Audubon senior Scott Hubbard ran 16:23 and edged Colonial Conference rival Ethan Bergmann of Haddon Township to win the South Jersey Group 1 XC title and lead Audubon to its second straight team title.
Hubbard finished about eight meters ahead of Bergmann, who ran 16:26 – officially 16:23.98 for Hubbard and 16:26.02 for Bergmann – in a two-man race. Those two gapped the rest of the field by about 125 meters.
Hubbard became Audubon’s first sectional winner in 40 years, since Bob Douglas edged Glassboro’s Brian Kirkpatrick by four seconds to win the 1981 South Jersey Group 1 title at Pennsauken.
Audubon placed all five scorers in the top 12 and outscored Haddon Township 35-56. Audubon had a 62-second gap from first to fifth and averaged 17:06 at DREAM Park in Logan Township. Maple Shade placed third with 83 points. Also qualifying for states were Woodstown and Glassboro.
Seniors Clifford Gilmore and Tyler Wells placed 6th and 7th for the Green Wave in 17:12 and 17:13, junior Joseph Gaspari was 9th in 17:15 and sophomore Aiden Williams placed 12th in 17:25. Senior Aaryn Myers [19th in 18:05] and freshman Leo Davis [31st in 18:54] also ran for Audubon.
The sectional team title was the third for Audubon, which won Group 1 in 1978 and again last year.
The rest of the top 10 included Wildwood sophomore Jorge Cruz Valle [3rd in 16:50], Haddon Township senior Max Tomashek [4th in 17:01], Buena senior Kayden Platania [5th in 17:02], Maple Shade senior Murphy Hastings [8th in 17:13] and Maple Shade senior Ryan Olesky [10th in 17:21].