An Excellent Crop Of Distance Runners John Salisbury And David Cox Lead The Way. And, Oh Brother, Watch Out For The Waytons And Feeleys.

Posted: March 29, 1993

One of the strongest groups of distance runners in several years will kick into gear this week when the 1993 boys' scholastic track season opens.

Among the leaders are Haddon Heights' John Salisbury, Woodrow Wilson's David Cox, Shawnee's Aaron Totten-Lancaster, Sterling's Brian Gallagher, Vineland's Pat Nocito, Bridgeton's Romaine Lewis, Absegami's Toby Sinton, Haddon Heights' Carl Egbert, and Paulsboro's Jason Newcome.

The season should be enlivened by the presence of two outstanding brother combinations in Mainland's Geoff and Kurt Wayton, and Cinnaminson's Matt and Dan Feeley.

Salisbury was second in the South Jersey Group 1 championships last spring in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. He also was second in the Group 1 state 1,600 meters. The athlete who won all three of those races, Kevin Schilling of Pitman, graduated last year, so Salisbury is the odds-on favorite in those events.

Salisbury stepped to center stage last fall, winning the Group 1 state title in cross-country and emerging as one of the state's finest distance runners.

"Winning the state championship in cross-country was clearly my goal, and I hope that success will continue," Salisbury said. "I had a good season in track last year when I was a junior, and I want to step to the next level this season."

Cox led Woodrow Wilson to several relay championships last season as well as the Olympic Conference National Division title. He placed second in the Group 3 sectional meet in the 1,600 meters and won several major meet crowns.

His success continued in distance competition, as he placed third in the South Jersey Group 3 cross-country meet and 18th in the state Meet of Champions.

Totten-Lancaster led Shawnee to the state Group 4 championship last season, placing second in the sectional and state 3,200 meters. He came back last fall to place second in the sectional cross-country race.

Sterling's Gallagher enjoyed a banner 1992 season in which he captured the South Jersey Group 2 title in the 1,600 meters in a stunning upset of 1991 champion John Keevey of Cinnaminson. Gallagher also placed second in the sectional 800-meter run.

Absegami's Sinton is the defending Group 3 sectional champion in the 3,200

meters. He also enjoyed a fine cross-country season.

Vineland's Nocito, fifth in the 3,200 meters in the state Group 4 meet last season, is a top threat to win the sectional championship. He will team with Jeff Luma to give Vineland a strong distance nucleus.

Bridgeton's Lewis won the sectional title in Group 3 in the 800 meters last spring and qualified for the state Group 3 cross-country meet last fall.

Egbert, Salisbury's teammate at Haddon Heights, and Paulsboro's Newcome both were among the top five finishers in the Group 1 sectional cross-country championship last fall. Both also qualified for the state Group 1 championship in the 3,200-meter run last spring.

Mainland's Wayton twins were among the top cross-country runners in the state last fall and should help the Mustangs this spring.

Cinnaminson's Matt and Dan Feeley helped the Pirates win the South Jersey Group 2 championship in 1992 as well as the sectional cross-country crown last fall. Matt Feeley finished 14th in the cross-country Meet of Champions and should be one of the state's top 3,200-meter runners this spring.

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