Russell, LaSalle Shine In Philly: Briarwood Recap

Girls Championship Race - Recap

After a big track season, Lydia Russell's XC season debut was certainly one of the year's most anticipated races. The Friends' Central junior torched Belmont Plateau, running away with the Girls Championship Race. Russell clocked a 17:57 for the win, the second fastest time in meet history. Only Megan Venables of Highlands Regional (NJ) has run faster (17:39 in 2010). 

Russell broke free early and never had to look back. This past spring, Russell broke the 5K state record on the track. On Saturday she showed those track times can certainly translate to the trails. Russell has a long season ahead, but Saturday was a big invite debut. 

Neshaminy's Kaylee McCullough took second, running yet another strong race. The senior went 19:02 to earn silver. Corinne Barney of Indian Hills (NJ) was a strong third in 19:23. Strath Haven's Ava Crawford was fourth in 19:38, while Central Bucks East's Mckenna Brophy was fifth in 19:47.

Indian Hills (NJ) took home the team title for a second straight year. The NJ No. 3 squad scored 74 points with three in the top ten. Avon Grove had a solid 5K season debut placing second with 121 points. Strath Haven was third with 129 points

Girls Challenge Race - Recap

Charlotte Bednar made her Lawrenceville School (NJ) debut a successful one. Bednar transferred from the Un School of Princeton over the summer, and Saturday marked the sophomore sensation's first race with L'Ville. Despite getting a cramp late in the race, Bednar still blew away the field to win by over a minute in 18:38, the second fastest time of the day. It was a great start to the season for Bednar, who was 12th at NXN last year.

Pearl River continued its usual domination of the Challenge Race at Briarwood. The New York squad took the next two spots with Una Boylan and Niamh Durcan taking second and third, respectively to pace the way for PR, which scored just 33 points to win the team title. They also won the meet merge narrowly over Indian Hills (NJ).

Olivia Tullman of the Hill School was the top PA finisher, taking fourth in 20:35.