by Andrew Garda

For the first time in school history, the Montclair Mounties boys and girls cross country teams won the SEC Championship in the same year.

It was the second year in a row for the boys, and the first time in a long time for the girls.

“It’s a good start in the right direction, but I had to let them know we can’t get complacent,” said newly-minted head coach Daryl Washington.

Washington, who has taken over the reigns from former head coach Sophia Kenny, said that there were some adjustments which needed to be made, as the event was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 2, but the team found out it was going to be moved to Wednesday, Oct. 3 that Monday night.

Still, both teams did very well. The boys were led by Stefan Urquidi, who finished third with a time of 16:43.30, Aidan Ward, who finished sixth with a time of 17:03.60 and Sebastian Urquidi, who ended up in 12th with a time of 17:33.80. The Mountie boys finished with 67 points, 14 points ahead of Seton Hall Prep.

Four Mountie girls finished in the top six spots, with a five in the top 13.

Meghan Hessler took first overall with time of 19:58.90, almost a full 10 seconds ahead of the second place finisher, Anna Schaller from Montclair Kimberley Academy. Matilda Ferguson (20:25.60) took fourth overall, Lola Scarpone (20:41.00) finished in fifth and Eleanor Keating (20:45.30) rounded out the top six. Lily Johnston (21:29.80) finished 13th.

“I remember reading I had big shoes to fill,” Washington said during a recent practice. “Luckily, me and Sophia (Kenny) wear the same size.”