The Newark Academy boys and Oak Knoll girls used superior pack running en route to the team titles, and Payton Kochanski of Mt. St. Mary and Jackson Nguyen of Peddie captured the individual title at Saturday's 44th Bill Blaskopf Newark Academy Invitational in Livingston.
In the boys race, Newark Academy crammed five runners in the top 13 with a compression of 1:16 to defeat runner-up Peddie, 38-53. Junior Matthew Malloy (17:48) and senior Maximilian Gorbaty (17:52) led a strong frontal attack for Newark Academy by placing 3-4, and Newark Academy's picked up strong races from sophomore Aaron Li (10th in 18:54), senior Luke Waskow (11th in 18:56), and Luka Opacic Rodrigues (19:04) to seal the deal.
Individually, Nguyen, a senior, ran away with the individual title as he crossed the line first in 16:54, 54 seconds ahead of runner-up Isaac Greene, a sophomore at Blair who ran 17:48.
In the girls race, Oak Knoll went 4-7-9-11-19 and had a 1-5 split of 1:24 to defeat runner-up Mt. St. Mary, 40-67. Oak Knoll's five scorers were senior Sarah McManus (4th in 22:29), junior Megan McCann (7th in 22:54), senior Betsy Keenan (9th in 23:23), sophomore Alexandra Zukowsky (11th in 23:27), and sophomore Heidi Pearce (19th in 23:53)
Individually, Kochanski, a junior, was the only runner to go under 21 minutes, crossing the line first in 20:48 in the 49-runner race. Cassidy Kidd, a sophomore at Union, was second in 21:07.