Every season there are new faces who rise to the top, and the 25th St. Dominic Invitational was a perfect showcase for such a transformation.
Boone made the biggest leap into the state's spotlight. A 16th-place finisher at sectionals last fall, Boone won the boys varsity race in rolling Lincoln Park by a whopping 39 seconds in 16:04.
A year ago Boone wasn't even one of the five Panthers runners who helped the team finish second last fall. He placed 16th in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 meet.
Memorial and B-R were locked in a tight duel for team honors. They were tied at 11 after three runners crossed for each team but Memorial had two more sneak inside the top 10 to earn a 28-37 victory.
Both teams averaged 17:06, but Memorial posted a 40-second split to Bridgewater's 1:40.
For Memorial, seniors Jacob Gonzalez (second, 16:43), Elvis Rosas (third, 16:48) and Jonathan Bao (sixth, 17:13), junior Andrew Hernandez (ninth, 17:23) and sophomore Douglass Maroquin (10th, 17:23) rounded out the top five.
Sullivan of St. Dominic wasn't quite the surprise Boone was, but she is now an invitational winner after spending most of last season as a contender.
Sullivan, a top-10 finisher at state groups last fall, won the girls varsity race in 19:44, 14 seconds faster than runner-up Sophia Dalfonzo, a junior at Rumson.
Sullivan, a junior, is the first St. Dominic winner at the team's host event since 2015 when Camille Bertholon won in 20:14. Last season Sullivan was eighth in Non-Public B.
Sullivan also helped St. Dominic snap a lengthy drought at the Lincoln Park event. The Blue Devils were locked in a battle with Rumson, which led 13-15 after three runners had crossed for each. St. Dominic turned the tide as its fourth and fifth runners both finished inside the top 10 and the Blue Devils edged Rumson 34-41.
St. Dominic, fourth last season, won its first team title in a decade with a 20:37 average and a 1:23 split. The split was an impressive 40 seconds for the 2-5 runners.