PARSIPPANY _ Blythe Dudley was upset after losing her St. Mary medal 10 days ago during a training run in Lewis Morris Park.
Dudley, a Villa Walsh sophomore, didn't have the chance to retrace her strides so she went without. St. Benedict, however remained on a chain around her neck.
In a span of four days, Dudley got a replacement and added another medal, this one a gold one for a top-notch performance at the Morris County Girls Cross Country Championship on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Dudley, a sophomore, turned in a time of 18:22.7 to gain her second consecutive title at Central Park.
"I was ready for a fast race," said Dudley, who had a PR. "I knew it'd be hard. All of the girls in the top five were right there. I just wanted to hang on, stay up in front and see how I progressed."
Everything went exceptionally well as Dudley broke away before cruising to victory. She gained the lead just after the two-mile marker.
Dudley, whose shin muscles ached after her run through the park, enjoyed the challenging race and said she was exhausted.
Making the win better was that Dudley had a new St. Mary medal attained during a trip to Notre Dame University over the weekend. Dudley and her parents, John and Hilary, Notre Dame alumni, went to see the Fighting Irish play USC in football on Saturday and a group on campus was giving away religious medals.
"Someone asked if I wanted a miraculous medal on the day of the game," Dudley said. "It was a miracle."
The divine intervention - being in the right place at the right time to obtain a new medal - made Dudley feel complete.
Dudley already was making use of her speed early in the morning, rushing to get out of the house on time. She was catching up on homework, reading "1984" while waiting for friend to pick her up. The mad dash caused her to forget her quinoa, a must on every meet day, so her mother brought it to her. Another positive.
After the Morris County Meet, Dudley hoped to have any kind of pizza but indicated that she favors pepperoni, cheese, veggie and mushroom.
There are still many races ahead for Dudley, whose objective, of course, is to take her season to the limit.
"Everything's getting harder," she said. "Honestly, all I'm trying to do is live each day. I give all of the glory to God."
Maya Van Horn of Morris Tech and Ivory Piskula of Morris Hills were second and third, respectively. The fourth, fifth and sixth spots went to Kate Shaw of Mendham, Kira Chebishev of Parsippany Hills and Ester Kirk of Morristown.
Mendham amassed 70 points to take the team title. Villa Walsh was second with 107.
The Top 10 Girls Finishers
1. Blythe Dudley (Villa Walsh) 18:22.70
2. Maya Van Horn (Morris Tech) 18:36.54
3. Ivory Piskula (Morris Hills) 18:47.50
4. Kate Shaw (Mendham) 19:03.24
5. Emma Bradley (St. Elizabeth) 19:07.82
6. Ester Kirk (Morristown) 19:20.05
7. Kira Chebishev (Parsippany Hills) 19:23.48
8. Ines Lemee (Villa Walsh) 19:40.07
9. Lindsay Portland (Mendham) 19:44.47
10. Kate Veivia (Morris Catholic) 19:52.57
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