26 Seashore Striders youth runners qualify for nationals

November 10, 2017

Local Seashore Striders runners traveled to Tyler State Park in Newtown, Pa., Nov. 5 to take part in the annual East Coast Regional Cross Country Championships hosted by Ambler Athletic Club.

A total of 26 runners made the trip, with all 26 qualifying for the Cross Country Coaches National Youth Championships Saturday, Nov. 18, in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Voice of America Park. More than 3,000 runners from all parts of the United States are expected to toe the line for 10 championship races ranging from 2K to 5K over a span of five hours with races going off every 30 minutes. Runners are grouped by the year they were born, and race in double age groups (6-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-18), while being broken up into single age groups for awards. The top 25 individuals in each single age group will be awarded medals and named to the Youth All-American Team.

In the 9-10 boys’ division, it became a two-man Striders race, as 10-year-old Bennett Brumbley led the way with teammate and first-year runner Blake Fitzgerald on his heels. The last quarter-mile of the 3K course saw the two teammates side by side, stride for stride, with Bennett pulling away in the last 100 meters for the win in 12:44, while Fitzgerald was second in 12:45. Michael Thompson was fifth in 14:08, Riley Stazzone was sixth in 14:21, Matthew Friscia finished seventh in 14:39, Eric Swift was 12th in 16:01 and Garrett VanSant finished 13th in 16:17.

In the 9-10 girls’ division, first-year runners Brianna Sordi and Mia Gordon finished fourth and seventh, respectively, in the Regional Championship. Sordi was timed in 15:22 on the 3,000-meter course, while Gordon was timed in 16:40.

Strider Caughnery Freese led the 11-12 division for the purple and yellow, as he put together the top 3K time of the day of 11:34 on the challenging course. Justin Friscia was third in a time of 11:56, Alexander Arnold turned in a 13:07 and Jakob Hayes hit the line in 13:12. Steven Hart ran 13:41, good for 12th overall.

In the 11-12 girls’ race, the Striders 1-2 punch of Katie Kuhlman and Devin Hundley went first and second with 3K performances of 12:43 and 13:09, respectively, on the 3K course. Faith Mitchell finished sixth overall in 14:02, while Julie Daniello was 11th in 14:57.

In the 6-8 year primary boys’ division, Chris Friscia finished sixth in a time of 9:32 for the 2K course, while Theo Hart was 10th in a time of 10:21.

Second-grader Shiloh O’Grady took the lead halfway through the 2K course and never looked back, as she crossed the finish in a time of 9:09 to win the primary girls’ race. Teammate Emmilyn Swope was third in a time of 9:43, while Lorelai Freese was fourth in 10:11. Mia Thompson finished fifth in 10:13, Mikaela Gordon was seventh in 10:17 and rounding out the Striders was Claudia Stazzone in a time of 11:28, good for ninth overall.

Good luck to the Striders as they leave for Nationals Nov. 16.

Milton runners place well at regionals

Four Milton-area athletes also competed in the Cross Country Coaches Eastern Regional meet at Tyler State Park in Newtown, Pa. Brian Sponaugle, a Mariner Middle eighth-grader running unattached, placed fourth in the 13-14-year-old division, covering a hilly 4K course in 15:17. Fellow 14-year-olds Elliott Bastian and Justin Marsh, also Mariner eighth-graders competing unattached, placed sixth (15:39) and eighth (16:34), respectively, in the division. Meanwhile, 6-year-old Jude Bastian finished eighth in the 6-8-year-old 2K race in 10:01. All four runners also qualified for the Cross Country Coaches National Youth Championships in Ohio.

Rehoboth Seashore Marathon

The upcoming marathon is less than a month away. The race will kick off from the Rehoboth Avenue Bandstand at 7 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 2. Runners will travel to Rehoboth Beach from more than 30 states, taking advantage of the fast and flat course our area has to offer. Many runners will participate from the 50 States Club, which is simply participating in a marathon in all 50 U.S. states. Rehoboth Beach will transform into what looks like a summer day at the beach with more than 3,000 runners and nearly 10,000 attendees total with families in town for the 26.2-mile show. At last glance this week, the marathon has 171 spots remaining, while the half-marathon has 365 spots remaining. Go to for more information regarding the event.