Northern Burlington’s Liliah Gordon coasted to a commanding win in the sophomore class race Saturday morning at the 26th annual Cherokee Challenge.
Gordon covered the 3,200-meter course in 11:41 and won by 125 meters over Wildwood’s Macie McCracken, who was 2nd in 12:09.
Her time is fastest by a South Jersey girl in the sophomore race since 2008, when Casey Doyle of Shawnee ran 11:40.
Gordon won the freshman race last year in 11:42 and went on to place 8th in the Meet of Champions as a freshman with a monster 18:29 at Holmdel County Park.
Camden Catholic’s Nilaa Ponnappan made it a 1-2-3 South Jersey sweep in 3rd place with a 12:14. It was the first 1-2-3 South Jersey sweep in any varsity race at the Cherokee Challenge since Alexa Palmieri of Ocean City, Sophie Steidle of Collingswood and Emma Klouchek of Seneca went 1-2-3 in the sophomore race in 2018.
Other South Jersey runners in the top 10 were Grace Duffy of Haddon Heights [6th in 12:42], Chloe Care of Ocean City [7th in 12:54] and Maeve Smith of Ocean City [10th in 13:04].
There were 194 runners in the race.