Pezzulo (�07) in 17:30 (#14 AT) in his first varsity championship action.The final finisher was Tom Roy (�07) in 58th place in 17:55.


In sub-varsity action, Tim Paziora (�09), Kevin McCormick (�09) and Josh D�Anna (�08) finished in the top 10 of the junior varsity race to spark the Lions to a 2nd place team finish.Tim�s time of 17:44 ranks #7 on the AT sophomore list while Kevin�s 17:46 falls #8 on the same list.Also medaling (and racing well) were Doug Murphy (�08) in 12th, Chris Gaus (�09) in 15th, Paraic O�Reilly (�09) in 16th, and Rob Lennon (�07) in 24th.The sole medalist in the freshman race was AJ Hanifin in 5th place with a time of 12:37, good enough for #4 on the AT PJ freshman list.


Lara Heigis



Not to be overshadowed by the boys� triumph, the Pope John girls� cross-country team earned some team medals as well.Leading the team was the dynamic Lara Heigis (�07), who became only the third girl to ever win two individual crowns at the NJCTC XC Championships.Running virtually alone the entire distance, Lara raced to a school and championship record time of 18:36 and squarely set her sights on the rest of New Jersey.Also helping to rewrite the record books was Lauren Bariexca (�07) and Sarah Cariati (�09).Racing stride-for-stride the entire distance, Lauren and Sarah became the 2nd and 3rd fastest PJ girls ever on the legendary course.Following this swift duo was freshman sensation Ashton Weiler (�10) in 23rd in 20:27 (#7 on the AT list and #2 on the PJ freshman list).The final finishers for the Lady Lions were Jenny Heigis (�09) in 32nd in 21:05 (#5 sophomore), Kelsey Murphy (�07) in 40th in 21:41 (#20 AT) and Marissa Galante (�10) in 43rd in 21:56 (#5 freshman).


Medalists in sub-varsity action included the junior threesome of Zaharo Tsekouras (�08), Caitlyn Lees (�08) and Katie Potter (�08) in the junior varsity race and Ali Taylor (�10), Cat Carey (�10) and Kaila Hoer (�10) in the freshman race.


Both teams return to Holmdel Park on Saturday, November 11th, for the NJSIAA Non-Public �A� state championships.The boys are seeking their first ever �A� title and first state title since 1996, while the girls are looking to defend their title from 2005.Boys race at 1:45 with the girls following at 2:35.


Boys Varsity (3.2)

Boys Junior Varsity (3.2)

Boys Freshman (2.2)

4. Jeremy Scheid 16:33

5. Tim Paziora 17:44

5. AJ Hanifin 12:37

5. Jon Juleus 16:34

7. Kevin McCormick 17:47

50. Dan Grund 13:58

7. Clay Smith 16:36

8. Josh D�Anna 17:59

57. Greg Moore 14:09

14. Nick Beese 16:50

12. Doug Murphy 18:05

72. Sean Reid 14:34

22. Tim Burns 17:01

15. Chris Gaus 18:14

96. Pat Sheehan 15:59

38. Matt Pezzulo 17:30

16. Paraic O�Reilly 18:25

105. Mike Grinthal 16:35

58. Tom Roy 17:55

24. Robert Lennon 18:48

121. Jacob Williams 18:48


35. Graham Medak 19:15


1. Pope John 52

37. Joe Benedetto 19:18


2. CBA 81

81. Jim Morrissey 20:37


3. St. Benedict�s 108

91. Matt Bourlier 21:04



95. Tom Wilson 21:13



102. Trevor Warden 21:44



113. Raj Trivedi 22:19



114. Michael Williams 22:21



130. Matt Hansen 24:51



131. Mike Peer 25:05





Girls Varsity (3.2)

Girls Junior Varsity (3.2)

Girls Freshman (2.2)

1. Lara Heigis 18:36

17. Zaharo Tsekouras 24:13

15. Ali Taylor 15:50

6. Lauren Bariexca 19:28

18. Caitlyn Lees 24:19

16. Cat Carey 16:00

7. Sarah Cariati 19:29

19. Katie Potter 24:29

20. Kaila Hoer 16:34

23. Ashton Weiler 20:27

37. Grace Wilson 27:47

45. Angela Poccia 19:06

32. Jenny Heigis 21:05


47. Meghann Cobo 19:28

40. Kelsey Murphy 21:41



43. Marissa Galante 21:56






1. Monsignor Donovan 54



2. Red Bank Catholic 66



3. Pope John 68

















Photo Gallery



Heigis Claims 2nd Straight State Title; Boys Falter


holmdel, nj (Nov. 11, 2006) � Led by the victorious Lara Heigis (�07), the Pope John girls� cross-country team claimed the first three positions in the NJSIAA Non-Public �A� state championship but it was not enough as they finished in 4th place (only 4 points behind champion AHA).Lara became the first repeat winner in Non-Public �A� since 1994 and has now finished in the top two positions in each of the past four years.Finishing immediately behind Lara was the duo of Lauren Bariexca (�07) and Sarah Cariati (�09) in 19:41 (#3 AT) and 19:43 (#4 AT & #2 Soph.) respectively on the 5k Holmdel Course.Concluding the scoring for the Lions was a pair of freshman, Ashton Weiler (�10) and Marissa Galante (�10).Ashton turned in a 34th place finish in 21:32 (#18 AT & #3 Frosh) with Marissa just behind in 37th place in 21:55 (#5 Frosh).Despite finishing out of the top three place, the team advanced to the New Jersey Meet of Champions on November 18th by securing a wildcard berth based on overall time.


On the boys� side, the team unfortunately had their worst performance of the season as they failed to advance to the New Jersey Meet of Champions for the first time in 6 years.One week after the best team performance of the year, the boys ended up 4th and out of the advancement positions.It was a difficult way to conclude a season that held such promise including a #3 ranking in the state and a NJCTC championship.


Race time for the girls this Saturday is 10:45 AM.


Boys Varsity (3.2)

Girls Varsity (3.1)

17. Jon Juleus 17:11

1. Lara Heigis 19:21

22. Nick Beese 17:21

2. Lauren Bariexca 19:41

34. Jeremy Scheid 17:43

3. Sarah Cariati 19:43

49. Tim Paziora 18:01

34. Ashton Weiler 21:32

52. Tim Burns 18:11

37. Marissa Galante 21:55

55. Matt Pezzulo 18:16

47. Kelsey Murphy 22:46

74. Clay Smith 18:46

48. Jenny Heigis 22:47



1. Don Bosco 51

1. Holy Angels 69

2. CBA 140

2. Monsignor Donovan 71

3. Red Bank Catholic 168

3. Red Bank Catholic 73

4. Pope John 174

4. Pope John 73




Heigis, Girls 5th at Meet of Champions


holmdel, nj (Nov. 18, 2006) � For the third consecutive season, the Pope John Girls� Cross-Country made the podium at the season-ending New Jersey Meet of Champions.Finishing 5th out of 20 teams, the girls put together their best performance of the season (all running season bests on the course) to earn their medals.


Leading the team as she has for the past four years was Lara Heigis (�07).Placing 5th overall out of the 181 runners in 18:26 (#1 AT senior), Lara earned the rare distinction of placing in the top 10 in the NJ Meet of Champions in all four years of her running career.No other runner in the class of 2007 can make the same claim.Also placing highly in the race was the twosome of Sarah Cariati (�09) and Lauren Bariexca (�07).As their have done in all the championship races this season, Sarah and Lauren worked together throughout the race to secure personal best times and top 35 placements.Sarah�s time of 19:27 is #3 on the AT PJ Holmdel Park list and #2 on the sophomore list.On the day, she was the 7th highest finisher of all sophomore runners.Lauren�s time of 19:28 is #4 on the AT PJ Holmdel list and #3 on the senior list.Another PR for the Holmdel Park 5k course was run by Ashton Weiler (�10).Ashton placed 92nd overall (16th best freshman) and ran to the 12th fastest time ever for a PJ runner (#3 frosh).She dropped her time by 51 seconds from 1 week ago.Delivering the final team points was Jenny Heigis (�09).Battling health problems the past several weeks, Jenny put together her best race of the season to secure the podium finish.Her time of 20:58 is #5 on the PJ sophomore list and an improvement of 1:49 from last weekend.The 6th runner on the day was Marissa Galante (�10) in 126th place.Marissa was the 20th best freshman on the day with her 21:16 clocking (#18 AT & #4 frosh).Just behind Marissa was Kelsey Murphy (�07) in 138th place in a season best time of 21:44.


Several of the girls will join a few boys for the Footlocker Northeast Regional National qualifying races next weekend at Van Cortlandt Park.


Girls Varsity (3.1)

5. Lara Heigis 18:26

33. Sarah Cariati 19:27

34. Lauren Bariexca 19:28

92. Ashton Weiler 20:36

117. Jenny Heigis 20:58

126. Marissa Galante 21:16

138. Kelsey Murphy 21:44


1. Colts Neck 80

2. Voorhees 146

3. Red Bank Catholic 159

4. Roxbury 167

5. Pope John 168