Louis Corgliano saw no reason to change a winning strategy at the Cherokee Challenge cross country meet Saturday morning.

The Hammonton High School runner won the two-mile senior class race in 9 minutes, 30.59 seconds at Cherokee High School in Marlton.

Corgliano pulled away from Jack Hagood of Tatnall, Del., on an uphill portion of the course about a quarter of a mile from the finish. Hagood finished second in 9:40.24.

"I really charged up the hill," Corgliano said. "From there, I didn't stop."

Corgliano made the same move at the same spot to win the junior race last year.

"I figured I was feeling pretty good and I would put another big surge on (like last year)," Corgliano said. "Luckily, (Hagood) didn't match it."

The Cherokee Challenge marks the start of the cross country major-meet season.

Boys and girls runners from nearly 100 schools competed in grade-based races.

Corgliano's time was just off the course record of 9:26 set last year by Shawn Wilson of Cherokee. Wilson went on to win the state Group IV championship last year.

"To be where I am right now gives me a lot of confidence and momentum for the rest of the season," Corgliano said. "I'll need that for the end of the year when the big races come."

In other races, Danielle Leavitt of Lacey Township ran 11:16.29 to finish third in the senior girls race. Courtney Smith of Unionville, Pa., won in 10:56.66. Bridget Flynn of Ocean City finished ninth in 11:56.56.

In the girls junior race, Epiphany Grisbaum of Ocean City finished ninth in 11:54.79. In boys races, Daniel Do of Absegami finished sixth in the freshman race in 10:38.15.

Vincent DelConte of Egg Harbor Township ran 10:05.45 to finish ninth in the junior race.

Contact Michael McGarry:

609-272-7185

Top-10 times by Press-area runners

(indicates place they finished in their

respective races)

Boys

1. Louis Corgliano, Hammonton, Sr., (1) 9:30.59 2. Vincent DelConte, EHT, Jr. (9) 10:05.45 3. David Paduani, EHT, Sr., (15) 10:09.41 4. Ishmael Muhammad, Oakcrest, Sr., (19) 10:16.44 5. Edward Keenan, Ocean City, Sr., (30) 10:31.33 6. Trevor Gentek, Wildwood, Jr., (20) 10:31.98 7. Brandon Hadtke, Ocean City, Jr., (22) 10:33.42 8. Dustin Sutton, Millville, Jr., (24) 10:34.17 9. Val Vadino, St. Joe, Jr., (26) 10:35.89 10. Daniel Do, Absegami, Fr., (6) 10:38.15

Girls

1. Danielle Leavitt, Lacey Township, Sr., (3) 11:16.29 2. Epiphany Grisbaum, Ocean City, Jr., (9) 11:54.79 3. Bridget Flynn, Ocean City, Sr., (9) 11:56.56 4. Abby Gauthier, Lacey Township, Jr., (14) 12:10.55 5. Victoria Thaler, Millville, Sr., (13) 12:12.75 6. Rachel Stremme, Ocean City, Jr., (17) 12:17.93 7. Morgan Schick, EHT, Jr., (23) 12:31.35 8. McKenzie Springsteadah, Millville, So., (12) 12:31.61 9. Lisa Testa, Buena Regional, Sr., (29) 12:49.10 10. Gina Testa, Buena Regional, Sr., (30) 12:49.27