Ocean City High School became the first Cape-Atlantic League girls cross country team to qualify for the Meet of Champions in three years Saturday afternoon.
The Red Raiders earned an MOC berth by finishing third in the state Group III championships at Holmdel Park. The Meet of Champions is Wednesday at Holmdel. The 2009 Wildwood Catholic girls team was the last CAL school to make the MOC. Mary Kate Brelsford led Ocean City by covering the 3.1-mile course in 19 minutes, 30.74 seconds to finish 15th.
The top-three teams and the top-10 runners in each of the six enrollment group races qualified for the MOC.
Teams and individuals also could earn wild-card berths based on their times.
Ocean City finished with 124 points. West Morris Mendham won the team title with 77 points.
In addition to Brelsford, Ocean City also received strong performances from Epiphany Grisbaum (19th in 19:49.38) and Bridget Flynn (22nd in 20:02.98). Erin Myers (38th in 20:33.29) and Rachel Stremme (68th in 21:14.40) rounded out Ocean City's top-five finishers.
Sophomore Lauren Zodi of Pinelands Regional topped the list of local girls individual qualifiers. She finished 10th in Group III in 19:20.59. Abby Shafer of Egg Harbor Township earned a wild-card berth by finishing 19th in Group IV in 19:47.83.
In the boys races, Louis Corgliano of Hammonton finished eighth in Group III in 16:30.20.
Matt Nelson of Barnegat earned an MOC wild-card berth by finishing 11th in Group II in 16:37.20.
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