Its Regionals Week. One of the more bitter rivalries in the Northeast is between NJ and PA teams. So we wanted to run a completely hypothetical Mock Meet using the Top Times from Pennsylvania and New Jersey this year. We created super teams by placing each of the States "fastest" (season-best 5K) runners on the same squad and calculated a Dual Meet from there.
Please note - that this is a "just-for-fun" analysis, and each state runs on vastly different courses. That being said, PA got the job done, winning both the Girls' and Boys' Dual Meet.
On the girls side, standout Emma Zawatski (Freehold) led the way. She has been unbelievable this season, and won the Meet of Champions. She scorched a 17:09 to win the Shore Conference Championships. Cate DeSousa (Red Bank) places second in this mock. She was just off Zawatski at the Shore Conference Championships and finished 10th at the Meet of Championship.
After the first two NJ finishers, Pennsylvania places two with Logan St. John Kletter (Mount Lebanon) and Natalie McLean (Pine-Richland). Pennsylvania faithful are well aware of the battle between these two. They have trade places throughout the year, and ran the two fastest times in PA at the Legends Meet. McLean went on to win the PIAA State Championship (3A). Lily Oliver (Toms River South) squeaks ahead of the next three Pennsylvania finishers.
The Girls Race
Pennsylvania - 28 | New Jersey - 31
|NJ||1 (1)||17:09.67||EMMA ZAWATSKI - Freehold Township HS||2024|
|NJ||2 (2)||17:15.65||CATE DESOUSA - Red Bank Catholic HS||2023|
|PA||3 (3)||17:29.00||LOGAN ST. JOHN KLETTER - Mount Lebanon||2024|
|PA||4 (4)||17:30.00||NATALIE MCLEAN - Pine-Richland||2023|
|NJ||5 (5)||17:32.84||LILY OLIVER - Toms River South HS||2023|
|PA||6 (6)||17:35.90||ELLA WOEHLCKE - Mount Saint Joseph||2024|
|PA||7 (7)||17:41.40||OLIVIA CIESLAK - Haverford Township HS||2025|
|PA||8 (8)||17:44.30||ELLIE KEEFER - West Chester Rustin||2023|
|PA||9 (-)||17:46.00||BROOKE PREPUTNICK - Hershey||2023|
|PA||10 (-)||17:47.70||CLAIRE ZUBEY - Owen J. Roberts||2023|
|NJ||11 (11)||17:51.58||JESSICA ABBOTT - Toms River North HS||2026|
|NJ||12 (12)||17:52.00||PEYTON HOLLIS - Union Catholic Reg. HS||2024|
|NJ||13 (-)||17:52.42||TILLY O'CONNOR - St. Rose HS||2023|
|NJ||14 (-)||17:56.10||LILIAH GORDON - Northern Burlington||2025|
Two PIAA State Champions lead the way on for Pennsylvania, followed by two PIAA runner-up finishers. Brian DiCola (Hatboro Horsham), the 3A State Champion, and the second fastest runner in Pennsylvania XC history leads the way with his Paul Short record 14:43. Rory Lieberman (Danville) was shortly behind him in that same race, and Ryan Pajak (Ringgold) was third.
Butler standout Drew Griffith places third. The WPIAL Champion and 3A runner-up ran 14:49 at the prestigious Carlisle Invitational.
George Andrus (Haddonfield) leads a NJ trio. He ran 14:58 at the South Jersey Group 2 Final. He ended up third at the Meet of Champions. Sophomore Joe Barrett (Christian Brothers Academy) follows him with his 14:59. He was seventh at MOCs. It should be noted that the NJ MOC Champion, Micah Lawson (Rahway) did not crack the top-7 for NJ, based on personal best 5K. But the Rutgers commit has been dominant all year. He is undefeated on the season.
The Boys Race
Pennsylvania - 18 | New Jersey - 40
|PA||1 (1)||14:43.20||BRIAN DICOLA - Hatboro Horsham||2023|
|PA||2 (2)||14:47.80||RORY LIEBERMAN - Danville Area||2023|
|PA||3 (3)||14:49.30||DREW GRIFFITH - Butler||2024|
|PA||4 (4)||14:58.40||RYAN PAJAK - Ringgold||2024|
|NJ||5 (5)||14:58.79||GEORGE ANDRUS - Haddonfield Memorial||2023|
|NJ||6 (6)||14:59.76||JOE BARRETT - CBA||2025|
|NJ||7 (7)||15:00.25||STEPHEN KYVELOS - Manalapan HS||2024|
|PA||8 (8)||15:00.40||LOGAN STRAWSER - Juniata||2023|
|PA||9 (-)||15:01.90||TIMOTHY RODEN - Central Dauphin||2023|
|NJ||10 (9)||15:03.77||COLLIN BOLER - Delbarton School||2023|
|PA||11 (-)||15:04.30||COLIN WHITAKER - Lampeter Strasburg||2024|
|NJ||12 (10)||15:10.00||AKSHAY VADUL - Edison HS||2023|
|NJ||13 (-)||15:12.23||AVERY KEITH - Westfield HS||2024|
|NJ||14 (-)||15:13.84||NICHOLAS SULLIVAN - CBA||2023|