The Johnson Poll: Union County Championship Girls Varsity Recap

Union County Championship Girls Recap


Meet Results here:

This year’s Union County Cross Country Championships are in the books. Cool and dry conditions led to fast times as the top teams and individuals got to flex their muscles one last time before the state meets begin. Westfield showed why they have one of the best Cross Country programs in the state, easily winning both the Boys and Girls varsity races while Summit swept the individual titles with two dominant performances. In today’s installment of the Johnson Poll I’ll discuss the major talking points from the girl’s side of the meet (thats right, I’m talking bout girls!) while making a bunch of bad puns. Tomorrow I’ll do a recap of the boy’s race.

Girls Recap

First off, I would like to apologize for not including the girls in my meet preview. After I wrote the boys team preview my most sensible co-worker (Chris Croff of course) encouraged me to do a preview for the girls race. I did plan on writing one, but I wrote a lot more for the boys individual preview than I originally planned and ran out of time.  Sorry Ladies

Individual Recap: Three-peat for McIllroy

The girls race saw a pair of dominating performances on both the individual and team level. Senior Gillian McIllroy won her third consecutive county title, gapping the field early and holding on for the win. McIllroy won by 7 seconds over fellow senior Gabby Stravach of Westfield. Stravach finished well over the final mile, making up ground on McIllroy and gapping third place finisher Sophie Debode of Kent Place, but ultimately McIllroy had built too large of a lead. The girls race was one of the fastest in recent memory (and by recent memory I mean whats available on the internet) as 9 girls went under 20:00.

Team Recap: Blue Devils Sink the Vikings, Hill Toppers Toppled

Ok, so the title may be a little long, but I think it accurately sums up the major talking points from the team race. Westfield produced a dominating performance, placing their top five in the top ten with a 1-5 spread of only 40 seconds. This is Westfield’s first win in the women’s race in a long time, and for once the Lady Blue Devils were more dominant than their male teammates.

What really impressed me about this years race however, was the rapid rise of the runner up team, Union Catholic. Last year, the lady Vikings came in sixth, and the year before they did not score as a team. Union Catholic has been a top team on the men’s end for the past couple years (as much as I hate to admit it) but its good to see that their girls team has improved so much. Look for the Union Catholic girls to be in the hunt for the county title for the next couple years.

A final talking point from the girls team race was the toppling of the hill topper dynasty. (Some smart word play right there) Before Wednesday, the Summit girls had not lost a county championship since 2008. Their winning streak was long enough that I had to count on my fingers to realize they won three four years in a row. (I’m not the best at math) The Lady Hilltoppers will remain a force to be reckoned with in the county, but with Union Catholic and Westfield on the rise, Summit’s dominance may be over.

Recap of the Recap

1. Gillian McIllroy FTWx3

2. Westfield dominates, Top 5 all under 20

3. Summit’s dynasty comes to an end (for now)

4. Union Catholic’s Girls Program on the rise

5. I’m bad at math

6. GL Girls will make some noise at the sectional meet (couldn’t make a post without mentioning my team)

7.  Don’t forget to stop by the Summit Running Company for all your post-race recovery needs

-Chris J

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