Building off her breakout season last fall Molly Kate Sabia took this year's race lead out early and never looked back crossing the line in first at 18:40. The Pt. Pleasant Boro senior successfully defended her title and after battling the windy conditions for Thursday's meet she became the eighth girl to win back to back Ocean County titles in the meet's history.
When asked about Shore Conference Championships scheduled for October 24th Sabia stated, "there's a lot of good girls in the Shore, so it's going to be a great race and it's definitely going to be a challenge but I'm excited for that challenge."
Last year at Shore Conference Sabia finished seventh running 18:18, while the wind slowed all the races down a bit for this year's County meet she hit a 15 second course PR at Thompson Park this past weekend.
Pt. Pleasant Boro also finished second as a team for the second straight year scoring 66 points, just 16 behind Southern Regional's winning total of 50. Sabia's teammate and fellow senior Sarah Kimak bringing in the silver medal running 19:07 and Kiera Munyan also cracking the top five with a 19:33 led that charge.
Despite Boro's early lead in the points the Southern Regional girls came back to win their third straight and secured their seventh cross country County title overall. A big key in scoring came when their top four cross the line in succession claiming sixth through ninth.
Sophomore Rachel Short was that sixth place finisher at 19:37, Jaelyn D'Amelio 19:41, Mia Mastrogiovanni 19:44, and Emily Furlong 19:50. Their fifth scoring runner, freshmen Isabella Wyckoff, sealed the win in 20th at 20:26.
Southern Regional's star junior Jackson Braddock brought home his first county title running 15:40. After missing much of his 2018 campaign to injury Braddock as taken 2019 by storm winning four races including the A-South Divisional title just a week ago. He is the third individual county winner on the boys side for Southern, the last coming in 2010 with Brandon Skeie.
Braddock's one card did not go to waste in the team score either, his squad averaged 16:27 and scored 53 points for the Southern Regional sweep! Jackson Memorial finished second with 96 points and Toms River North third at 105.
This is Southern's ninth overall boys title and their eighth in the past nine years!
After Braddock, junior Timothy Sincavage finished fourth at 16:13, Nicholas Guzewicz 11th 16:39, Nicholas Lemley 17th 16:49, and Jayant Jani 20th with 16:58 made up their scoring five. Southern's top three finishers are all returning next year, and they also dominated the freshmen and JV races.
Also running well was Brick Memorial's Rob Mullin in second at 15:59, he has three second place finishes this season and a class race win at the Regis Invitational from September. Robert Hannon of Pt. Pleasant Beach at 16:10 and Devin Valenzuela of Jackson Liberty 16:22 also cracking the top five in third and fifth.
In the freshmen races we saw teammates go 1-2 in both the boys and girls divisions. Manchester Township's William Freeman and Nicholas Loffredo both battled to the line leading the race by just under 30 seconds with 11:34 and 11:35. On the girls side Pinelands Regional's Skye Newsome 14:19 and Amy Dillinger 14:21 led the field by well over a minute!