The Haddonfield girls posted the 6th-lowest score ever by a South Jersey XC team and placed 2nd to Union Catholic Saturday in the 50th annual Meet of Champions at Holmdel County Park.
Union Catholic edged Haddonfield 79-88 to win the team title. Haddonfield’s 88 points are the fewest by a South Jersey program in the Meet of Champions since Bishop Eustace placed 2nd to Red Bank Catholic with 77 points in 1995. Moorestown also scored 88 in 2001 when the Quakers won the team title.
Haddonfield was led by the trio of junior Ava Thomas, junior Riley Slootsky and freshman Riley Austin, who placed 16th, 21st and 25th in 19:27, 19:40 and 19:45 and tallied 10, 11 and 13 team points. Senior Helene Usher (53rd, 23rd) ran 20:18 and junior Audrey Naticchia (76th, 31st) 20:32 rounded out Haddonfield’s top-5.
This was Haddonfield’s 8th top-10 finish at the Meet of Champions since 2005 – 9th if you include the 2020 Holmdel Invitational, which was an unofficial replacement after the Meet of Champions was cancelled.
Haddonfield won the Holmdel Invitational, but 2nd place is the program’s best official Meet of Champions finish ever. Haddonfield’s best previous official M-of-C finish was 4th place in 2019.
Clearview, the only other South Jersey school to qualify as a full team, placed 9th with 209 points with Abigail Waddington 13th overall (8th in team scoring) in 19:24. It was Clearview’s first trip to the Meet of Champions as a team.
Northern Burlington sophomore Liliah Gordon was South Jersey’s top finisher, in 6th place in 19:03.
Also in the top 20 were Mainland sophomore Sofia Day [11th in 19:22], Egg Harbor junior Michaela Schlemo [15th in 19:26], Delsea senior Lillie Widmer [17th in 19:31] and Mainland junior Gillian Lovett [18th in 19:31].
More on Gordon and the other individuals soon!