Cole Wassell joins father, sister as sectional champion, leads Highland to team title!!!!!

Senior Cole Wassell became the second member of his family to win a sectional title on Saturday and the third member of his family to win one in the last 25 years.

Wassell ran 16:06 over the DREAM Park 5K course in Logan Township Saturday morning, running away with the South Jersey Group 3 individual title and leading Highland to the team title.

Wassell outran junior Dennis Fortuna of Triton by 150 meters. Fortuna took second in 16:38. Highland recorded a 47-66 win over Ocean City, with Mainland third at 91.

Wassell’s younger sister, Grace, a Highland sophomore, won her second straight sectional title earlier in the day. Their father Jay Wassell was a sectional champ for Highland with S.J. Group 3 titles in 1994 and 1995.

Senior Tom Raws ran 16:47 for 4th for Highland and then sophomores Gavin Gallo, Cole Knoedler and Anthony Imperatore finished 11th, 15th an 16th in 17:17, 17:44 and 17:46. Seniors Joseph DeBeaumont and Steven Sherill also raced for the Tartans.

Other South Jersey runners in the top 10 were Ocean City junior Owen Ritti [5th in 16:52], Timber Creek senior Michael Henry [6th in 16:54], Ocean City senior Tyler Greene [7th in 17:07], Triton junior Caleb Messenger [9th in 17:15] and Ocean City senior Brendan Schlatter [10th in 17:17].

Highland’s other sectional champs are Jerry Andrews in 1979 and Josh Clark in 2015, although Nate Miller went on to win the 1998 Meet of Champions after placing second to Murad Campbell at sectionals.

The team title was Highland’s 4th since 2013 and 7th overall. That’s tied for 4th-most in South Jersey sectional history, behind Haddonfield [40], Haddon Township [20] and Cinnaminson [13] and tied with Cherokee.

Highland also won Group 3 in 2003 and 2013, 2014 and 2015 and Group 4 in 1993 and 1994.

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