OCHS Teams of the Century

Abbey Hartman Raider Girls Runner of the Century!

Gazette Staff Writer

There were only 22 cross country teams at Ocean City High School during the 20th century. But they left behind an impressive record.

Five of them finished undefeated, including a state champion and two South Jersey champions. The OC teams won 15 Cape-Atlantic League championships, including 10 straight, and were the best in Cape May County all 16 times there was a county meet.

Ironically, the best of all those runners was a girl who came out for the team just to get into shape and developed into one of the best distance runners in South Jersey. Abbey Hartman was the South Jersey Runner of the Year, was on the first team all-state and finished second in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions. She is the logical choice as OCHS Runner of the Century.

But there were others with pretty good credentials.

Debbie Holden was the first of Ocean City’s great runners. She was followed, two years later, by Melody Sye, who was better known for track but still a great cross country runner. Then came Maryjo Dougherty, still the only Ocean City athlete to be first team, All-South Jersey four straight years. There were Alison Amicone, Lori Heywood and Kelly Dougherty from the state championship team. Then came the fabulous Exchange Student, Mirjam Pietersma, who was selected to the all-state team. After her came the brilliant Megan Hartman, Abbey’s older sister, and the determined Danielle Salvia.

Mike Naples, selected earlier this year as Ocean City’s overall Coach of the Century for all sports, is an obvious choice as the Coach of the Century in girls cross country. He directed the Raiders for 21 of those 22 cross country seasons and his teams won 209 of 237 meets.

The outstanding single season of the century was provided by the 1987 team, a 10-0 squad that won the South Jersey Group 3 championship. That team also swept the Cape-Atlantic League and Cape May County titles. A year later, some of the same runners returned to produce a state champion. But the 1987 team had a stronger lineup and finished second to powerful Red Bank Catholic in the state final meet. They then beat RBC in the Meet of Champions.

Leading that team, coached by Naples, were four members of the All-Century team – senior Maryjo Dougherty, junior Alison Amicone, junior Lori Heywood and sophomore Kelli Dougherty. The other consistent scorers in 1987 were senior Noel Taxin, sophomore Barbara McAlarnen and freshman Tricia Shelton.

The All-Century Raider Girls CC Team
Debbie Holden (1980)
Melody Sye (1982)
Maryjo Dougherty (1987)
Alison Amicone (1988)
Lori Heywood (1988)
Kelli Dougherty (1989)
Mirjam Pietersma (1990)
Megan Hartman (1993)
Danielle Salvia (1995)
Abbey Hartman (1996)
Coach Mike Naples (1979-1999)

The 1987 Team - Best of the Century
Alison Amicone
Kelli Dougherty
Maryjo Dougherty
Lori Heywood
Barbara McAlarnen
Tricia Shelton
Noel Taxin
Coach Mike Naples

Championship Teams

State championship: 1988
South Jersey championships: 1993, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986
CAL-American titles: 2000, 1997, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983
CAL-National titles: 1982, 1981
Cape May County titles: 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985

All-Time Coaches Records

Mike Naples (21 years).....209-28 [.882]
Leo Chase (1).....................12-0 [1.000]