The Thompson Park Class Meet brought some impressive performances on Saturday. Liam Murphy stood up to the course record challenge, West Windsor Plainsboro North continues to impress, Emma McGill continued her hot start leading her Voorhees team to a merge victory.
Allentown's Liam Murphy wow'd the crowd in the first race of the day when he crossed the line at 15:18 breaking Rey Rivera's previous 5K course record of 15:22 which was set during the 2016 Sectionals. This is coming off an incredible opener at the Battle at Ocean County Park a week prior where Murphy ran to fifth all-time on the OCP course clocked at 14:52.
During his Thompson Park record run Murphy went through the mile around 4:45 before a 9:47 at the two mile en route to his 15:18 finish. He also gave credit to Austin Gabay of Cinnaminson for helping push him early on in the race, Gabay finished second in the first senior division with a 15:48. You can watch race highlights from the record run here.
Murphy's next big run will be on the state championship course of Holmdel Park during the Shore Coaches Invitational on October 5th.
Murphy wasn't the only senior boy with a big run, in the second senior boys race senior Luke Johnson of West Windsor Plainsboro North tackled his first invitational 5K race distance and also impressed with a winning 15:35, second in the merge only to Murphy. Johnson had opened his season, and cross country career, with a quick 9:34 at the 3200m focused Cherokee Challenge on September 7th, just seven seconds off their course record.
West Windsor Plainsboro North saw a wealth of great finishes at Thompson averaging 16:29 on the day and scoring a merge leading 44 points when combining all the races. Ashrrith Rachakunta 16:15, Caleb Birnbaum 16:49, Jeffrey Chen 16:52, and Anish Agrawal 16:55 making up their top five performers.
Manalapan boys finished second in the merge with 86 points and a 26 second split.
On the girls side of things Voorhees' Emma McGill continued to show she means business this fall leading the merge with the only sub-19 time of the day at 18:58. The heat had started to pick up at this point and would continue to make things tough as the class racing continued. This victory is the third straight race win for the Voorhees junior, who has also won the Roxbury Invitational and a junior race at the Battle at OCP.
McGill's one card in the merge played an important role in the overall meet win which was decided by two points over Hunterdon Central 112 to 114. Voorhees came through 1-9-23-32-47 averaging 20:40 and Hunterdon Central 6-8-18-31-51 averaging 20:46. For Voorhees Emily Sell, Darby Roskowski, Grace Pankuck, and Sophia El-Zahr made up the rest of the top five behind McGill.
Laurel Kurtz led the way for Hunterdon Central running sixth overall at 19:45, second in the junior division.
Plenty of talent at this meet in general just look at the rest of the top six in the merge: Corina Vidal second at 19:15, Caroline Mehlhorn the sophomore winner at 19:18, Molly Kate Sabia 19:26, and Victoria Vanriele 19:45.
Race by Race Winners
- Boys Freshmen Race 1 - Christopher Shay 13:39
- Boys Freshmen Race 2 - Blaik Slavinski 13:41
- Girls Freshmen - Tilly O'Connor 14:56
- Boys Sophomore Race 1 - Rowan Cassidy 16:57
- Boys Sophomore Race 2 - Jack Tavaglione 16:26
- Girls Sophomore - Caroline Mehlhorn 19:18
- Boys Junior Race 1 - Dylan Perkinson 16:57
- Boys Junior Race 2 - Caleb Birnbaum 16:49
- Girls Junior Race - Emma McGill 18:58
- Boys Senior Race 1 - Liam Murphy 15:18
- Boys Senior Race 2 - Luke Johnson 15:36
- Girls Senior Race - Corina Vidal 19:15