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 Defending champion Golden Bears ready to run

Sports Scene

  Photo by Bill Allen-NJ Sport/Action
Members of the girls and boys Bears battalions work out at Garret Mountain during the dog days of August.
By W. L. Bill Allen, Jr. / New Jersey Sport/Action

LYNDHURST (Sept. 2, 2010) — The gap between the two most recent conference crowns copped by the boys cross-country contingent from Lyndhurst High School was well over 40 years, as the Golden Bears ran to 2009 Bergen County Scholastic League/National Division after not having garnered a title of any kind since 1965.

Now, the defending champion locals are optimistic that the gap between last year’s crown and the next one will be much, much shorter.

“We have six of our top seven back from last year, including all of our top five runners, so I’m pretty confident that we will be very competitive again this year,” assessed veteran LHS head coach Dave Picardo.

A member of the LHS Class of 1990 who is now in his eighth year at X-C club’s controls, Picardo guided the Bears boys to a 6-1 mark in their septet of regular season skirmishes, with the locals then finishing first in the BCSL/National championship race. Those results left LHS tied for the overall title with Ridgefield Memorial.

“We only graduated one senior, Tyler Fitzsimmons, and he was our number six guy for most of last season,” Picardo expounded.

Setting the pace for the Bears’ recent resurgence has been Patrick Rono, a junior who won the individual Bergen County Championship last year, prior to finishing ninth in New Jersey at the State Meet of Champions.

In the Bergen Meet of Champs, Rono posted a time of 15:25, with a time of 15:55 in the SMOC on the very tough, very hilly course at Holmdel.

The list of other varsity returnees includes seniors J.J. LeClerc and Pedro Moreion and juniors Danny Gaspar, Max Estevez, Thiago Fernandes and Mark Lodato.

With the forced dismemberment of the now defunct BCSL/National, the LHS X-C contingent will be competing in the New Jersey Interscholastic Conference/Meadowlands Division, along with Becton Regional, Queen of Peace, Harrison, Hasbrouck Heights, Secaucus, Saddle Brook, Ridgefield Memorial and Immaculate Conception of Lodi.

The Golden gang will kick off its current campaign by facing Becton Regional, Secaucus and Harrison at West Hudson Park on Sept. 15.

Then, there is a trip to the Season Opener Invitational set for Sept. 17 at Darlington County Park in Mahwah.

Call Bill at 973-783-9236

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