EDISON, NJ -- The Middle School girls' cross country team from The Wardlaw + Hartridge School in Edison repeated as champions in the Pumpkin Run at Gill St. Bernard's School on Oct. 27. This annual competition attracts 300 athletes from 15 local independent middle schools.

Fresh off an impressive fourth place team finish against a very competitive field in the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) meet, the Rams entered the Pumpkin Run with confidence.

"I am very proud," W+H head coach Rick Rapil said. "Wardlaw + Hartridge is a small school compared to other schools in the county. Finishing fourth at the GMC was incredible because they beat many larger schools.  And to repeat as champs in the Pumpkin Run was a challenge because all of the other teams are gunning for you.  It's also important because a lot of the teams in the Pumpkin Run are the ones that these runners will eventually meet up with when they run in high school and in the state tournament."

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W+H won last year's team title by 12 points and nearly doubled that margin this year. Bronwyn Russell of East Windsor led the W+H girls with an exciting second place finish in a time of 9:23 on the hilly terrain in Gladstone. Other W+H girls who posted scoring times were: Shreya Dharayan of Edison (8th, 10:20), Jasmine Burney of Plainfield (10th, 10:24), Tenajah Eldridge of Plainfield (14th, 10:43) and Nelagh Matthews of Metuchen (16th, 10:49).

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