1-2 finish by Nicole Clifford & Kerry O’Day leads Cherokee girls to 2nd straight Burlington County title!!!

Junior Nicole Clifford and freshman Kerry O’Day finished 1st and 2nd and Cherokee placed all seven runners in the top 10 and won its second straight Burlington County Open XC title.

It’s the first time since 2009 and 2010 Cherokee has won consecutive county championships.

Cherokee’s 20 points is the lowest score Cherokee has ever recorded at a Burlington County Open and the lowest by anybody since Moorestown scored 17 in 2001 on its way to winning the Meet of Champions. Cherokee’s previous low score was 36 when the team led by Megan Lacy and Meghan Charbeneau won the 2010 Open.

The only other lower scores are Holy Cross [19 in 1980] and Shawnee’s perfect 15 in 1996, 16 in 1995 and 17 in 1990.

The title is Cherokee’s fifth. The Chiefs also won in 2004, 2009 and 2010.

Clifford ran 19:50 and O’Day 19:53 to lead the way for Cherokee. It was the Chiefs’ second straight 1-2 finish. Last year at Mill Creek Park, since-graduated Kate Rathman won and Clifford was second.

The rest of Cherokee’s pack included sophomore Kelsey Niglio [4th in 20:12], freshman Olivia Parkinson [5th in 20:14], junior Noelle Falzone [8th in 20:49], freshman Alaina Bromley [9th in 20:55] and freshman Allison Rathman [10th in 20:58].

Parkinson has lowered her all-course 5K PR over a minute in her last two races. Falzone also PRd, dipping under 21 minutes for the first time, and Rathman ran a 31-second all-course PR.

Cherokee finished with a 55-point margin of victory over Shawnee, who was second with 75. Moorestown [89] was third and Cinnaminson [98] was fourth.

Sophomore Stephanie Renouf and junior Grace Coller gave Cinnaminson two in the top 10. Renouf ran 20:06 for 3rd and Coller 20:27 for 6th. Moorestown senior Kate Inglis [7th in 20:32] gave the BCSL three in the top 10.

Shawnee, racing without injured Kate Ruona, took second with an incredible 11-second gap separating its five scorers.

Junior Kyra Birdsall, junior Madelyn Valasek, sophomore Sydney Kiernan, junior Madison Koveloski and senior Jillian Anderson placed 13th through 17th in 21:25 through 21:36.

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