Aldridge sprints past Hebner in final straight to win 3rd straight NJ-3 title!!!!!

Mainland Regional senior Alyssa Aldridge won her third straight state Group 3 XC title Saturday morning, sprinting past senior Monica Hebner of Northern Highlands along the final straightaway.

Aldridge became the third girl ever and first in nine years to win three straight titles in Group 3. She’s actually also the first to win three straight in any group in nine years.

The two previous three-time winners in Group 3 are Jodie Bilotta, who won three straight for North Hunterdon from 1985 through 1987, and Melanie Thompson of Voorhees, who won three straight from 2006 through 2008.

Aldridge is the first three-time winner to go under 18:30 in all three wins since Meg Waldron of Bernards in Group 1 from 1980 through 1982.

Hebner, fifth in the 5,000 at nationals last spring with a 17:18, had not lost a XC race this fall and ran 18:32 at Shore Coaches, fastest time of the day.

Aldridge, who remains undefeated in an abbreviated fall season, won Saturday in 18:16. She ran 18:13 and 18:07 in her previous two Meet of Champions wins. Hefner ran a Holmdel PR 18:20 for second.

Aldridge and Hebner led a total of eight girls under 19 minutes on the tough 5,000-meter Holmdel course.

Aldridge has run as fast as 17:55 at Holmdel and will be seeking her third straight Meet of Champions title next Saturday on the same legendary Holmdel County Park course.

Here’s a list of all the girls in all groups who’ve won three straight state XC titles:

Hilary Noden [Hopewell Valley], combined groups – 1972, 1973, 1974
Janet Smith [J.P. Stevens], Group 4 – 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
Meg Waldron [Bernards], Group 1 – 1980, 1981, 1982
Jodi Bilotta [North Hunterdon], Group 3 – 1985, 1986 1987
Christi Constantin [Kittatinny Regional], Group 2 – 1986, 1987, 1988
Moral Chokshi [Bridgewater-Raritan West], Group 4 – 1989, 1990, 1991
Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], Group 1 – 1997, 1998; Group 2 – 1999, 2000
Vanessa Wright [Haddonfield], Group 2 – 2003, 2004, 2005
Melanie Thompson [Voorhees], Group 3 – 2006, 2007, 2008
Alyssa Aldridge [Mainland Regional], Group 3 – 2015, 2016, 2017

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