Sophomore Liliah Gordon became Northern Burlington’s first state cross country champion in program history Saturday, winning the state Group 3 title in 18:57 at Holmdel County Park.
Gordon placed 2nd last year in 18:44, behind only Lilly Shapiro of Colts Neck, who’s now running for North Carolina.
Gordon previously shared the best finish at states in Northern history with Colleen Sunderland, who ran 19:20 at Holmdel in 1994 and placed second in Group 2 to Woodstown’s Jaime Weisgerber, the eventual Meet of Champions winner.
She becomes the first South Jersey girl to win a state XC title since Alyssa Aldridge of Mainland Regional won Group 3 in 2017. The last Burlington County girl to win at states was Cherokee’s Megan Lacy, who won Group 4 in 2011. The last from the BCSL was Meghan Hughes of Moorestown, who won Group 2 in 2001 in 19:28.
Gordon won by 55 meters over Clearview senior Abigail Waddington, who led Clearview to the state Group 3 team title. It was the first South Jersey 1-2 finish in the state Group 3 meet since 2009, when Kingsway’s Chelsea Ley and Highland’s Megan Venables went 1-2.
Gordon’s time was No. 4 in a merge of the six state championship meets, behind only Red Bank Catholic senior Cate DeSousa [18:42 to win Parochial A], Emma Zawatski [18:44 to win Group 4] and Lindsay Hausman of Kent Place in Summit [18:54 for 2nd in Parochial A]. They were the only four girls to break 19 minutes on the challenging Holmdel course in unseasonably warm conditions.
Waddington and senior teammate Abigail Kotran advanced to the Meet of Champions Saturday on the same course as part of the winning team.
Other South Jersey girls in the top 10 in Group 3 who qualified for next weekend’s MoC on the same course are Delsea senior Lillie Widmer [4th in 19:26], Mainland junior Gillian Lovett [5th in 19:27] and Mainland sophomore Sofia Day [7th in 19:41].