Montclair and Seton Hall Prep Impress SEC Championships

Full Results

Livingston's Philmon Mehari and the East Orange Campus girls pulled off a rare three-peat, while Mehari and Montclair's Evelyn Battleson-Gunkel posted the fastest times of the day at Newark's Branch Brook Park for the Super Essex Conference Championships on Monday. 



For the second straight season, the Montclair girls dominated the American Division, this time pushing all five runners into the top eight. 

And for the third straight season, a Mountie girl claimed medalist honors. Battleson-Gunkel, a senior, won in 19:48 and Montclair blew past runner-up Columbia, 27-84. The Mounties' scoring pack was rounded out by juniors Krisantha Spencer (fifth, 20:43) and Violet Ross (sixth, 20:47), senior Lola Scarpone (seventh, 20:51) and junior Lily Johnston (eighth, 20:53). 


Junior Katrina Leigh won the Liberty Division individual title in 21:52 and led Livingston to victory over Mount St. Dominic 39-55. 

The Lancers, with five runners in the top 12, were rounded out by sophomore Jordan Mason (fifth, 23:14), junior Elianna Bershad (10th, 23:40), senior Lindsay Anan (11th, 24:01) and junior Joey Dallow (12th, 24:03). 


Glen Ridge senior Sofia Costa (23:10) captured her second straight Colonial Division individual title and was joined by classmate Aubra Sharp of Glen Ridge (25:42) to dominate the Colonial Division race by finishing 1-2.

But it wasn't enough to hold off East Orange Campus, which pushed five into the top 11 and edged Glen Ridge 28-33 for its third straight title. Senior Bianca Koudou led EOC by placing third in 26:59. 

Also for EOC, junior Katirah Barnes was fourth (27:02), sophomore Katherine Henry was fifth (27:22), senior Kimberley Mark was seventh (27:31) and junior Febe Evans was 11th (30:57). 


Livingston's Mehari, a senior, won the division title for a third straight season in 16:15. Mehari is building quite a resume within the conference and county. Last winter he won the SEC 3,200 and last spring he won the county 3,200 as well as the SEC 800 and 1,600.

Aidan Ward of Montclair was second (16:28) for the Montclair boys who finished third. Ward's finish was the highest for a Mountie boy in more than 20 years. 

Seton Hall Prep pressed four into the top 11 and averaged 17:08 to blow past Newark Academy, 48-82, and snap Montclair's two-year win streak. The Pirates were led by junior Kevin Harvey (third, 16:31), senior Nolan Orr (fifth, 16:54), senior Colin Schweitzer (seventh, 16:58), junior Chris Gizzo (11th, 17:25) and junior Luke Incardona (22nd, 17:56). 


Junior Jeremie Botobikpissi won his second straight division title in 19:27 and his East Orange Campus teammates left no doubt who runs the division. EOC packed its top five into THE top five and achieved a perfect score of 15 points for a second consecutive team championship. 

Sophomore Chadrick Toyloy (second, 20:10), junior Jordan Little (third, 20:14), and seniors Kwamivi Amedeya (fourth, 20:17) and Keenan Bartley (fifth, 20:20) rounded out the EOC pack.


West Side senior Raul Walker earned his first individual championship in 18:00 and Bloomfield, led by runner-up Luca Ponticello, survived a tight four-team battle for the team crown.

Led by the senior Ponticello, second in 18:15, Bloomfield had three runners in the top nine and scored 49 points to slip past Glen Ridge with 65, Caldwell with 80 and West Essex with 82. 

Bloomfield, ninth in the American Division last fall, was rounded out by junior Quaid Mullane (fourth, 18:20), senior Rendell Amilcar (11th, 19:40), junior Brendan Heaney (18th, 20:10) and senior Matthew Garth (21st, 20:23).