Junior Julia Brock placed 6th and sophomore Noelia Reyes 10th to lead the Moorestown girls to their first Burlington County cross country championship in 17 years Friday.
Brock ran 21:08 and Reyes 21:25 to lead the all-underclass Quakers to a 70-73 win over Cherokee, which had won the last three titles. Northern Burlington, with sophomore overall winner Liliah Gordon, was a close 3rd with 86 points.
It was Moorestown’s first title since 2005, when the Quakers also finished just ahead of Cherokee, 36-42. That team was led by Jessica Rogers and Devin O’Connell in 2nd and 5th.
The Lenape District – Cherokee, Shawnee, Lenape and Seneca – had won 15 straight County Open girls titles since Moorestown’s win in 2005.
Brock, a 1st-year XC runner, is the daughter of Ron Brock, who won the 1990 state Group 1 1,600 title as a junior at Riverside. Brock finished second at the 1990 XC County Open, three seconds behind Willingboro’s Kyle Lanier.
Sophomore Gabrielle DeJoseph, junior Paige McCabe and sophomore Hannah Byrd-Leitner packed in 17th, 18th and 20th for the Quakers all between 22:12 and 22:20, with 6th runner sophomore Sarah Brown in 23rd in 22:30 and 7th Jane Goettle not far back in 28th in 22:47.
Junior Kerry O’Day [3rd in 19:24], senior Kelsey Niglio [4th in 19:42] and sophomore Megan Niglio [5th in 20:20] led Cherokee, the defending Meet of Champions winner which was not at full strength.
Gordon, 2nd last year to Cherokee’s Nicole Clifford with an 18:45, ran 18:31 this year to become Northern’s first County Open winner in 44 years. Laura Mason ran 18:48 over 3.0 miles to win the 1978 title at Burlington County College in Pemberton. Mason went on to become an NCAA Division 2 All-America at East Stroudsburg and raced the 5,000 at the 1996 Olympic Trials.
Gordon’s winning time is fastest at Mill Creek since Megan Lacy ran 17:53 to win the 2010 County Open.
Cinnaminson senior Stephanie Renouf continued her outstanding season with a 2nd-place finish in 19:16. That’s the best finish by a Cinnaminson girl at the County Open since Becky Leon won the 1991 race in 19:38, also at Mill Creek.
Also in the top 10 were Burlington Township senior Maeve Timms [7th in 21:12], Seneca junior Alex Butcher [8th in 21:23] and Shawnee sophomore Paige Cline [10th in 21:34].
Timms is the first Burlington Township girl ever to finish in the top 10 at a Burlington County Open. The best previous finish by a Township runner came in 1996, when Janine Gudger placed 11th in 21:23 at Cherokee. Gudger was the 1996 South Jersey Group 1 800 champ.