Kent Place, Seton Hall, Newark Acad., Villa Win Prep Titles


Kent Place, coming off a pair of agonizingly close defeats, turned that frustration into jubilation, Seton Hall Prep's amazingly tight pack produced another big win, and the Newark Academy boys and Villa Walsh girls captured titles at Wednesday's State Prep Championships at Blair Academy in Blairstown.

In the girls A Division race, NJ#12 Kent Place, second to No. 11 Union Catholic by three points at the Union County Conference and by two points at the Union County Championships, put together its best race of the season to repeat as champion with a 29-57 victory over Lawrenceville. Kent Place won in 2019. The meet wasn't held last year.

Kent Place, which packed its scoring five in the top 10, was led by Yale-bound star Miranda Lorsbach, who finished first in 18:45 on the 3.1-mile layout. Lorsbach also won the Union County title last week. 

Notre Dame-bound Charlotte Bednar of Lawrenceville, one of the top runners in the nation and a two-time Prep State XC champ, didn't run.

Kent Place, despite missing one of its best runners, Lindsay Hausman (out for precautionary reasons), still averaged a very swift 19:48. The top five for Kent Place were Lorsbach, sophomore Addison McGoey, second in a PR of 19:27, freshman Olivia Hand, seventh with a PR of 20:07,  junior Noe Nalavala, ninth in a PR of 20:20, and junior Clara Schreibman, 10th with a PR in 20:21.   

In the boys A Division race, Seton Hall Prep once again flexed its superior compression with a 1-5 spread of just 23 seconds on the way to a second straight title, 46-69 over runner-up Lawrenceville. 

Seton Hall, coming off a victory at the Essex County Championships last Friday when they had a compression of 10 seconds, averaged 17:22 and went 6-7-9-11-13. The top five finishers for the Pirates were senior Anthony Bottino (17:10), senior Brady Sheaffer (17:18), senior Danny Collum (17:22), senior Ben Ferrara (17:29), and sophomore Connor Schmit  (17:33).   

Individually, junior Eric Scully of Hun ran 16:19 to win the race by 15 seconds over sophomore Isaac Greene of Blair.

In the B Division, junior Matthew Malloy finished first in 17:24 to spark a 1-3-5-9-19 finish for Newark Academy, which won the boys team title for the third straight time, 37-72 over runner-up Montclair Kimberley Academy. The  scorers for Newark Academy were Malloy, Andy Nagpal (17:32), sophomore Luka Opacic (17:45), senior Maximilian Gorbaty (17:51), and senior Luke Waskow (18:38).     

On the girls side, Villa Walsh went 2-3-6-9-10 to capture its third straight championship, 30-74 over runner-up Montclair Kimberley. Princeton Day sophomore Emily McCann ran 19:34 to win the race by 37 seconds.

The top five for Villa Walsh were freshman Ines Lemee, second in 20:11, junior Victoria Wong, third in 20:22, freshman Martha Smart, sixth in 20:59, junior Delaney McKee, ninth in 21:17, and freshman Erin Lyons, 10th in 21:18.