The Mainland Regional girls on Friday won the Atlantic County XC Championships for the 16th time and did it with the largest margin of victory in 15 years.
Mainland, led by freshman Alyssa Turner and senior Emily Dirkes in the top 5, outscored second-place Holy Spirit 35-73. The 38-point margin of victory is the largest in the Atlantic County girls meet since 2003, when Mainland outscored Atlantic City by 45 points (30-75).
Egg Harbor Township junior Olivia Shafer ran 18:29 on the 5,000-meter course at Stockton University in Galloway Township for overall honors.
Turner was second in 19:01 and Dirkes fifth in 19:45. Mainland placed all five of its scorers in the top 11 — freshman Savannah Hodgens ran seventh in 20:06, junior Madeline Corbett took 10th in 20:17 and junior Abby Argentiero placed 11th in 20:41.
Freshman Lily Malone [18th in 21:34] and sophomore Giselle Obergfell [21st in 21:39] gave Mainland seven runner in the top 21.
Shafer became Egg Harbor’s fourth individual winner and first since older sister Abby Shafer won in 2012. Other EHT winners were Jen Weber, who won three straight from 1986 through 1988, and Erica Lacovara-Switzer, who won three straight from 1994 through 1996.
Abby and Olivia Shafer are the daughters of Chris Shafer, a noted Jersey Shore-area marathoner. Abby ran for Shippensburg (Pa.) and New England College in Waterville, Maine, after graduating from EHT. At New England College, she won the North Atlantic Conference XC race last fall in Farmington, Maine.
Mainland, ranked No. 7 in South Jersey, previously won the Atlantic County team title in 1981, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2014 and 2016.
Other in the top 10 were Holy Spirit senior Paige Sofield, third in 19:18; Cedar Creek freshman Megan Winterbottom, fourth in 19:41; Holy Spirit senior Angela Bannan, sixth in 20:02; Atlantic County Tech senior Ariana Ramirez, eighth in 20:08; and Egg Harbor sophomore Michaela Pomatto, ninth in 20:12.