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Somerset County runners at the Manhattan Invitational X-C meet flex their muscles

Somerset County runners at the Manhattan Invitational X-C meet flex their muscles

At the Manhattan Invitational, over 1,000 boys runners competed in a series of races featuring competitors from the east coast, but it was merely ONE senior from Somerset County who stood out.

Jackson Barna of Ridge and Marco Langon of Bridgewater-Raritan of Brooklyn-New York took their respective races on Saturdays 2.5-mile course in the Bronx, N.Y.

Barna won the Eastern States Championship in a time of 12:04, while Langon won The D Division race in 12 minutes.

Barna won his race by nine seconds over senior Gitch Hayes from LaSalle Institute (Troy, NY), in a race with 147 runners.

Langon won the D race, which had 151 participants, beating Nathan Lopez of St. Johns Prep (NY), who ran 12:55.

Barna and Langon are now perfect this season, with Barno winning the Battle at Ocean County Park, while Langone won the Shore Coaches, the Magee, and Roxbury Invitationals.

Jacob Heredia, a senior at Clifton, placed sixth in the Eastern States race in 2:30:39.


Dennis Fortuna, a Triton senior, won the F race, while Dennis fortuno took home the trophy. Ryan Banko of Salesianum School (NY) ran 12:45 to beat Fortuna's freshman Ryan Bano in 12 minutes.

On the girls side, Kingsway juniors Aubrey Pierontoni Nicole Lipieta took a 1-2 lead in the E race, while Middletown South sophomore Rosemary Shay took the D race.

Pierontoni won her race in 15:24, her classmate Lipieta right behind in just 15 minutes, making them the only runners to reach 16:00 in the 126-person race. Kingsway, with 85 points, ranked second to East Islip, which had 54 points in the team standings.

Shay finished in 15:36, nine seconds ahead of sophomore Ava Gumb from St. Joseph Hill Academy (NY). Middletown South claimed the team title, beating out 18 other schools with 52 points, well ahead of North Rockland (NJ).

Olivia Shattuck of Ridgewood finished seventh in the Eastern States Championship in a time of 15:23.

Amiri Whittle of Hackensack finished second in the boys C race in 12:51, just four seconds behind Adam Furman of Tri Valley (NY).

Christian Brothers Academy won the A race, led by senior Jack Moran, who finished fourth in 13:08. Colin Riley, a Dayton junior, finished fifth in 13:11. CBA scored 55 poiints, well ahead of Boston College High School (120).

Kingsway senior Kyle Rakitis, who finished fourth in the B race (12:53), and Ridgefield sophomore Steven Hergenrother, whose time was 13:21, were among the top five finishers in New Jersey.

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