Micah Lawson wins the NJSIAA’s Cross-Country Meet of Champions

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RAHWAY, NJ — Rahway High School senior Micah Lawson won the 2022 New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Cross-Country Meet of Champions on Saturday, Nov. 12, at Holmdel Park in Holmdel, finishing with a time of 15 minutes, 33 seconds. Lawson won the North Jersey Group 3 title and crown the previous week as well, to qualify for the race. The NJSIAA brings together the best cross-country runners in the state to race, regardless of division or category.

“In other sports, there are different events, weight classes and categories to compete for; however, in cross-country, the top athletes in the state are going head-to-head and there is only one champion,” Rahway high school track-and-field head coach Leon Bunion told Union County LocalSource in an interview.

Lawson and his coach said they developed a strategy and mindset to carry them through during the season.

“Our motto this season was, ‘Why not me?’ Before the season began, Micah and I had a serious conversation about how he had just as good of a chance as anyone else to be a champion this season,” Bunion told LocalSource.

With his victory, Lawson is the first Meet of Champions winner in Rahway High School history and the second Union County athlete to win the title since 1980. Lawson was given an award at the ceremony after the race.

Since his victory, Lawson has committed to Rutgers University and says he will continue his running career for the Scarlet Knights.

“Micah’s a tremendous talent, and we’re excited for his future in our program,” Rutgers men’s and women’s cross-country head coach Matthew Jelley told LocalSource. “Our goal is to keep the best New Jersey at home, and Micah shares that same vision.

“We were 14th this year and we’re looking to climb the ranks in the Big 10, and an incredible runner like Micah gives us a chance to do that. We’re looking to elevate our standing in the NJ-Atlantic conference.”

Photos Courtesy of Leon Bunion