Shore Conference Runners Star in Cross Country Championships By Eugene Stewart

 Another exciting girls Cross Country season has come to an end, with the girls of the Shore Conference representing themselves and their respective schools very well throughout the season, culminating with the sectional championships on Nov. 3, group championships on Nov. 10 and the Meet of Champions at Holmdel Park on Nov. 17.

Meet of Champions

Led by county-best individual meet performances by Delia Russo (senior, Colts Neck) 18:49.00, Samantha Ragenklint (senior, Monmouth Regional) 19:07.00, Maddy Kopec (junior, Red Bank Catholic) 19:12.00, and Emily Levonas (junior, Holmdel) 19:14.00, Monmouth County placed four in the top 20 finishers.  Best team finishes were posted by Holmdel (136), Colts Neck (178) and Middletown South (262) finishing 3rd, 6th and 11th, respectively. 

Group I Finals

Shore Regional senior Alyssa Costello, 21:26.00 (14th); and junior Pari Walter, 21:49.00 (21st); Point Pleasant Beach freshman Piper O’Neill, 22:32.00 (38th); and junior Julia Homer, 22:39.00 (40th) all finished in the top 50. Costello, Walter and sophomore Krissy Birdsall, 22:54.00 (46th), fueled Shore Regional’s sixth-place team finish.

Group II Finals

Holmdel (2nd), Point Pleasant Boro (5th), Monmouth Regional (7th) and Pinelands Regional (18th) were the winners in Group II.

Best individual performances were posted by top 10 finishers Samantha Ragenklint (senior, Monmouth Regional) 19:15.00, 2nd; Emily Levonas (junior, Holmdel) 19:35.00, 6th; Amanda Stone (senior, Monmouth Regional) 19:39.00, 7th; and Claudia Zhang (junior, Holmdel) 19:48.00, 10th.

Group III Finals

Top ten finishers were Delia Russo (senior, Colts Neck) 19:02.00, 3rd; Natalie Shapiro (junior, Colts Neck) 19:39.00, 5th; Lucy Afanasewicz (freshman, Middletown South) 19:39.00, 6th; Emily Dorony (senior, Ocean) 19:40.0, 7th; and Catherine Wimmer (junior, Red Bank Regional) 19:48.00, 10th. 

Colts Neck finished as the Group III state champion, followed by Middletown South (3rd), Allentown (5th), Red Bank Regional (8th), and Toms River South (14th).

Group IV Finals

Southern Regional (19th) was the lone Shore Conference school to show in Group IV.

Individual performances included Gianna Citarella (senior, Southern Regional) 20:57.00, 58th; Meagan Mahon (sophomore, Toms River North) 21:04.00, 70th; Emily Furlong (junior, Southern Regional) 21:21.00, 75th; Jaelyn D’Amello (junior, Southern Regional) 21:29.00, 83th; and Rachel Short (freshman, Southern Regional) 21:48.00, 96th.

Non-Public A Finals

Maddy Kopec, (junior) 19:41.00, 4th; Claudia Satzke (junior) 20:21:00, 10th; Elena Dimitri (freshman) 20:45.00, 12th; Gionna Curci (junior) 20:47.00, 14th; and Kate DeFilippis (freshman) 20:50.00, 15th, all made the top 15 for Red Bank Catholic, which finished the season as the state champion of the Non-Public A division.

Non-Public B Finals

Kudos to individual performances by Hayley Amisano (freshman, Mater Dei Prep) 21:23.00, 17th; Abigal Llach (junior, St. Rose) 22:28.00, 38th; Mia Glass (senior, Ranney) 22:31.00, 40th

Mater Dei Prep finished as the number 12 team in team performance.

Central Jersey Group I Sectionals

Shore Regional’s Pari Walter (junior) 21:13.20, 3rd; Alyssa Costello (senior) 21:26.50 4th; Krissy Birdsall (sophomore) 21:52.00, 7th; Sasha Jarvis (senior) 22:29.70, 11th; and Point Pleasant Beach’s Piper O’Neill (freshman) 22:13.90,  9th; and Julia Homer (junior) 22:19.50, 10th, were the top finishers.

No surprise, Shore Regional High School and Point Pleasant Beach finished 1st and 3rd, respectively, in the sectionals.

Central Jersey Group 2 Sectionals

Monmouth Regional seniors Amanda Stone, 19:03.50, and Samantha Ragenklint 19:10.10, finished 1st and 2nd, respectively, followed by  Molly Kate Sabia (junior, Point Pleasant Boro) 19:17.20, 4th; Julia Tambaro (senior, Rumson-Fair Haven) 19:31.50, 7th; Cassandra Daniele (junior, Matawan) 19:32.70, 8th; and Claudia Zhang (junior, Holmdel ) 19:33.30, 9th.

Holmdel finished 2nd, Point Pleasant Boro 4th, Monmouth Regional 5th , Rumson-Fair Haven 6th, Matawan 8th, Manasquan 11th  and Wall 12th. 

Central Jersey Group 3 Sectionals

Colts Neck brought home five of the top 11 places thanks to Delia Russo (senior) 19:58.90,  1st;  Natalie Shapiro (junior) 19:59.50, 2nd; Catherine Anderson (senior) 20:34.90, 5th; Eva Gibson (senior) 20:59.40, 10th,  and Kavita Shah (sophomore) 21:06.50 11th. Other Shore Conference top finishers include Emily Dorony (senior, Ocean) 20:00.30, 3rd; and Allentown’s Andie Murray (freshman) 20:48.00, 7th, and Angelina Scotto (sophomore) 20:52.60, 8th. 

The top team honors were taken by Colts Neck, followed by Allentown (2nd), Freehold Boro (6th), Ocean (8th) and Jackson Liberty (9th).

Central Jersey Group 4 Sectionals

Freehold Township High School was represented by junior Emily Hoegler, 20:50.20; senior Gillian Gandolfo, 20:56.00; senior Alexandra Simon, 21:25.70; and junior Sophia Hodges, 21:29.90; finishing 23rd, 24th, 35th and 39th, respectively. 

Manalapan senior Hayley Flanagan, 21:27.00 (36th) finished in front of Freehold Township freshman Brianna Kirch at 21:40.70.

On the team leader board, Freehold Township finished 6th, followed by Manalapan at 11th and Howell at 15th.

Congratulations to all the girls for their hard work, commitment and dedication to their craft. They’ve represented themselves, their families and their schools well.

Table of Contents

About The Author