The cross country course at Holmdel State Park in Holmdel, New Jersey provides one of the most demanding cross country venues in the country, and Cherokee runners meet that challenge year after year. In 1999, Cherokee's Joe Halin ran 16.09.0, won the State Group IV Championship, and set a tough standard for future Cherokee cross country runners! He was followed in 2001, by Marc Pelerin who ran 15:43.7 -- what was then the seventh fastest time in the 29-year history of the Park's championship course -- and won both the State Group IV Championship and the State Meet of Champions! Then, in 2002, Keith Krieger clocked a 15:45.8, taking second in both the Group IV Championship and the State Meet of Champions, and, at the time, placing ninth on the list of top Holmdel Park times. (By November, 2012, Marc and Keith stood in 32nd and 37th place on the list, a testimony to the number of great runners who have followed them on Holmdel's championship course!)
In 2003, while no Cherokee athlete challenged the incredible times run by Pelerin and Krieger, three -- Tom Yersak, Greg Bredeck and Sean McLaughlin -- ran PR's that placed them among Cherokee's top ten performers at Holmdel Park. In 2004, Yersak and Bredeck continued their attack on the school records at Holmdel. Tom moved to 4th on Cherokee's All-Time list with a 16:12.1, while Greg moved to 5th with 16:18.7. In 2005, Tom's brother, Alex Yersak, appeared on the list in 6th place with 16:21.0!
By 2010, however, another change was made near the top of Cherokee's All-Time list! That year, in the State Group IV Championship, Greg Malloy ran 16:16.8 and moved into 5th place! He thought he had cemented that position in the State Meet of Champions by dropping his time to 16:14.0 but events the following year changed that!
In 2011, almost all of the previous Cherokee records at Holmdel were broken by Junior Shawn Wilson who clocked 15:45.0 and took fifth place in the State Meet of Champions, edging-out Keith Krieger for second on the Cherokee All-Time List! Then in 2012, Shawn smashed all previous Cherokee records when he clocked 15:40 and won the State Group IV Championship, moving him to first place on the All-Time list!
These athletes are part of a long tradition of excellence established by Cherokee runners at Holmdel Park, as the following lists demonstrate: