The Press Girls Runner of the Year

Danielle Leavitt

Lacey Township, Jr.

Won her second straight South Jersey Group III title in 18 minutes, 23 seconds. Her time was the fastest in the Group III race by 24 seconds as she led from start to finish. Also for the second consecutive season, Leavitt won the Shore Conference (17:53) and Ocean County Championships (18:38). She won the girls division race (18:32) at the South Jersey Championships, took second in the junior race at the Cherokee Challenge and finished third (19:29) in the girls championships race at the Shore Coaches Invitational to lead all local girls in all three events.

First team

Abby Shafer

Egg Harbor Township, Sr.

Won the Cape-Atlantic League and Atlantic County Championships for the first time. Shafer came from behind to win the CALs by more than 40 yards in 18:02.93, after finishing third as a junior. She won counties in 17:38.89 — about 100 yards in front of the runner-up. She finished fourth in the South Jersey Group IV Sectionals in 19:21.59 and finished 19th in the Group IV state championship in 19:47.83 to earn a wild-card berth to the Meet of Champions, where she finished 63rd (19:47).

Bridget Flynn

Ocean City, Jr.

Took ninth in the South Jersey Group III race and finished 22nd (20:02.98) in the state Group III championships. She finished fourth at the CALs in 18:36.53 and edged her teammate and two-time defending champion, MaryKate Brelsford, by 13 seconds to win the Cape May County Championships in 18:46. She also finished second (20:16) in the stud race at the South Jersey Shootout and broke Atlantic City’s course record from 2005 (19:12) in 18:54. For the first time, Flynn broke 20 minutes at Holmdel Park as she finished fourth in 19:51 in the Varsity B race at the Shore Coaches Invitational.

MaryKate Brelsford

Ocean City, Sr.

Finished eighthin South Jersey Group III and led the Red Raiders at the state Group III championships and finished 15th in 19:30.74. She took 67th in 19:55 at the MOC. Brelsford finished fifth in 18:41.68 at the CALs and took second in 18:59 at the Cape May County Championships.

Katie Juniewicz

Absegami, Sr.

After leading for more than half the race, Juniewicz claimed second in 18:17.33 at the CALs. She also took second (18:07.22) at the Atlantic County Championships. She had the best time of all local girls and finished fourth in the stud race in 20:10 at the South Jersey Shootout in September. In early October, she won the girls division 3A race at the Disney World Cross County Classic in Orlando, Fla. She was fifth overall, but first in her division in 19:59.

Lauren Zodl

Pinelands Regional, So.

Zodi finished fifth in the South Jersey Group III race in 19:09. Only Leavitt ran faster among local girls. She finished second in 19:02 at the Ocean County Championships and topped the list of local girls at the state championships with a 10th-place finish in Group III in 19:20.59, which earned her a MOC berth.

Alex Walsh

Middle Township, Sr.

Finished fifth at the South Jersey Group II race in 20:17. She took seventh (18:56.15) at CALs and fifth (19:52) at the Cape May County Championships.

Kristin Siegle

Buena Regional, Fr.

Making an impressive first impression, the freshman led all local girls in Group II as she finished fourth at the South Jersey sectionals in 20:13. She led the Chiefs to its first Atlantic County title in 14 years as she finished third in 18:31.81. She finished eighth in 18:59.02 at CALs.

Devon Grisbaum

Ocean City, So.

Led all Red Raiders with a seventh-place finish in South Jersey Group III in 19:17. She finished 19th at the state Group III championships and earned a wild-card berth to the MOC. She also led Ocean City at the CALs with a third-place finish in 18:22.71. She finished third (19:11) at the Cape May County Championships.

Jillian Smith

Southern Regional, Sr.

Finished seventh at the S.J. Group IV race in 19:29.49. She led her team to a third-place finish.

Second Team

Lisa Testa

Buena Regional

Gina Testa

Buena Regional

Megan Devlin

Egg Harbor Township

Emily Johnson

Wildwood Catholic

Victoria Thaler


Honorable mention


Kaitlyn Dermen

Lacey Township

Abby Gauthier

Ocean City

Rachel Stremme

Southern Regional

Courtney Muraczewski