Grace Yoon and Rachel Vick both broke 18:30 on the hallowed 5,000-meter Holmdel County Park course Saturday, both earning spots on the all-time South Jersey list on the hilly course that’s hosted the New Jersey State Cross Country Championships since the 1970s.
Yoon, a freshman at Cherry Hill East, placed second in the state Group 4 meet in 18:28, and Vick, a senior at Kingsway, placed third in 18:29 in a crazy finish that saw four girls finish between 18:28 and 18:30.
Ridgewood senior Olympia Martin won the race in 18:28, followed by Yoon, Vick and Niamh Hayes of Howell, who was fourth in 18:30.
Yoon and Vick moved into the 13th and 14th spots on the all-time Holmdel County Park list, just behind two-time Olympian Erin Donohue of Haddonfield.
This was only the fifth time ever two South Jersey girls ran 18:30 or faster in the same race at Holmdel.
Yoon’s time is only nine seconds off the school record at Holmdel, Theresa Catunna’s 18:18 when she placed third in the 2006 Meet of Champions behind Danielle Tauro and Ashley Higginson.
Vick’s time is No. 2 in Kingsway history, behind Chelsea Ley, whose fastest time at Holmdel was a 17:44 at the 2008 Shore Coaches meet. It’s also No. 3 in Gloucester County history, behind only Michelle Rowen of Washington Township (17:40 in 1982) and Ley.
Yoon had never previously run at Holmdel and her time was somehow 19 seconds faster on New Jersey’s most challenging course Saturday as it was a week earlier at Delsea on New Jersey’s easiest course. So this was a huge breakthrough for her.
Vick’s previous best time at Holmdel was 19:27 at the 2014 state Group 4 meet.
Here is the updated all-time South Jersey Holmdel County Park performance list, with the best time by any girl who’s ever run 19:00 or faster. As always, corrections and additions are welcome!
17:28 Megan Venables [Highland Reg.], 2010
17:40 Michelle Rowen [Washington Twp.], 1982
17:44 Chelsea Ley [Kingsway], 2008
17:45 Briana Gess [Haddonfield], 2013
17:55 Megan Lacy [Cherokee], 2010
18:05 Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland], 2015
18:09 Holly Bischof [Bishop Eustace], 2010
18:12 Brittany Sedberry [Ocean City], 2004
18:17 Marielle Hall [Haddonfield], 2009
18:18 Theresa Catunna [Cherry Hill East], 2006
18:20 Devin Grisbaum [Ocean City], 2014
18:22 Vanessa Wright [Haddonfield], 2004
18:27 Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], 2000
18:28 Grace Yoon [Cherry Hill East], 2016
18:29 Rachel Vick [Kingsway], 2016
18:38 Casey Doyle [Shawnee], 2007
18:40 Mindy Rowand [Sterling], 1984
18:40 Dina Iacone [Washington Twp.], 2011
18:41 Shelby Cain [Haddonfield], 2011
18:43 Amanda Goetschius [Delsea], 2005
18:44 Arianna McKinney [Highland], 2003
18:49 Mara Sschiffhauer [Seneca], 2013
18:50 Dawn Cody [Paul VI], 1982
18:50 Jamie Wisgerber [Woodstown], 1994
18:50 Meghan Malloy [Haddonfield], 2011
18:52 Lisa Burkholder [Cherokee], 2004
18:53 Renee Tomlin [Ocean City], 2005
18:57 Lori Watson [Cherry Hill East], 1983
18:58 Abbey Hartman [Ocean City], 1996
18:59 Wendy Westphal [Highland], 1982
18:59 Kara Bonner [Shawnee,], 2015
19:00 Katie Van Horn [Triton], 2004