And they’re off • Runners participating in the junior varsity division of the Mercer County CYO Cross Country meet Oct. 25 begin their race along a 1.25-mile course. Gianna D’Souza of St. Ann School, Lawrenceville, placed first for the girls with a time of 9:04, while Tyler Kostin of St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton Square, grabbed first for the boys in 8:09. Photos by Joe Moore

And they’re off • Runners participating in the junior varsity division of the Mercer County CYO Cross Country meet Oct. 25 begin their race along a 1.25-mile course. Gianna D’Souza of St. Ann School, Lawrenceville, placed first for the girls with a time of 9:04, while Tyler Kostin of St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton Square, grabbed first for the boys in 8:09. Photos by Joe Moore

Dozens of young runners in school jerseys eagerly toed the chalk line at the start of the ninth annual Mercer County CYO Cross Country meet Oct. 25 in Mercer County Park.

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When the last set of sneakers and track shoes crossed the finish line, boys and girls from St. Paul School, Princeton, notched at least one win in each of the four categories of competition, amassing six of the 12 possible awards presented to the fleetest of foot.

More than 75 participants hailing from five Catholic schools in the diocese kicked their legs into high gear that morning to compete against their peers and see their names added to the CYO record books.

Junior varsity girls and boys 13 years old or younger or in third to sixth grades ran a 1.25-mile course that crisp autumn morning, while competitors 15 years old and younger or in seventh and eighth grades ran another mile loop for a total of 2.25 miles. Students placing first through third in each category received trophies for their accomplishments.

In the girls’ junior varsity division, Gianna D’Souza from St. Ann School, Lawrenceville, took home first place with a time of 9:04. A pair of competitors from St. Paul School followed closely behind; Veronique DiBlasio ran the course in 9:24, while Grace Teligadis completed it in 9:37.

A familiar name topped the field of competitors in the boys’ junior varsity field. Tyler Kostin of St. Gregory the Great, Hamilton Square, bested his 2013 third-place finish with a first-place time of 8:09. Coltin Estilow of Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, crossed the finish line at 8:19 for a second-place title, followed by St. Paul’s William Cooper at 8:28.

Emily Steege of St. Ann School, Lawrenceville, finished atop the girls’ varsity field with a time of 13:09. Two St. Paul’s students, Allison Micale and Molly Hart, finished in second and third places at 14:04 and 14:06, respectively.

St. Paul’s Nolan Brody dominated the boys’ varsity runners with a finish of 11:16. Titus Johnson and Merlington Gaona, both of TCA, placed second and third after clocking in at 11:41 and 12:03, respectively.

Students from Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony, Hamilton, also competed in the meet.