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Stockton’s Kayla Kass named NJAC Rookie of the Year in Women’s Cross Country


The New Jersey Athletic Conference named University of Stockton rookie Kayla Kass the women’s cross country rookie of the year on Monday.

Jaelyn Barkley was chosen in the first team, along with Kass. Cooper Knorr was selected to the men’s first team.

Barkley and Knorr each finished second in their respective NJAC Conference races on Saturday at the College of New Jersey in Ewing Township.

The Stockton Women finished second in the team standings. The men’s team placed third in their heat.

All-NJAC teams are based on individual results at conference championships.

Jessie Klenk, a Stockton senior, and freshmen Olivia Horton (Southern Regional), Rachel Hayes and Guinevere Kennedy, all made the NJAC second team. Stockton’s six women’s all-conference honors were the most of any team at the NJAC Championships.

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Erik Ackerman, a sophomore from Stockton, made the men’s second team.

Kass finished fifth in the women’s 6k race in 23 minutes and 12.4 seconds. Barkley finished second in the race to lead the Ospreys in 22:53.0. Knorr finished second in the men’s 8k race in 25:17.4 and made the NJAC first team for the second time.

Klenk finished 11th in the women’s race in 23:41.5. Horton and Hayes placed 12th and 13th respectively and clocked the same time of 23:49.8. Kennedy, Stockton’s fourth straight runner to cross the line, was 14th at 23:57.2. Barkley, Kass, Horton and Hayes each achieved personal bests. Klenk was an NJAC first-team selection in 2020 and 2021.

Ackerman finished 14th in the men’s race in 26:18.3.

The women’s team competed in the NJAC Championships ranked fourth in the metro area by United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches. The Ospreys finished sixth in the men’s standings.

The Ospreys will compete in the NCAA Division III Regional Championships on Nov. 12 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Contact Guy Gargan: 609-272-7210

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