After an excellent showing in last Saturday’s Passaic Invitational at Garret Mountain, Glen Rock High School’s cross-country teams are heading into the heart of the major meet schedule that includes the NJIC league meet on Oct. 15 and the Bergen County race on Oct. 20.

The Panther boys placed third in Group 2 in the 11-school field in the Passaic Invitational with a 106-point total. Glen Rock‘s girls came in ninth with 186 points.

Senior Andrew Brennan timed 17:41 for seventh place, and sophomore Ryan Vandervalk placed 17th in 18:32. Senior Jon Leibu was 22nd (18:54), senior Jacob Campbell 24th (18:55), senior Sean Browne 36th (19:20), junior Eric Grinn 37th (19:21) and senior Charlie Hillock 68th ( 21:57). Bishop Ahr of Edison had the first and third finishers and 57 points for the team title.

Kara Grady, co-coach of the Glen Rock teams with Stacie Gallo, said, “The boys had a great race. They are progressing through the season nicely, and they were pleased with their own performance. We’re anticipating the trend to continue through October.” The Panthers were league champions last season.

Junior Lila Milgrom and sophomore Molly Smith are leading the girls team. Milgrom came in 14th in the Passaic Invitational with a 22:31 time, and Smith was 23rd in 23:00. Junior Kate Harrison finished 41st (24:12), junior Margaret Rae 62nd (25:55) and senior Anna McAuley 66th (26:21). High Point was the team leader in that race.

Milgrom finished fourth and Smith ninth in the Darlington Invitational B Division. Milgrom came in fifth and Smith ninth in the Season Opener meet at Darlington. They have been supported by Harrison, Rae, McAuley and junior Rachel O’Connor.

Brennan turned in a ninth-place finish in the Darlington Invitational with Vandervalk 16th, Leibu 26th, Campbell 28th, Browne 32nd and Hillock 61st.

The boys took a 3-1 league record into this week’s competition, the only loss to Pompton Lakes, and the girls had a 2-2 mark in the circuit.

“Our goal is to keep the team healthy and prepare them for the league and county meets,” said Gallo. She added both coaches are looking forward to seeing what the future of the season holds.

While the boys dominated the league last year, the girls won the Bergen County Group C title and were runners-up in the state sectional. Most of the boys team returned for this season, but the top performers on the girls squad graduated. Lila Milgrom, Smith and Rae are the returnees.

Jim Jones’ e-mail address is

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