CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – Seniors Will Berger of Lower Cape May and Alexa Weber dominated the respective boys and girls races at the Cape May County high school cross country championships at county park Friday afternoon.
Berger set a course record with a time of 15 minutes, 57 seconds to finish ahead of seven straight Ocean City runners to win the boys race. The previous course record of 15:58 was set by Middle Township’s Ryan Herlihy in 2014.
Ocean City’s Jesse Schmeizer (16:09), Korey Greene (16:37), Gavyn Fox (16:58), Anthony Conte (16:58), Tyler Greene (17:06), Luke Kramer (17:07) and Steve Gooden (17:12) took second through eighth places, respectively, to lead the Raiders to an easy victory in the team competition. Ocean City scored 20 points. Wildwood Catholic won a close battle for second place with 89 points over Middle Township (89) and Cape May Tech (92). Lower Cape May (120) was fifth and Wildwood (128) placed sixth.
Ocean City won the boys team title for the third straight year and for the 16th time in the last 17 years.
Cape May Tech’s Leo Zaccaria (17:15) and Wildwood Catholic’s Chris Johnson (17:24) rounded out the top 10.
Weber won the girls race for the third straight year. She finished in 18:44, more than 30 seconds ahead of teammate Casey McLees, who was second in 19:15. Ocean City’s Alexis Palmieri (19:17) and Michaela Baker (19:39) were, third and fourth, respectively.
Weber is only the fourth athlete to win the girls race at least three times. Ocean City’s Brittany Sedberry (2002-05) is the only four-time winner, while Ocean City’s Mary Jo Dougherty (1985-87) and Wildwood Catholic’s Tara Wuko (2007-09) also won three times.
Wildwood Catholic prevented an Ocean City sweep by taking the next three places behind Julia Sorensen (19:56), Erin Connelly (20:40) and Joelle Osborne (20:41).
Ocean City’s Brooke Farr (20:56) and Nicolette Brady (21:03) were ninth and 10th, respectively.
Ocean City won its eighth straight team championship with 19 points, finishing ahead of Wildwood Catholic (39), Cape May Tech (85) and Middle Township (110). Lower Cape May did not have enough runners to score as a team in the girls race; Wildwood does not have any female runners.
— story and photos by Brian Cunniff; videos by Bob Maschio