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Raider runners finish season with several honors

Senior+Ryne+Beni+and+Sophomore+Chris+Digricoli+finish+their+run+at+their+Regional+Meet+on+Nov.+24.
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Raider runners finish season with several honors

Senior Ryne Beni and Sophomore Chris Digricoli finish their run at their Regional Meet on Nov. 24.

Senior Ryne Beni and Sophomore Chris Digricoli finish their run at their Regional Meet on Nov. 24.

courtesy of Sue Bevilacqua

Senior Ryne Beni and Sophomore Chris Digricoli finish their run at their Regional Meet on Nov. 24.

courtesy of Sue Bevilacqua

courtesy of Sue Bevilacqua

Senior Ryne Beni and Sophomore Chris Digricoli finish their run at their Regional Meet on Nov. 24.

Jack Renz and Eric Booth

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The sun is down, and it’s freezing cold; winter’s here and that means the end of fall sports. Throughout the fall, both boys and girls cross country teams have put in hard work to set their teams up for success.

This year’s varsity girl runners were seniors Maggie Tabernero and Jenny Tavares, juniors Cate Lanahan and Khyathi Dadi, sophomores Allie Bird and Sia Mahajan, and freshman Preeta Joshi. The team placed third at the Somerset County Championship Meet on Oct. 12 and, on Nov. 3, placed fourth at Central Jersey Group 4 State Sectional Championships.

On top of their notable placements, some of the girls also earned individual recognition. Lanahan earned First Team All-Somerset County and First Team All-Conference; Tavares was recognized as a Second Team All-Somerset County and First Team All-Conference runner; Mahajan was given the Second Team All-Somerset County honor and honorable mention for the All-Conference Team.

The school, unfortunately, is losing two experienced seniors after this season.

“It’s sad because I’m going to miss everyone and being pushed to do better,” Tabernero said.

The team has a good future ahead of them with a relatively young core and exceptional coaching staff comprised of head coach Richard Refi, and assistant coach Hillsborough High School alumnus Jason Rudich.

“My favorite part of coaching the girls is being able to teach them something that I enjoyed doing when I was younger,” Rudich said. “I also like guiding them in not making the same mistakes that I did when I ran for Hillsborough High School.”

The boys finished the season achieving similar success as their female counterparts. This year, the boys have to say goodbye to three exceptional runners: Ryne Beni, Tyler Balas, and Ryan Mitchell. Mitchell has been outstanding this season with average 5k times of 16:40, and an appearance in the Meet of Champions. The seniors leaving after this year helped lead the boys to an undefeated four and zero record in the Skyland Conference as well as a second place finish in the Somerset County Champions Race. All of their hard work and time dedicated to the program will make them miss running for the Raiders.

Recognition for the boys was given in the form of team awards, too. Balas was named the toughest runner of the team and Matthew Callesano received the rookie of the year award. Mitchell also accepted the Most Valuable Runner award for the season at the team’s banquet. The 2018 season ended very well for both the boys and girls Raider running teams, proving how hard work really does pay off.

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Eric Booth, Op-ed Editor

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

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