The Shawnee girls placed fourth in the state Group 4 race and with an average time of 20:00.8 per scorer earned the top team wild-card and will race in the Meet of Champions for the 18th time in school history!
Shawnee scored 139 points, finishing behind North Hunterdon (82), Ridge (104) and Westfield (106) and finishing 17 points ahead of South Jersey No. 1 Kingsway, who was fifth.
The Meet of Champions is back at Holmdel County Park on Saturday.
Overall, Shawnee recorded the fifth-best average time of all the schools in the six races at Holmdel Saturday, behind North Hunterdon (19:32.4), Ridge (19:52.2), Group 3 winner Colts Neck (19:55.4) and Westfield (19:56.6).
Scoring the various state meets as one race, Shawnee again would be fifth with 333 points but within range of Ridge (265), Westfield (274) and Colts Neck (305), so the Renegades certainly have a chance to place very high next weekend.
At states, sophomore Isabella Turner ran 19:17 for Shawnee and placed eighth, with junior Grace Kearns 24th [19:59], senior Claire Rankin 29th [20:04], senior Laura Mavracic 36th [20:13] and senior Georgia Larzelere 54th . Junior Lauren Tenet ran 61st in 20:40 and sophomore Claire Hauser also broke 21 minutes at Holmdel, placing 74th in 20:58.
Shawnee has an incredible cross country tradition and made its first trip to the Meet of Champions 34 years ago, placing seventh in the 1983 meet.
The Renegades had a remarkable string of 14 consecutive top-six finishes in the Meet of Champions from 1990 through 2003, including titles in 1991, 1997, 2002 and 2003 – the first three under Mike Yurcho, the last one under Cliff Scott.
Dana Palumbo took over for Scott in 2006, and this will be the Lady Renegades’ fourth trip to the Meet of Champions under Palumbo and second in a row. Shawnee placed fourth last year, their best finish since 2003.
Shawnee and Kingsway were the only South Jersey girls teams to average less than 20:30 per scorer on Saturday.