Aziz Muhammad-Kane, Gavin Gallo, Cole Knoedler lift Highland to 7th SJ title, Peyton Shute flies to individual title with #5 time in course history!!!!!!

Junior Aziz Muhammad-Kane, senior Gavin Gallo and senior Cole Knoedler all finished in the top seven and paced Highland to its seventh sectional XC title and fifth in the last 10 years.

Highland outran Ocean City, 44-58, to win the South Jersey Group 3 title at DREAM Park in Logan Township, outside Glassboro.

Muhammad-Kane ran 15:46 and placed 2nd to Woodbury junior Peyton Shute, who won the race in 15:16. Gallo and Knoedler ran 6th and 7th in 16:04 and 16:05.

Senior Jake Smith was next across the line for Highland, placing 11th in 16:22, and sophomore 5th man Mason Wassell locked up the team title in 19th place in 16:59.

Highland previously won South Jersey Group titles in 1993 and 1994 and Group 3 in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2020.

Senior Nick Scarangelli and junior Matt Hoffman led Ocean City in 3rd and 4th place, Scarangelli in 15:48 and Hoffman 16:00.

Others in the top 10 included Clearview senior Cavan Agatone [5th in 16:01], Moorestown senior Colin Shand [8th in 16:07], Moorestown freshman Peter Simpson [9th in 16:10] and Delsea freshman Matthew Littlehales [10th in 16:12].

Simpson and Littlehales posted the fastest times ever by freshmen in the five years since DREAM Park was first used. The previous freshman course record was 16:26, set Tayshaun Wilson of Toms River North at last year’s South Jersey Group 3 meet. The fastest previous time by a South Jersey freshman was 16:48 by Williamstown’s Dylan Saber at last year’s Group 4 sectional race.

Shawnee junior Ryan Kaczur [14th in 16:36] and Mainland senior Elliot Post [15th in 16:37] also placed in the top 15.

Also qualifying for the state Group 3 meet next weekend at Holmdel County Park were Shawnee [119], Delsea [140] and Moorestown [143].

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