Junior Abby Waddington, sophomore Margaret Wisniewski and junior Abby Kotran all finished in the top 10 to Saturday to lead the Clearview girls to the first sectional XC title in school history.
Overall winner Grace Wassell, a junior at Highland, ran 18:05 over 5,000 meters at DREAM Park in Logan Township and won her third straight individual title – more on her incredible achievement soon.
For Clearview, Waddington ran 18:08 for 2nd place, Wisniewski 19:45 for 7th and Kotran 19:59 for 9th as Clearview finished three points ahead of both Mainland Regional and Highland in the closest three-way finish ever in a South Jersey sectional.
Wassell and Waddington ran the two-fastest times of the day and the No. 2 and No. 3 times in course history behind Isabella Turner’s course record of 17:52, set at the 2018 South Jersey Shootout.
Clearview scored 70 points to 73 for Mainland and Highland. The closest previous three-way finish was seven points. It happened twice, both in Group 1, and incredibly with all three teams finishing with the exact same point totals.
In 1981, Audubon and Manchester Township each scored 56 points, with Audubon winning on a 6th-runner tiebreaker, and Wildwood was third with 63. And in 1997, Haddonfield and Haddon Township each scored 56, Haddonfield winning on a 6th-runner tiebreaker, and Maple Shade was third with 63 points.
Both years 56-56-63. What are the odds of that?
Also scoring for the Pioneers were sophomore Allison Roes [14th in 20:41] and sophomore Rachel Jones [43rd in 23:16]. Sophomore Lillian Nolan and Anna Hagerman also raced for Clearview.
Lily Oliver of Toms River South placed 3rd in 18:16, followed by Mainland Regional sophomore Sofia Day [4th in 18:35], Highland senior Princess Nwoga [5th in 19:14], Mainland sophomore Gillian Lovett [6th in 19:22], Toms River South senior Taylor Guthrie [8th in 19:55] and Highland senior Vanessa Marinero [10th in 20:16].
Joining Clearview, Mainland and Highland at states next Saturday at Holmdel will be Ocean City [4th with 87 points] and Toms River South [5th with 91].
Clearview’s previous best finish was second place in South Jersey Group 4 in 2014.