When news broke in July that the NJSIAA was condensing the cross-country season and eliminating the State Group and Meet of Champions this fall for COVID-19 related reasons, North Hunterdon girls XC coach Sean Walsh vowed to arrange the most competitive meets possible to give his powerhouse team a chance to run against the best packs in the state.
Walsh, whose NJ#2 ranked squad has won the last three NJ XC Meet of Champions titles and has captured four straight Nike NE Regional championships, has done exactly that.
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Walsh told NJ MileSplit that he has set up a clash between his North Hunterdon squad and NJ#1 Ridgewood tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2 p.m. at North Hunterdon. It will be a two-mile race on the track. Ridgewood has finished second to North Hunterdon at the last two XC Meet of Champions.
How great is that! No. 1 vs. No. 2!
That's not all.
In addition to Tuesday's matchup, Walsh is also putting together a loaded invitational for club teams on Saturday, Nov. 21, which will feature many of NJ's best club teams. The site for that meet has yet to be determined.
With so many big championship meets wiped off the schedule this season, most notably the Meet of Champions, it could prove to be difficult to determine who truly is the No. 1 team in the state.
But with the head-to-head clash between North Hunterdon and Ridgewood, and the loaded invitational in November, there now seems to be a chance that we just might find out who the top girls pack in the state really is this season.
"I'm not saying we're the best team in the state, but we'd like to find out,'' said Walsh. "These races against some of the best teams in the state are a way to give my team some goals for the season, something to give them more motivation when they train. We are looking forward to the opportunity to be in great races with other great teams. And I know Ridgewood is very excited as well."