Haddon Township showed why XC is the ultimate team sport Saturday, winning the state Group 1 XC championship despite no finishers in the top 10!
Township placed all five of its scorers between 12th and 34th — between 12th and 26th for team-scoring purposes — and rolled to an 80-126 win over Hasbrouck Heights at Holmdel County Park.
The title was the 12th for Haddon Township, fifth-most of all New Jersey high schools in meet history and second-most among South Jersey schools behind neighboring Haddonfield.
Junior Jake Aylmer, senior Liam Duffy and freshman Luke Overbrook gave Township three in the top 20, with Aylmer running 17:19 for 12th, Duffy 17:27 for 16th and Overbeck 17:29 for 18th.
Sophomore Matt Conway [31st in 17:59] and senior Noah Dinnerman [34th in 18:08] rounded out Township’s scoring quintet. Senior Josh Potter and junior Ian McCauley also raced for the Hawks.
Township’s 49-second gap from one to five was smallest in the race.
Haddon Township began its run of state titles 50 years ago with the Group 3 title. The Hawks won Group 2 in 1971, 1972 and 1976 under legendary Al Tanner and added 1986 in Group 2 before moving to Group 1 and finishing first in 1988.
After a 20-year drought, Township has dominated Group 1 over the past decade, winning state titles in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and now 2018.
Pitman’s Sebastien Reid was the overall winner in 16:18. More on him later, but Reid is Pitman’s first overall winner in 27 years — since Kevin Schilling in 1991.