Senior Brooke Farr was the difference maker for the Ocean City girls Friday in a dramatic team victory over one of the state’s top-ranked teams.
Farr was Ocean City’s fourth runner and placed 12th overall, finishing eight spots (six in team scoring) ahead of Red Bank Catholic’s fourth runner and helping the Red Raiders to a 56-60 win over RBC in the Osprey Invite girls race at Stockton University in Galloway Township.
After three runners, Red Bank Catholic had a 15-16 lead. RBC’s fifth runner finished one place — and less than a second — ahead of Ocean City’s fifth runner. Red Bank is ranked No. 12 in New Jersey. Ocean City is No. 1 in South Jersey.
So the fourth runners really determined this team title, and Farr ran 20:07 to lead Ocean City to the triumph.
That is the fastest 5,000 meters Farr has ever run on any course. Her previous PR was a 20:27 at sectionals last year at Delsea.
Ocean City had four of the first 12 finishers, with sophomore Alexa Palmieri second in 18:49, junior Casey McLees fourth in 19:09, junior Rebecca Millar 10th in 19:55, Farr 12th and sophomore Isabella Padula completing the scoring with a 31st-place finish in 21:40.
Ocean City went 2-4-10-12-28 with non-scorers eliminated.
Red Bank Catholic went 1-6-8-18-27.
Mainland was third with 74 points, including four in the top 20.
There were 134 girls in the varsity race, 19 complete teams and runners from a total of 26 schools.
Maddy Kopec of RBC was the overall girls winner in 18:41.
Other South Jersey girls in the top 10 included senior Angela Bannan of Holy Spirit [34rd in 18:59], freshman Alyssa Turner of Mainland [7th in 19:33] and senior Briana Hagerty of Pitman [9th in 19:52].
Juniors Laney and Marissa Guido also raced for Ocean City, placing 41st and 42nd in 22:00.
Ocean City also went 1-4-6-13-15-22-28-33-34 in the JV race, with junior Reghan Handley finishing first overall in 18:41 over 4,032 meters.