Haddonfield packed its five scorers in an insane 19 seconds and cruised to its South Jersey-record 11th state cross country title Saturday at Holmdel.
Junior Audrey Naticchia, freshman Riley Austin, junior Ava Thomas and senior Helene Usher placed 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th in 19:30 through 19:36 and junior Riley Slootsky was 11th in 19:49 in the state Group 2 championship race.
Haddonfield averaged 19:36 over the 5,000-meter Holmdel County Park course, the 4th-fastest single-race time in South Jersey history at Holmdel and the fastest ever at the state meet. The only faster times are Cherokee’s 19:23 to win last year’s Meet of Champions, Haddonfield’s 19:31 to win the 2020 Holmdel Invitational and Haddonfield’s 19:35 for 5th at the 2013 Meet of Champions.
The fastest previous team average by a South Jersey school at Holmdel in the state meet was Haddonfield’s 19:52 to win last year’s state Group 2 title.
Haddonfield is ranked No. 2 in the state, behind only Union Catholic, which averaged 20:17 Saturday in wining the state Parochial A championship. They will meet Saturday at Holmdel in the Meet of Champions.
In New Jersey XC history, only Red Bank Catholic (20) and Bernards (12) have won more state titles than Haddonfield. Shawnee is second among South Jersey schools, with eight between 1983 and 2003.
Haddonfield won Group 1 in 1990 and 1993, then Group 2 in 1994, before returning to Group 1 and winning the 1998 title. After returning to Group 2, the Bulldogs won in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, then 2016 and 2021.
Haddonfield outscored 2nd-place Rumson-Fair Haven by 69 points, 36-105. The 36 points are the lowest winning total in Group 2 since Voorhees topped Bernards 34-103 in 2012. The 69-point margin of victory matched the largest since 2005, when Haddonfield defeated Chatham by 79 points – 33-116.
Haddonfield’s runners are virtually interchangeable. Their 1-2-3-4-5 runners Saturday finished as their 5-3-4-2 runners at sectionals.