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McGuire, Puglia left marks on Schalick running programs

There’s very little that can knock Greg McGuire and Marleigh Puglia off stride.

The two standout runners for Schalick High School were poised to cross the finish line of their scholastic careers this month, chasing dreams of a state title and qualifying for the season’s biggest venue, the Meet of Champions.

However, the coronavirus pandemic delivered an unexpected detour.

After years of running against the clock, time had run out before either harrier could even hit the track.

“It’s disappointing because we all have goals we wanted to reach and we didn’t get the chance to achieve them,” said McGuire, who was on pace to compete at this weekend’s state championships.

“We were working hard to get to this point and it’s devastating that we can’t finish it,” said Puglia, who was a member of Schalick’s two-time defending state champion 4×800 relay team.

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McGuire established himself as one of the top 800-meter runners in South Jersey, entering the spring season as the owner of five consecutive sectional titles, including three outdoor titles. He won last year’s 800 in a personal-best time of 1:57.07.

That success was leading up to what should have been some impressive final laps for the senior.

“Everything you do builds toward senior year and Greg was…

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