Cross country

New Jersey cross country runner caught cheating once again

A New Jersey high school cross country runner who had been accused of cheating at the Manhattan Invitational in October once again used a shortcut to finish a race Saturday.

This time, Union City senior Terry Varicelli broke the rules at the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast Regional meet.

According to a story from MileSplit, Varicelli didn’t have a 1.5 mile split nor did he appear in any race footage before finishing. Yet, he finished with his best time by  more than three minutes, crossing in 27th place overall in 16:35. That time represents a significant PR from his 19:04 and 20:27 5K times this season.

A review of footage, split times and results pointed to him skipping the course, and his time was disqualified from the final results.

You can see him finishing here, wearing a winter hat.

Dubbed the “Manhattan Bandit” by Deadspin and MileSplit, he has a history of this. After the 2016 Manhattan Invite in October, a fellow runner reported that Varicelli had snuck into the boys eastern championship race after noticing discrepancies in the MileSplit photo albums.

You can see Varicelli standing on the course, then entering and finishing that race, right here.

Inquiring minds in the running community found even more evidence that Varicelli had done this before the current cross country season. During an indoor 800-meter race at the Armory Youth Championships in New York City last winter, this video shows a runner that looks like Varicelli dropping out of the race at the 1:15 mark of the race. One lap later, the runner in red with bib 11 can be seen jogging in lane three and finishing the event in third place.

No word yet on whether Varicelli will be allowed in future scholastic races. One thing is for sure – his boldness has certainly caught up with him.

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