The Ridge boys, ranked No. 2 in the state, threw down a perfect score to capture their third straight title, and Caroline Mehlhorn regained her title to spark the No. 15 ranked Montgomery girls to the team title at Thursday's Somerset County Championships at Pleasant Valley Park in Bernards Township.
Senior Jackson Barna, who kept his foot off the gas, led the historic 15-point performance for Ridge, which averaged 16:37, by winning his second county title in 16:17. The Georgetown-bound Barna, the top-ranked runner in the state, also won as a sophomore in 2019 (the meet wasn't held last year because of COVID-19).
Marco Langon of Bridgewater-Raritan, the No. 2 ranked runner in the state, skipped this race, so the first eagerly awaited showdown between Barna and Langon will have to wait. Hopefully they will clash at the Skyland Conference Championships this Thursday at Phillipsburg.
Ridge's remaining scorers were senior Andrew McCabe, second in 16:37, junior Patrick Doran, third in 16:42, senior James Kisker, fourth in 16:42, and senior Hudson Yu, fifth in 16:50. Ridge's perfect score of 15 was 72 points ahead of runner-up Montgomery.
In the girls race, Mehlhorn, who won as a freshman in 2018 and was second as a sophomore, returned to the winners circle by running 19:05 to lead a 1-2-8-11-17 finish for Montgomery, which defeated No. 17 Ridge, 29-68. Ridge won the last four titles.
Montgomery, which averaged 20:00, received great races from sophomore star Julia Scrudato, second in 19:05, sophomore Zoey Doelling, eighth in 20:11, senior Hannah Vardeman, 11th in 20:34, and senior Elizabeth Henderson, 17th in 21:05.