Foster Boone of Bridgewater-Raritan and Laura Baeyens of Watchung Hills represented Somerset County well with a pair of individual titles while Union Catholic swept the Varsity B team titles to highlight the action at the Stewart Invitational on Saturday at Greystone-Central Park in Morris Plains.
Bridgewater's Boone won comfortably by 18 seconds in 16:14 for his second individual title of the season, following a win at the St. Dominic Invite in Jersey City. Before this season, the senior's best finish was 10th at the Somerset County meet last fall.
Despite Boone's efforts, Bridgewater was edged by Middletown South edged for the Varsity A team title 64-80. Middletown South's team average was two ticks slower than Bridgewater (17:08), but the Eagles posted an astounding 31-second split between their first and fifth runners -- all juniors -- in the 105-man field.
Jack Hutson (16:56) and Ty Hashemi (16:57) led Middletown South by finishing eighth and ninth, respectively. Lang Daly was 17th (17:27), Sean Fitzpatrick was 19th (17:28) and Nick Piscopo was 20th (17:30).
Myles Plummer of Union Catholic won a tight race with Whippany Park's James Troiano 16:26 to 16:34 in the Varsity B event. This is Plummer's first 5K individual title; he won the 3,200 race at the Battle at Ocean County Park last season.
Plummer's Vikings jammed five runners into the top 15 to average 17:19 and beat runner-up Secaucus 42-76. Junior Matt Granizo was sixth (17:16) for UC, senior Zach Turner was eighth (17:20), junior Sam Hernandez was 12th (17:48), and senior Andrew Palacio was 15th (17:52).
Baeyens won her second race at Gresytone in as many weeks when she captured the Varsity A title by nearly a minute and a half in 18:56. She won the senior class race at the Bernie Magee meet last week.
Baeyens added her second cross-country title of the season to her the three big track titles she won last year. She won the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 1,600 last winter, and captured the Skyland Conference and North 2, Group 4 3,200 titles last spring.
Baeyens nearly led Watchung Hills to the team title. Eastern placed five runners inside the top 20 for a 1:44 split to edge the Warriors, 60-72. Sophomore Lauren Kenselaar (20:45) and senior Kierstin Clem (20:49) were seventh and eighth, respectively, to pace Eastern. Junior Morgan Bromley was 10th (21:01), junior Sierra Feeney was 16th (22:15) and senior Samantha Tighe was 19th (22:29) to round out the pack for the Vikings.
Erwin's season debut was her first individual title. Her best finish was a fifth place finish in the Central Jersey, Group 2 meet last fall. Morant was seeking her first cross-country title. She has a handful of track titles, including the Non-Public A 800 title from last spring.
Morant was able to celebrate a team title, although it was a nip and tuck battle between UC and Metuchen after four runners were counted for each team. UC led 25-28 at that point, but clinched it when sophomore Jenna Keith placed 16th (21:00) to take the title 41-73. Metuchen's fifth runner was 45th.