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Brooklyn high schoolers make a run of it - Borough as top finishers at 36th annual Manhattan College Interscholastic Cross Country meet

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Brothers Paul Gilhuley and Joseph Gilhuley finished among the top 20 runners in the Varsity ‘B’ Division of the 36th annual Manhattan College Interscholastic Cross Country meet over the 2.5 mile Van Cortlandt Park course in The Bronx on a delightful, sunny Saturday last weekend.

Paul Gilhuley wound up in 13:14.62 for fifth place while Joe turned in a 13:32.06 for 15th place in a meet that drew seven boys varsity sections and the Eastern States division. Overall, 623 teams representing 400 schools and 12,000 athletes came to New York for some tremendous competition. Overall there wee 40 races, all directed by former Bishop Loughlin Coach Ed Bowes..

The Gilhuleys along with their teammate Frankelly Fernand, a senior, helped to lead Bishop Ford to 227 points and seventh place in its section.

Paul Gilhuley’s time overall was the 55th fastest in the meet, combining all the varsity sections, and to a seventh place finish as a team in the standings in 1:10.28.69.

In addition to the actual competition, there was construction being done in the park itself but none of it was in progress during the entire meet.

Paul is one of the top cross country runners in this borough. Paul and Joe are looking to do well in the CHSAA Diocese of Brooklyn meet and in the Intersectional championships later on this season.

“We expected Paul to do that well,” said his father Paul Sr., who is also a runner, but a road runner. “We’re surprised at Joe who lowered his time. Both are training hard.

“We expect Paul to win the city championship. He’ll run a 12:45 in this meet. He’s right on path for it. His workouts are fine and he is doing great. We’re proud of both of them.

“In four years Paul has steadily improved every year. Joe had a good freshman year but has slacked off a bit the last two years. This year he’s come on 110 percent and is probably the most improved runner in the CHSAA.”

During the off season they stayed in shape by running on the roads and entering into road races.

“It helps us get stronger and better,” Paul, Jr. said. “My goal is to break 13 minutes.”

“Finishing among the top 20 runners means a lot, for the college (recruiters) are here out the race,” Joe said. “Training for the meet we did speed workouts, and distance work.”

While Bishop Ford shined for the Varsity boys, Xaverian, also a member of the CHSAA, was led by Brian Nersten’s 14:40 in the varsity race, and Joe Khoury’s 14:42 and Neil Khoury’s 15:05 and Kyle Powers’ 15:14 in the sophomore event.

“But we all improved out times and have to keep working hard for the city championsh­ips,” said coach Elba Maldonado. “Hopefully, we’ll finish among the top five teams.”

Turning to the intercollegiate scene, on the previous Friday afternoon, 125 females and 147 males ran in two separate races of the Metropolitan harrier championships over a 5-mile course.

While individual winner Bobby Hartnett lead a one-two-three sweep for team title holder Columbia University, junior Daniel Renahan ran a 27:01 clocking which earned him 24th place to lead Long Island University and St. Francis College freshman Marcus Budig covered the course in 27:39 and 42nd place.

Senior John Paul Montes placed second for St. Francis and overall 67th in 28:24.1. Sophomore Vin Gangemi wound up second for LIU and 113th overall in 30:32.1.

The runners are now pointing to do well in their Northest Conference meet at Holmdale Park in New Jersey.

“My goal is to come in the top 10 and earn all-Conference honors,” said Renahan, who stayed in shape during the off season by running for a club. “And by the end of the year I want to have the record in the indoor mile (4:16).”

“There’s a lot of history running at Van Cortlandt Park,” Montes said. “It’s like running in our back yard. I’ve been running for seven years. My time goal is to break 27 minutes and help the team out, by scoring as low as possible. Our goal is to crack the top five in the league meet. We don’t have a large team. Numbers help out. And we have a very good sophomore class.”

“Overall we had some good performanc­es,” LIU coach Julia Sandiford added. “Now we’re pointing for our conference meet (at the beginning of November.).”

Meanwhile, St. Francis Coach Kyle Brown felt a little disappointed at the way his team rand.

“We didn’t have the day that we wanted,” Brown said.

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