Losing one of the best runners in the state hasn’t slowed down the Shawnee girls.
The Renegades won their sixth straight Burlington County Open XC title Friday and 24th overall, edging a rapidly improving Cherokee team 49-62 over 5,000 meters at Mill Creek Park.
With defending sectional champ Isabella Turner sidelined, Shawnee showed its depth, placing three runners in the top 10 and six runners in the top 20.
Turner, who won the Open in 2016 and 2017, hasn’t raced since an 18:03 at Delsea, fastest time of the day at the South Jersey Open on Sept. 29.
But junior Claire Hauser led the way Friday with a 19:30 for second place behind Cherokee junior Kate Rathman, and senior Grace Kearns [8th in 20:23], freshman Sarah Kochanski [9th in 20:32], freshman Madison Koveloski [12th in 20:50] and junior Maddy Yeager [18th in 21:15] gave Shawnee a top-5 average of 20:30.
Cherokee actually led after four runners, so Yeager was the difference for Shawnee, and she was backed up four seconds later by Shawnee’s sixth runner, senior Lauren Tenet, who was 19th in 21:19.
The last time Shawnee didn’t win the Open was 2012, when Seneca went 2-3-5-8-10 for the team title with just 28 points.
Shawnee won five straight Open titles from 1982 through 1986, 11 straight from 1988 through 1998 and two more in 2002 and 2003 before starting its latest streak in 2013.
In all, Shawnee has won 24 of the last 37 girls team titles.