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Two open cross country races for area young runners

October 14, 2016

This Saturday at Cape Henlopen State Park, the Seashore Striders will host the inaugural Strider Youth XC Open at Herring Point, with the first race going off at 1 p.m.

The races are open to any young runner born before 2002. Races consist of the 1K Mighty Mites for ages 5 and under, the 2K Sub-Bantams for 6-8 years, the 3K Bantams and Midgets for 9-10 and 11-12, and the 4K Youth for 13-14 years. Course walks begin at 11:30 a.m., and awards will be presented to the top 10 finishers in each race. Entry fee is $10 per athlete. 

The Seashore Striders will host the Eastern Regional Cross Country Championships Sunday, Nov. 6, at Killens Pond in Felton. The meet is a quality end-of-season meet for youth ages 14 and under and a chance to race at the Nationals in Evansville, Ind., Nov. 19. Go to seashorestriders.com to print out the application.

Lake, Central top Cape boys in XC

The Lake Forest Spartans and the Sussex Central Golden Knights rolled into Lewes and outran host Cape Henlopen at the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment’s 5K course Oct. 12. It was a good race up front with two quality runners, as Drew Harris of Lake edged Greg Boyce of Cape by a second, 17:29 to 17:30. Albert Norman ran 18:04 to round out the top three finishers. Ben Campagnone from Central was fourth in 18:21. Lake and Central each put four runners in the top 10, while Cape managed two runners in the top 10. The closest meet of the quad was Lake edging Central 27-29, and Eric Payne’s Spartans came away 3-0 on the day. Central topped Cape and Seaford to go 2-1 for the day, while Cape beat Seaford to go 1-2 on the day.

Flashback - This same meet last season, it was again Drew Harris taking the overall title in 17:18, while this time Sam Nye was second for Cape in 17:49. Ben Campagnone of Central was third in 17:54, while Albert Norman was fourth in 17:58. Fifth last season went to Greg Boyce of Cape in 18:34, which is why Boyce is my pick for the Conference Most Improved Runner of the Year. 

On the girls’ side of the coin, Lake grabbed six of the top 10 places to easily dominate the day, going 3-0.  Front-running freshman Olivia Brozefsky from Cape ran 21:00 to easily take the individual title. Zoe Callard was seventh in 24:49. The Vikings topped Central and Seaford but lost to Lake 21-37 to go 2-1 on the day.

Mariner XC tops SAS

The Mariner Middle cross country teams took home two comfortable victories in their matchup with visiting Sussex Academy Oct. 10 in Lewes. The boys won by a 24-33 margin thanks to strong pack running, and the girls used a 1-2-3 sweep to secure a 20-36 triumph. 

Seventh-grader Brian Sponaugle, a first-year runner, remained unbeaten in the early season, completing the 1.83-mile Virden Center loop in 11:43, while eighth-grade sprint sensation Jordan Jefferson took second in 12:07. If Jefferson hadn't used his speed late to fly past a pack of three Sussex Academy runners and set a 30-second personal best, the tally would've been much tighter. Seventh-grader Justin Marsh continued his rapid improvement, placing sixth in 13:12. Marsh was followed across the line by a sea of yellow Mariner jerseys, as seventh-grader Cole Windish finished seventh in 13:25 and eighth-grader Shamar Snead crossed the line in eighth in 13:33 to close out the scoring. Also breaking the 14-minute barrier were seventh-grader Angelo Ballard-Rose, 10th, 13:38; seventh-grader Pablo Hernandez, 11th, 13:39; eighth-grader Adrian Gonzalez, 12th, 13:43; sixth-grader Bryan Ramirez-Montano, 13th, 13:43; and eighth-grader Michael Cerf, 15th, 13:45. Seven of Mariner's top 10 boys are in their first year of competitive running. 

On the girls’ side, sixth-grade star Katie Kuhlman continued her winning ways, outdistancing her nearest competitor by more than a minute en route to a 12:38 clocking. Eighth-grade stalwart Fallon Moore finished in 13:47 and sixth-grade Girls On The Run transplant Brayden Parkes clocked 13:57 to end the meet early by taking second and third, respectively. Moore's time represented an improvement of 1:01 per mile over her last performance, while Parkes made a 53-second-per-mile jump. Kimmy Cooper came within a few seconds of a lifetime best in fifth (15:15), while newcomers Evelyn Turman (ninth, 17:01) and Kaci Ieppert (10th, 17:06) delivered solid debuts. Anya Cannon closed out the Vikings’ scoring with a 14th-place finish in 19:57, a big personal best.

Mariner will face Beacon and Woodbridge Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Tech boys move to 10-0

Smyrna top runner Tosin Ibironke ran 16:40 to set a new boys’ course record at Schutte Park’s 5,000-meter course, as he finished nine seconds ahead of Sussex Tech senior Ben Bamforth, who hit the finish in 16:49.  Sussex Tech put four runners in the top 10, as Jay Hines was sixth in 17:35, Connor Morrow was seventh in 17:41 and Graham Spellman was eighth in 17:50. In the boys’ team race, Sussex Tech topped Smyrna 22-43, ECHS 15-50, Delmar 19-48 and Dover 25-32 to win all four meets.

In the girls’ race, the winner was was Naomi Bowser of Smyrna, who set a new course record with a 19:06. Desiree Granada of Delmar was second in 22:19, Abby Mace of Smyrna was third in 22:23 and followed by Haliegh Jiminez of Dover in 22:27. Alexis Singh rounded out the top five in 22:29 for Sussex Tech. In the girls’ team race, Smyrna was the dominant team, winning all four meets as they topped Dover 24-32, Sussex Tech 23-36, ECHS 15-50, and Delmar 19-44.

Last Saturday, Sussex Tech joined Salesianum, Charter and Newark to compete in the Manhattan College High School Invitational in the Bronx, New York City. Ben Bamforth led the Ravens, finishing 31st of 260 runners in a time of 13:43 for the 2.5-mile course. Alexis Singh led the Lady Ravens, finishing the course in 18:50. 

Upcoming races

• Saturday, Oct. 15, inaugural Ashley Furio Memorial 5K for the Children's Beach House, 9 a.m., Crooked Hammock, Lewes, races2run.com

• Sunday, Oct. 16, third Herring Point 5K/10K, 9 a.m., Herring Point, Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes, seashorestriders.com

• Saturday, Oct. 22, Believe in Tomorrow 5K, 3 p.m., Fenwick Island, seashorestriders.com

• Sunday, Oct. 23, 14th Mariner’s Trail Run 5K/7M, 1 p.m., Bethany Beach, seashorestriders.com

• Sunday, Oct. 30, 27th Sea Witch Fall Classic 5K, 9 a.m., Rehoboth Beach, seashorestriders.com.

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