Mainland unseated Ocean City, which had won the last three South Jersey Group 3 sectional titles, with Mainland finishing second twice and third once.
Mainland finished with a 47-73 margin of victory over Ocean City, with Toms River South edging Highland for fourth, 103-104.
The team title is Mainland’s third. The Mustangs won Group 3 in 1981 with Becky Leon and Trish Levin in the top 10 and 2016 behind Alyssa Aldridge, Emily Dirkes and Emily Forester.
Highland sophomore Grace Wassell successfully defended her individual title, running 19:24 on the 5K course at DREAM Park in Logan Township and edging Lily Oliver of Toms River South by 20 meters. More on Wassell’s race soon.
For Mainland, freshman Claudia Booth, junior Lily Malone and freshman Gillian Lovett led the way in 5th, 7th and 8th, Booth in 20:21, Malone 20:44 and Lovett 20:56.
The Mustangs then placed senior Giselle Obergfell, freshman Chloe Malone and sophomore Sydney Luff in 12th [21:36], 15th [21:59] and 16th [22:01]. Seventh runner junior Savannah Hodgens wasn’t far back, in 23rd in 22:29.
Other South Jersey runners in the top 10 were Highland junior Princess Nwoga [3rd in 19:59], Timber Creek junior Vanessa Marinero [4th in 20:19] and Ocean City senior Alexa Palmieri [6h in 20:28].