The Brookdale Cross Country Team ran a spectacular race and won the Region XIX Championship held at White Clay Creek State Park, on Saturday, October 30, 202. This qualifies the team for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Championship being held in Milledgeville, GA, on November 13, 2021. Theodore Purdon, a freshman from Little Silver, was exceptional as he was the first to cross the line overall in the men’s race.
“Teddy is unconquerable in his spirit and his mindset, and today he was unbeatable,” said Boy’s Cross Country Head Coach Brendan McGoldrick from Red Bank Regional High School @rbrxctf. “It does not mean Teddy cannot be beaten, but he will not be conquered by anything. He continues to push his limits and boundaries and continues to grow. He is in great hands with Brookdale Coaches Tursi and Dennis.”
In the women’s 5K race over a hilly course, freshman Kristen Daly from Middletown ran a fantastic race, placing 9th in a time of 27:28 and earning herself a trip to the NJCAA championships. Daly became the first woman runner to qualify in the last five years.
“So proud of the boys team and our one girl who qualified for nationals,” said Brookdale’s Men and Women’s Cross Country Head Coach Michael Tursi Jr. “Today Brookdale got to the top of the mountain and this is as good as it gets.”
The men’s meet came down to a two-team race between the Brookdale Jersey Blues and the Bergen Community College Bulldogs. Bergen was the slight favorite in this race, being that they beat Brookdale two out of the three times they raced each other this season. Bergen ranked fifth in the nation, while Brookdale was ranked eighth. In an epic battle over the challenging 8K course, Brookdale scored 33 points while Bergen tallied 43 points. This is Brookdale’s second regional championship in men’s cross country history, the last time was in 1982!
Teddy Purdon led the team as he placed first with a time of 28:42. Purdon is Brookdale’s first-ever individual champion as he earned All-Region XIX first team for his efforts. Michael Puzo, a freshman from Belford, ran the race of his life by placing eighth overall in a time of 31:12.50. He was followed by Joshua Seba, a freshman from Tinton Falls, who came in ninth place at 31:12.90. Seba was the team’s most consistent runner all year who set the pace for his teammates.
Connor Scott, a freshman from Keansburg, placed 10th overall in a time of 31:45, which was his best performance of the season. Co-Captain William Broadhurst, a sophomore from Leonardo, came through big time by placing 14th overall in a time of 32:30. Co-Captain, Maksim Popov a sophomore from Colts Neck, had a fantastic race, placing 16th in a time of 32:59. Next across the line was Joshua Beer, a freshman from Oceanport. “The Bear,” as his teammates better know him, ran an excellent race placing 23rd overall in a time of 33:55. A trio of newcomers rounded out the scoring for the Jersey Blues. Axel Linde placed 29th, Brendan Golding 30th from Red Bank, and Darin Perpignan from Neptune placed 39th. All three had personal best records on the course.
Brookdale’s next meet will be at the NJCAA Championship on Saturday, November 13, 2021, in Milledgeville, Georgia, hosted by Georgia Military College.