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Nov 14, 2022

Middletown South Girls Cross Country Claims A-North Division Title

By Les Pierce

The Middletown South A-North Division championship team – (from left): Skylar O’Keefe, Samantha Grein, Gwen Afanasewicz, Rosemary Shay, Caitlin Brown, Abby Oglevee and Emma Buthorn

The Middletown High School South girls’ cross country team entered the 2022 campaign with a long history of success. An indication that trend will continue was demonstrated when the Eagles swept the A-North Division Championship for the ninth consecutive year. South now boasts a record of 59-0 in Division competition over those nine years.  

South took the crown with a low score of 26 points. Manalapan (36) and Howell (74) were the closest competitors of the six-team field.

Junior Rosemary and senior Emma Buthorn paced the squad with a one-two finish. Also scoring for the Eagles were Gwen Afanasewicz (fifth), Abby Oglevee (eighth), Samantha Grein (10th), Caitlin Brown (11th) and Skylar O’Keefe (18th). 

The South junior varsity team also tasted victory. Freshman Riley Murphy was the individual winner and led a sweep of the first four positions. Teammates following Murphy across the finish line were Emily Gallo (second), Kate Wrede (third), Sarah Pleis (fourth), Summer Doherty (sixth), Lauren Hutson (eighth) and Katherine Lynch (ninth).

“The divisional win this year gave the team excitement and pride at being able to continue tradition,” Coach Bill Clifton said. “It also gave the team validation that the hard work that they have been putting in since the summer is paying off. It was especially inspiring because the entire team got to celebrate since the junior varsity squad won the title too.”

He added, “Rosemary Shay is pivotal to the team for her talent, confidence and exuberance. She will give you everything that she has in workouts and races, and she does it with a big smile.  Rosemary gives the team a front runner with star power and desire to win.”

Middletown South is currently ranked 17th statewide by and 20th by