The quizzes were no problem for the South Brunswick High School boys cross country team. Now comes the first exam.
After handily beating perennial power Old Bridge and challenger J.P. Stevens in dual meets, then dominating the Bernie Magee Memorial, the Vikings step up in class for the championship race at Saturday’s Shore Coaches Invitational.
“I think we’re in a good spot,” head coach Wilfredo Rivera said. “We’re pretty deep. Our top seven hasn’t been the same order once this season.”
At the Magee Memorial, South Brunswick’s top five runners averaged under 17:00 at Warinanco Park, with a tidy 16-second spread from first to fifth. Senior Brian Colhoun (16:49), juniors Kyle McCann (16:57) and Matt Zamorski (16:58) and sophomore Tyler Sanders (17:04) led the way on the heels of relatively modest training.
“I know how I’ve trained my guys in the past and we haven’t done anything yet,” Rivera said.
The competition toughens at Holmdel Park Saturday. National power Christian Brothers headlines the championship field, but South Brunswick will be more concerned with fellow Group IV programs West Windsor-Plainsboro South and Westfield. The Vikings also are interested in Hillsborough, which entered the Varsity A race.
Rivera said he wasn’t looking to enter the championship race, but after meet organizers placed his team there, his harriers embraced the challenge.
“My thought process was the field is usually small, but now there ‘s 18 teams,” he said. “I want Shore Coaches to mimic groups — crowded starting line, crowded field. On paper there are 18 teams and in Group IV there’s 20, so that’s fine. It lets us get a taste.”
The Vikings have big goals, starting with putting an end to Old Bridge’s eight-year reign at the Greater Middlesex Conference Championships. That race takes place Oct. 26.
“We’ve never won the county meet,” Rivera said. “That’s the first step for us.”
They’ll have a good idea of where they stand after Saturday.