Mackenzie Barry was disappointed when she crossed the finish line at the Morris County Championships on Tuesday afternoon. No matter that she’d just won her third title in four years, Barry had wanted to break the year-old Greystone Park course record.
She turned to Randolph junior Liz Lansing, who had finished third, and said, “I want you to break it next year.” As Carole Harsch, another Rams junior, came up to them, Barry added, “Or you.”
Though Barry, a Mendham senior, will almost certainly be running for a NCAA Division I program by then, she pledged to come back home to cheer “my heart out for them.” An hour later, a more upbeat Barry reveled in her historic feat.
She is just the second girl to win three Morris County cross country titles, matching Kristen Hall of West Morris, who won in 1988, 1990 and 1991. Like Hall, Barry also won as a freshman, junior and senior.
“It’s pretty insane to be in the same category as her,” said Barry, who finished in 17:55.3. “I never thought I’d be included as one of those people, high up there. To have that honor, and be mentioned with them is great.”
Randolph won the girls team title for the second time in the past three years as all seven runners posted personal bests to crush the course average. West Morris senior Brennan Sharkey was second overall, then Lansing led the Rams’ pack, third in 18:12. Harsch was fifth (18:16.9), junior Margaret Thomson sixth (18:40.7), and senior Liz Wellman eighth (18:44.2).
“It’s incredible for us,” Thomson said. “We wanted this so bad. In school today, this kid was bashing cross country, so we said, ‘Let’s prove him wrong.’ It’s unbelievable. Words can’t even describe how awesome it is.”
Josiah Hanko, the lone cross country runner from tiny Trinity Christian, started alone in the middle of the field — and finished the same way, crossing the line first in a course-record 15:24.3. Hanko, a senior who has verbally committed to Duke, knew what the old mark had been — 15:29.52 by Morgan Pearson of Delbarton, who started his college career at Duke before transferring to Colorado — but was still astonished to find out he’d broken it. Instead, Hanko had been measuring himself against the time Craig Corti of Wallkill Valley had run to win the NJAC small-school title last Tuesday.
“I saw the course record, and tucked that away as something, if I can, I’ll go for it, but the win is more important,” Hanko said. “I felt good. I wasn’t thinking about the time, but when I turned the corner and saw 15:11, I thought, ‘Oh boy, I’ve got to push it.’ I saw the clock and I was shocked. I was not expecting to be that close. I came pounding at that line. I didn’t look when I crossed.”
Mountain Lakes senior Chris Luciano more than 30 seconds off his previous best, finishing second in 15:40.8, No. 3 in course history. Paul Ehmann, a Mendham junior, also ran a new PR for third place (15:57.8).
Senior Sean Lyons’ sixth-place PR led Morristown to its second straight team title. Colonials coach Paul Buccino praised his team’s “great compression,” with five runners in the top 20, and six under 17 minutes.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said Lyons, still clutching the oversized championship plaque. “It’s a lot of pride to bring it back to our school.”
Team scores: Morristown 65, Delbarton 85, Chatham 94, Mendham 120, Morris Hills 129, Mountain Lakes 181, Roxbury 186, Randolph 241, Montville 292, West Morris 297, Madison 304, Mount Olive 347, Parsippany Hills 378, Kinnelon 381, Morris Knolls 424, Morris Catholic 438, Parsippany 503, Whippany Park 517, Hanover Park 543, Dover 581, Morristown-Beard 602, Pequannock 617, Butler 647, Jefferson 735.
Top individuals: 1. Josiah Hanko (Trinity Christian) 15:24.3; 2. Chris Luciano (Mountain Lakes) 15:40.8; 3. Paul Ehmann (Mendham) 15:57.8; 4. Will Mitchell 16:01.6; 5. Ben DeVenezia (Mountain Lakes) 16:03; 6. Sean Lyons (Morristown) 16:07.3; 7. John O’Reilly (Delbarton) 16:12.1; 8. Dominic Vernazza (Chatham) 16:14.7; 9. Matthew Weintraub (Morris Hills) 16:15.4; 10. Michael Koch (Roxbury) 16:19.7; 11. Rudy Torres (Morristown) 16:24; 12. Patrick Hanley (Madison) 16:26.4; 13. Nick Kontos (West Morris) 16:30: 14. Greg Arabagian (Morristown) 16:34.3; 15. Michael Maguire (Delbarton) 16:37.4; 16. Robbie Siegel (Delbarton) 16:39.2; 17. Zachary Matthiesen (Roxbury) 16:40.6; 18. John Dennehy (Morris Hills) 16:41.4; 19. John Vallachi (Morristown) 16:42.3; 20. Evan Quinn (Morristown) 16:43.3.
Team scores: Randolph 48, Mount Olive 69, West Morris 92, Mendham 127, Morristown 146, Chatham 154, Roxbury 196, Morris Knolls 266, Mountain Lakes 276, Montville 312, Parsippany 332, Kinnelon 346, Morris Hills 356, Jefferson 378, Whippany Park 384, Hanover Park 423, Villa Walsh 424, Parsippany Hills 451, Madison 489, Dover 619, St. Elizabeth 662.
Top individuals: 1. Mackenzie Barry (Mendham) 17:55.3; 2. Brennan Sharkey (West Morris) 18:05.3; Liz Lansing (Randolph) 18:12; 4. Sierra Castaneda (West Morris) 18:14.5; 5. Carole Harsch (Randolph) 18:16.9; 6. Margaret Thomson (Randolph) 18:40.7; 7. Sarah Masukewicz (Mount Olive) 18:41.8; 8. Liz Wellman (Randolph) 18:44.2; 9. Alexandra Christian (Mount Olive) 18:48.9; 10. Christine O’Kane (Morristown) 19:07.4; 11. Ashleigh Thurston (Morris Hills) 19:07.7; 12. Olivia Viparina (Roxbury) 19:12.9; 13. Mariah Christian (Mount Olive) 19:18.6; 14. Elizabeth Timoney (Mendham) 19:21.9; 15. Shannon Dolan (Morris Knolls) 19:22.3; 16. Kyra Velock (Mountain Lakes) 19:23.4; 17. Micaela Reilly (Morristown-Beard) 19:24.3; 18. Emma Cary (Morristown) 19:41.1; 19. Defne Sement (Mendham) 19:48.2; 20. Erin Schafer (Mount Olive) 19:49.2.