Cross Country Goes Cross Country- Six Flags Invitational


Tom Smith (

The Menchville Boys JV Team stat their meet at Six Flags.

“You can have Miami, I love the Garden State.” Those are lyrics from John Pizzarelli’s song “I Like New Jersey Best”, and after a recent trip to New Jersey, Menchville cross country runners would likely agree.  The Menchville Cross Country team journeyed up North to the Garden State on Friday, September 26th to the 28th, to race in the Six Flags Wild Safari Invitational. After their first-place win at the Big Cat Invitational in Williamsburg the weekend earlier, the Monarchs were determined to show New Jersey who they were.

Twenty-four different schools were represented, the race was packed with heavy competition. The Monarch’s started the race towards the middle of the pack, but as happens in most of their races, they were able to use the countless hill and speed workouts they had done throughout the season to outlast most of their competition. The first Monarch to finish was Junior Alejandro Ramirez, who finished the three mile run with a time of 17:23, a mere thirty seconds away from his personal best.  Senior James Aldridge came in a second behind him at 17:24. The two finished 40th and 41st respectively, in a race filled with 162 runners. Junior BJ Diongzon (17:45) finished only 20 seconds behind Aldridge, in 57th place. Other finishes for the team included; Brandon Edwards (63rd, 17:49) , Chris Ware (82nd, 18:09) , John Michael Cabral (93rd, 18:18) and Ethan Padron (99th, 18:28).  All of the times added up for enough to put Menchville in 9th place, ahead of 15 other teams.

The Menchville Girls Varsity team was led by senior Ari Riddick, who finished in 7th place, running a 19:41. Monarch Sophomore Zoe Villarreal finished second, and 39th overall, with a time of 21:07. Junior Jaylen Windham came in at 52nd place at 21:37. Following her was senior Hannah Ferguson, who finished 92nd, with a time of 23:04. Senior Ana Martinez (106th, 23:39), and Junior Gabby Roach (112th, 23:56) rounded out the team competition. The girls finished in 12th out of 20 teams.

The Monarch’s also were represented by two JV teams, with the girls team placing 10th out of 13, and the boys team placing 5th out of 15. The following Menchville JV runners achieved their personal bests at the meet; (Girls team) Samantha Biet (27:28), (Boys team) Janah Beverly (18:36), Kiko Duran (19:56), Davin Fermaintt (18: 54), Ryan Jeon (19:08), Patrick Myers (18:19), Matthew Swanenburg (27:38) and Preston Wilkerson (26:34).

The Six Flags Invitational was a good opportunity for the Monarchs to test their speed against out of state competition. They have four meets left before regional and state competition begins.