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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Nov 14, 2017

Girls’ Cross Country Runners Garner Three Individual Titles at Bernie Magee Class Meet

By Les Pierce

Bernie Magee Class Meet champions (left to right): Michelle Coyotl, Kathleen Shay,and Madison Brand

The Middletown South girls’ cross country team traveled to Greystone Central Park in Morris Plains to test their abilities against out-of-area competition at the Bernie Magee Class Meet.  To declare the South runners passed the test would be an understatement, as three Eagles brought home individual championship titles.

A “class meet” provides separate races for freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior competitors. Madison Brand was victorious in the senior meet, negotiating the challenging course with a clocking of 18:36.10; more than 30 seconds ahead of the second place finisher Shelby Piccinic of Colonia, timed at 19:07.40. Following that pair were Lucy Jeff (Mendham – 19:28.60), Alexa Hirt (Morris Co. V/T – 20:49.20), and Shannon Addario (Middletown South – 21:10.10). This was Brand’s third major win of the season. She captured the Battle of Ocean County Senior Class title over a field of 131 on September 15 and took individual honors at the Shore Conference B North championships. She has committed to the University of Michigan.

Moments after the senior race was completed, the gun sounded for the junior race. South’s Kathleen Shay fought off a challenge by Kinga Niewiadomski of Bridgewater-Raritan and pulled away in the final 400 meters to claim the gold, breaking the tape at 19:35.90, eight seconds ahead of Niewiadomski (19:43.80). Giving chase to the leaders were Sarah DeVries (Jefferson Township – 19:47.90), Kate McAndrew (Morris Catholic – 20:25.90), Weeshamar Senatus (Hudson Catholic – 20:28.40), and Ryanne Mulligan (Middletown South – 20:36.00).

Middletown’s Michelle Coyotl provided the most dominant win of the day, pulling away early from the field of 93 runners and trotting over the finish line unchallenged with a 40-second advantage over the second place finisher, Emily Ward of Kittatinny. Coyotl and Ward were timed at 21:19.40 and 21:59.30, respectively.  Top finishers were Juliette Bianchi (DePaul Catholic – 22:13.70), Alexandra Maizys (DePaul Catholic – 22:18.50), and Katie Schuller (Leonia 22:30.60).

As to Middletown’s local dual meet performances, the Eagles have captured the B North Division championship again this year.  South has now strung together four years of undefeated seasons in divisional competition while taking the B North title the past two years and the A North title the two years prior. They are ranked number two in the Shore Conference by the Shore Coaches Association and eighth in the state by