No time for any monkey business, gotta ‘jump right in’ to the good stuff
Governor Livingston (Group 2)
After an impressive fourth place finish at the Union County Meet, the Highlanders were a little flat at Sectionals and wound up 4th. Even someone as brash as I am realizes that the Highlanders will end their season with the group meet. But that does not mean they have nothing to run for. The highest GL has finished at the group meet is 8th and this team certainly has the potential to match that performance. Their performance at groups largely depends on how wildcard Kyle Brackman performs. Brackman ran really well at counties and was the top GL runner by over twenty seconds. At sectionals Brackman struggled and was the third GL finisher. The rest of the GL squad has performed consistently throughout the year, if Brackman can find his form; the Highlanders could well be on their way to their highest ever finish at the group meet.
I can hear all of you out there saying, “Johnson you stupid idiot, you picked the GL girls to win, you don’t know anything!” So my super brash pick of the GL girls winning the section didn’t quite work out. However, the lady Highlanders were closer to meeting my prediction than you might think. (Get ready for some insider info as they’d say on Letsrun) GL’s squad came into sectionals pretty banged up. Their top finisher at the county meet was nursing an injury and their fourth runner from counties did not compete. Despite these two injuries, the Lady Highlander’s average time was only 14 seconds slower than their average at counties on a course that was 100 meters longer. So if you account for the longer distance, GL produced a faster average time at sectionals while not competing at full strength. Even better news if you’re a fan of GL (who isn’t a fan of GL) is that the Lady Highlanders return their entire top seven next year. It may be a little early (just kidding it’s never too early) to make a prediction for next year, but look for the Highlanders to try and make history by winning the section.
Like the boys, the GL girls have no real chance of moving on to MOC’s, but they do have a good chance of recording a highest ever group finish, despite being a little banged up. The lady highlanders have had a different number 1 girl the past three races, and if their big three can pack up and finish well, GL might turn some heads.
So far the Johnson Poll has focused mainly on public schools, know it’s time to change that. In fact I should have changed that a while ago. Kent Place put together a very impressive performance at the Union County Meet, finishing fourth. Earlier in the year at Shore Coaches, Kent Place also finished fourth in the Girls Varsity F race, where they faced off against most of their opponents in the upcoming Non-Public B race. Yet at Shore Coaches, Kent Place was missing Union County Bronze Medalist Sophie Debode. With Debode back, Kent Place has some serious fire power up top and has the potential to place multiple runners in the top 10. Kent Place is one of four teams (the others being Pingry, Gill St. Bernards, and Mount St. Mary’s) in contention for the three qualifying spots. If Kent Place can perform at the same level they did at the Union County Meet, they have a legitimate chance of making MOC’s. Also look for Sophie Debode to advance as an individual. Whatever the outcome, Kent Place is certain to improve on their seventh place finish last year.
Don’t Worry, the Johnson Poll Awesome Preview, Good Job! (a new name I’m thinking of) isn’t done yet. Consider these first two posts as the appetizer and the entrée, with the dessert coming up later in the week. And by dessert I mean a mouthwatering analysis of Summit’s chances at Groups.