Kate Rathman began her senior year by running the fastest time among South Jersey runners at the Cherokee Challenge over 3,200 meter on her home course at Cherokee.
Rathman ran 11:42, finishing second to Maddy Kopec of Red Bank Catholic, who won the senior race in 11:33. Kopec finished 15th in the XC Meet of Champions last fall.
Kopec and Rathman had the two-fastest times of the day. The next-fastest South Jersey girl was Collingswood’s Sophie Steidle, who won the sophomore race in 12:14
Rathman’s time is fastest by a South Jersey girl in any Cherokee Challenge race since 2015, when Alyssa Aldridge of Mainland won the sophomore race in 11:34 and fastest by a Cherokee girl since Megan Lacy ran 10:54 in 2011.
Last fall, Rathman was the Burlington County and Olympic Conference XC champion. She was a sectional champ in the 1,600 and 3,200 indoors and ran 5:02.94 outdoors, which makes her the No. 2 returner in South Jersey.