With little to no base training Braddock led the race at 16:05, coming in ahead of Brick Memorial's sophomore Tanner Jelliff second at 16:09. Toms River East's Caeden Miller, Brick Township's Zachary Seemar, and Jackson Liberty's Dan Keenan closing out the rest of the race's top five all 16:22 and below.
Braddock had been dealing with a nagging injury coming out of August when he clocked an 8:54.02 3200m on the track, they decided to get it under control and shut down for a bit. He plans to run Sectionals to close out the season.
"It was definitely a rust buster," Braddock stated about his win, "Definitely felt it towards the end but overall I was just happy to get back out there."
Southern scored 51 points to second place Brick Memorial's 76, their team average was 16:41 splitting 1:02 between their top five. Behind Braddock's one card was Timothy Sincavage in ninth running 16:32, Andrew Bowker 12th, 16:42, Michael Chanda 15th, 17:00, and Nicholas Guzewicz 18th 17:07. Jake Harrison and Matthew Bevan making up their sixth and seventh.
This is Southern's 10th overall boys title and their ninth in the past ten years!
On the girls side, sophomore star Lily Oliver became the second girls Ocean County Champion from Toms River South in meet history when she crossed the line at 19:15. A whopping 45 seconds ahead of the rest of the field, Mackenzie Cubbison of Manchester Township finished second running 20:00. The last Toms River South winner was Jade Tricomy in 2017
Oliver's performance helped South to a second place team finish at 92 points; staying ahead of crosstown rivals Toms River East, in third with 93 points, and Toms River North, fourth 119 points.
"I'm just super excited, last year I was injured so it feels good to feel like I'm doing how I should be," said Oliver after her race. "It feels so great to finally have people to run again, to have a more excited atmosphere."
The team championship went to the Southern Regional girls for the fourth straight year and for the fifth time in the past six seasons. They scored 65 points splitting 2:06 and collecting a top five average of 21:11.
Southern senior Lindsay McLean led the attack running fourth at 20:14, teammate Shannon Flaherty also making the top ten in eighth clocking 20:43. Completing the Southern top five was sophomore Mia Mastrogiovanni, 14th 21:09, freshman Grace Fessler, 19th 21:33, and junior Rachel Short, 30th 22:20. Olivia Horton and Isabella Wyckoff making up the rest of their starting seven.
This squad is in great shape to defend next year's title as well as they return six of their seven from the race into fall 2021.
Also running top five in the race individually was Lillian Sarno of Pinelands Regional, third 20:08, and Toms River East's Shannon Stakelbeck, fifth 20:18.
A shout out to the Southern Regional meet crew for putting together a great meet and making a championship environment.