Cherry Hill West graduate Robert Abrams became the first conference XC champ from The College of New Jersey in seven years when he topped the field Saturday in the New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships.
Abrams and teammate William Mayhew of Delsea finished 1-2 in 24:37 and 24:57 on the 8,000-meter course at Stockton University in Galloway Township.
Abrams had the lead by the 1 1/2-mile mark and widened it the rest of the way. He recorded the fastest winning time since the event moved from Rowan to Stockton in 2016.
TCNJ’s last overall winner was Andy Gallagher in 2012.
Abrams finished 5th as a freshman and 10th last year. His 24:37 is an 8,000 PR for all courses. His previous fastest XC 8,000 was a 25:46 in September at Letchworth State Park in Mt. Morris, N.Y.
Stockton junior Daniel Do made it three South Jersey runners in the top four. Do placed 4th in 24:59, leading the Ospreys to 4th place in team scoring.
Ramapo won its second straight team title and second overall. It’s the first time a school other than Rowan or TCNJ has won consecutive titles since Montclair State in 1971 and 1972. Ramapo, coached by Justina Cassavell, the legendary former coach at Voorhees High, topped Rowan 36-50 with TCNJ third at 52.
Rowan had its five scorers all in the top 15, gapping within 33 seconds, and all seven runners in the top 20, a terrific performance that would be good enough to win many years.
Lenape grad Kevin Lauer, a sophomore, was 7th overall for the Profs in 25:07; Eastern grad Jake Caruso, a senior, placed 10th in 25:11; and senior Jason Muermann of Pitman was 17th in 25:40.
Also for the Profs, junior Michael Onu took 19th in 25:46 and sophomore Korey Greene from Ocean City placed 25th in 26:03.
Rowan’s pack also included sophomore Cyril Harvey of Old Bridge [6th in 25:04], senior Dylan Tyrrell from St. Joe’s Metuchen [12th in 25:12], sophomore Kush Patel of J.P. Stevens [15th in 25:37] and freshman Dario Epifania of South Brunswick [22nd in 25:51].