Don Bosco capped a terrific cross-country season with a 10th-place finish in the Nike Team Nationals on Saturday at Portland, Ore.
The New Jersey State champion and the first North Jersey team to qualify for the team championships scored 272 points in the 22-team race won by Illinois State champion Naperville over Los Alamos, N.M., 125-127. Bosco finished just 16 points behind Northeast champion Brookline, which placed seventh in the 5,000-meter race
"Our guys just went out as hard as they could for as long as they could," said an elated Kevin Kilduff, the Bosco coach. "It's not really a course designed for our runners because it's not that hilly and there's a lot of places where speed is more important than strength, but we ran well and the overall experience for the kids was amazing."
Rob Molke led Bosco with a 21st-place finish, with Anthony Belgiovine finishing 31st, Leighton Spencer 51st, Rafael Vargas 80th and Stephen Wyka 89th.
"We actually were as high as seventh at the 3K mark," said Kilduff. "It was a really fast race and I think some of our younger kids especially felt the effects of that in the final kilometer of the race."
-- Paul Schwartz