Undefeated Girls Cross Country Team Hopeful for Postseason

Middletown South has for years been known for its exceptional Girls Cross Country team, and on the surface, this season appears to be no different.

The South runners have been at it since the summer, as seniors Marykate Himmelberg, Alana Hartman, and Sylvie Evarts organized practices far before the start of the season to assure that the team would have a leg up on other teams. The hard work has paid off tremendously for the Eagles, as they have swept their six dual meets to the tune of an undefeated regular season record, clinching the title of Division AA-North Champs.

While this has come to be the expectation of the Girls Cross Country team over the past few years, the accomplishment is far more impressive considering the graduation of a majority of last year’s key contributors. Despite a core of leading seniors that has guided the team through its victory, much of the scoring has come from young talent; freshman Maddie Bran has proven herself to be not only one of the best freshman runners on the team, but one of the best freshmen competitors in the county. Underclassmen Delia Tota and Shannon Adario, as well as juniors Sam Hubner, Carolinte Kratka, and Emily Burns have also contributed to the team’s success this year, as they eye up their next task.

The Lady Eagles have the opportunity to advance as one of the top teams in the County meet this week. If the team qualifies as one of the top 15 in Monmouth County, then they have the opportunity to advance to the Shore Conference Finals, working up to the ultimate goal of the State Championships, rare territory even for such a prestigious program as South’s. The team has also qualified for State Sectionals, a feat accomplished each of the last three years by the Eagles and Coach Clifton. From that meet, the team has the chance to advance to Groups, and then to the Meet of Champions, another elusively challenging goal for the team.

Regardless of the result of the team’s season, their accomplishments thus far have already made for a remarkable year. Senior Marykate Himmelberg calls this year’s team, “the best season I’ve ever been a part of”, adding that it was amazing to “see the team come together and witness what they could really do.” With a team full of young runners and excellent chemistry, the Eagles’ runners are showing promise not only for this year, but for the next few seasons to come.