Middletown North's Tom O'Neill and Christian Brothers Academy win Meet of Champions

Tom O'Neill runs 15:31 while CBA wins third straight Meet of Champions at Holmdel Park.

The Christian Brothers Academy cross-country team won its third straight Meet of Champions at Holmdel Park on Wednesday, while Tom O'Neill of Middletown North won the individual title. 

O'Neill, a junior, ran 15:31 to win the individual title, tying him for 10th all-time at Holmdel Park. 

"I was pretty excited," O'Neill said. "I knew I could win it, I had been working pretty hard all summer."

O'Neill entered the season never having won a championship race. Now he has won four, also winning the Group 3, Central Group 3, and Shore Conference races. 

"I was just trying to shock the world," O'Neill said. "I wanted to be the best this year, so I'm pretty happy."

On the team side, Christian Brothers Academy won, despite holding out its top five runners for the Nike Northeast Regional meet on Saturday. 

"We knew that there was a chance we might not win because there were a lot of  great teams in this race looking to knock us off,’’ said senior Aaron Liberatore, who was CBA's top finisher in 24th place. "But we also knew that if we ran the way were capable of we also had a good chance to win. I know there are probably people surprised that we were still able to win this, but we have confidence in every guy that we put on the line in every race."

CBA finished with 110 points and beat Holmdel, who finished with 133. Holmdel was led by Jack Baisley, who finished 10th overall in 15:58. 

Josh Kruppa, Andrew Reda, Blaise Ferro, and Greg Paugh finished 29th, 41st, 47th, and 57th, respectively, rounding out the scoring for CBA. 

"There were a lot of guys that ran for us today that aren’t used to being in such a big race, but they all rose to the occasion," Liberatore said. "It’s a pretty amazing feeling.’’

On the girls' side, Middletown South's Christiana Rutkowski finished 57th overall in 19:41. The Holmdel girl's finished 10th, led by Lennon Cooper's 16th place finish, running a time of 18:49. 

Voorhees won the girls meet, while Sarah Disanza of High Point won the individual title. 


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