Cross Country Teams Head To Super Essex Meet


Share post:

- Advertisement -spot_img

Verona’s boys and girls cross country teams are heading to Branch Brook Park on Tuesday for the Super Essex Conference Championship race, and Coach Gene Leporati is comfortable with what he sees.

“The boys and girls have very identical teams,” says Leporati, “and that doesn’t always happen.”

Both teams have a mix of veterans and new challengers. For the boys, seniors Nick Lukas and Eddie Congdon have returned to form the nucleus of the team. Vinny Puchik, who had been a soccer player, came out for cross country for the first time this year. “He has really been surprising,” says Leporati.  The girls can count on returning stalwarts Kelly Scully and Heather Sweeney. Leporati notes that Marybeth Grund, a sophomore, “has stepped it up big.” The seven-runner group that the girls will send out on the Branch Brook course also includes a freshman, Melanie Egan.

- Advertisement -

But Verona still faces some big challenges this season, its first since Dave Oster–a standout for Verona in past–left for the University of Syracuse. Its division is dominated by Jeramy Elkaim, a Livingston high school senior who was the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 champion last fall and shattered the record for the 3,200 at the Meet of Champions this past spring.

As for the rest of the season, the team faces a dual meet with Passaic County Technical Institute at Garrett Mountain on October 18, and then the county championship at Brookdale Park on the 29th, as well as the group meet in Holmdel.

Leporati hopes to have Verona runners in that meet, and to some day have more venues like the two-hill Holmdel course for his runners locally.  “The Hilltop could be a great place,” he says. “It has the potential to be a very nice cross-country course.”

(Photos courtesy Meg Slotkin)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles

Car Wash Employee Seriously Injured By Driver

A 41-year-old employee of Quality Car Care was seriously injured late this afternoon when he was hit by...

Thomas J. Donahue, 81

Mr. Thomas J. Donahue (Tom), 81, passed away peacefully at home under hospice care on March 24, 2023...

Fundraiser For A Service Dog

Meghan Henderson has had more than her share of health challenges, and she's now hoping that the Verona...

Louise Miller Mann, Former Resident

Louise Miller Mann, 68 of Gray, Tennessee, passed away peacefully on Friday, March 24, 2023 surrounded by her...
error: Content is protected !!