Starting line of the 2013 girls Meet of Champions race. / Photo / Robert Kellert for MileSplit
So let us just start by stating that 17 girls broke 19 minutes!! Great work New Jersey runners. The 5th fastest time ever at Holmdel park for a girl was run by Haddonfield's freshman Briana Gess!
Briana was around 6:10 at the mile and in a battle with Josette Norris of Tenafly through the two mile mark. That's when Gess took off.
Josette Norris of Tenafly (left) and Briana Gess of Haddonfield (right) push each other's race as they head toward the two mile mark. / Photo / MaroonNews for MileSplit
As she exited the woods and climbed the final incline the crowd finally caught a glimpse of Gess as she came flying down the last stretch. She would finish with an insane time of 17:45! Everyone knew it was certainly a possibility that she could win however no one could have predicted the time or gap she put between her and the rest of the leaders. A quick interview with Briana is embedded below her finishing picture.
Brianna Gess! The Haddonfield freshman ran 17:45!! With room to spare this is huge! MOC champion!— NJRunners (@NJRunners) November 23, 2013
Briana Gess, all alone, bringing home the MOC individual win in a 5th all-time finish time of 17:45! / Photo / Robert Kellert for MileSplit
Moments after Gess was seen to hold a secure lead another intriguing battle emerged from the woods. Josette Norris of Tenafly and Mackenzie Barry of Mendham were battling back and forth with their final kicks. I was standing right at the finish in the media area and I still couldn't tell you who won as they cross the line. It was a photo finish, and when the results printed out it read Norris second and Barry third both with a time of 18:12. Both girls have posted fantastic seasons so far and I'm excited to see what they have in store for us as we head into Regionals and beyond.
To the left, Josette Norris and Mackenzie Barry kick in a close one. To the right, Liz Lansing of Randolph and Courtney Thompson of St John Vianney battle for fourth place. / Photo / Robert Kellert for MileSplit
After Norris and Barry there was another great head to head going on between Liz Lansing of Randolph and Courtney Thompson of St. John Vianney. As they came closer to the finish chute however Lansing pulled away and took the "4 Card" at 18:14 for her team, starting what would eventually lead to a great group performance by the Randolph girls. Liz Lansing set the stage and the rest of the team brought home the victory going 2-9-13-19-63 in point placing (not actual places) and a team average of 19:20! One of the girls actually lost a shoe early on and finished the race! They'll tell you all about it in this video interview.
Margaret Thomson of Randolph makes sure she finishes despite loosing a shoe. / Photo / MaroonNews
Congratulations Randolph girls!
|Lansing, Elizabeth||F 5,000 Meter Run||18:14.00||Finals||4|
|Harsch, Carole||F 5,000 Meter Run||19:04.00||Finals||24|
|Thomson, Margaret||F 5,000 Meter Run||19:11.00||Finals||30|
|Wellman, Liz||F 5,000 Meter Run||19:36.00||Finals||46|
|Mcsorley, Nora May||F 5,000 Meter Run||20:36.00||Finals||106|
|Ryan, Melissa||F 5,000 Meter Run||21:32.00||Finals||142|
|Wagner, Karsyn||F 5,000 Meter Run||21:44.00||Finals||148|
The Randolph girls and Coaches celebrate their great MOC performances. / Photo / Robert Kellert for MileSplit
The Red Bank Catholic girls shouldn't be ignored here as well they put up great performances all year and a misfortune at the end shouldn't take away from that for them. They were only 7 points away from a Meet of Champions title. RBC went 7-17-24-25-40 in the points and had a team average of 19:34.
The Red Bank Catholic girls come together in the finish chute after their MOC race. / Photo / Robert Kellert for MileSplit
|1||Randolph HS||106||2+9+13+19+63 (97+103)||2:22 1-5 Split | 19:20 Avg|
|2||Red Bank Catholic HS||113||7+17+24+25+40 (69+76)||1:00 1-5 Split | 19:34 Avg|
|3||Rumson-Fair Haven HS||140||14+18+22+33+53 (66+87)||1:07 1-5 Split | 19:42 Avg|
|4||West Windsor Plainsboro South HS||159||6+16+31+45+61 (79+98)||1:31 1-5 Split | 19:44 Avg|
|5||Haddonfield Mem. HS||164||1+20+38+48+57 (73+100)||2:40 1-5 Split | 19:35 Avg|
|6||Ridgewood HS||166||11+12+41+44+58 (68+85)||1:17 1-5 Split | 19:46 Avg|
There were plenty of other fantastic performances as well, really fast fields today. I think it also helped that the crowds were huge (hat tip to the fans and parents). Dana Klein of Gill-St. Bernard's had an amazing run dropping 20 seconds from the week previous at Holmdel with an 18:22, she finished 6th on the day. Last year Klein ran a 19:14, great work to push as hard as you could for your senior season. After her in 7th was Grace Dwyer, the sophomore star ran 18:30, 8th was Marin Warner a junior form Holmdel running 18:36, 9th was sophomore Julia Guerra of Indian Hills with 18:37, and rounding out the top ten was Sierra Castaneda of West Morris Central with an 18:39!! As you can see the rest of the elite performances below this was a fast group and many of the top girls ran under 19 minutes.