A total of 604 cross country runners closed down the season Nov. 9 at Killens Pond State Park in the DIAA state championships.
Unsuline won Division II girls, while Padua was the Division I winner. The boys’ state championship trophies were won by Wilmington Friends in Division II and Wilmington Charter in Division I.
Cape Henlopen, running in Division I, placed fifth in the girls’ meet and fourth in the boys’ competition.
“We had personal bests in both the girls’ and boys’ races,” said Cape coach Matt Lindell. “Our kids competed well, and we only lose one senior off the top seven from each team, and we’ve got talent underneath. This is a good era for Cape cross country.”
The meet started with the D2 girls’ race as Ursuline edged Saint Mark’s 50-52.
Lydia Colasante (18:48), a Tatnall freshman, was the overall D2 champion, holding off Tiffany Herrera of Saint Mark’s (18:53). Champion Ursuline put five runners in the top 15, all underclassmen.
The top Henlopen runners were Josephine Ledford of Lake Forest in 19:51 for 11th place and Emily Trout of Sussex Academy in 20:42 for 23rd place.
The Padua Pandas ran away with the girls’ D1 title with 55 points over second-place Charter of Wilmington with 102, followed by Smyrna with 104, Appoquinimink with 115 and Cape Henlopen with 140.
Judith McLaughlin of Padua was the overall D1 girls’ champion in 19:04, followed by Maya Bordrick of Charter in 19:11 and Keely Arndt of Caesar Rodney in 19:12.
Faith Mitchell, a Milford eighth-grader, ran 19:36 for eighth place.
Cape’s runners were Katie Kuhlman in 19:57, Olivia Brozefsky in 20:37, Mia Neubling in 20:54, Elizabeth Melson in 20:57, Ariana Adili-Khams in 21:33, Lindsay Rambo in 21:48 and Peyton Evans in 23:08.
Olivia Hudson of Sussex Tech returned to the race course after collapsing at the Henlopen Conference meet a week earlier and ran 23:28.
Wilmington Friends sprinted to the D2 boys’ title with 66 points; Tatnall came in second with 76. They were followed by Archmere with 114, DMA with 116 and Saint Mark’s with 137.
Declan McDonnell of Tatnall won the D2 boys’ race in 16:03, followed by Quinn O’Dell of DMA in 16:24, Blake Hundley of St. Andrew’s in 16:29, Chris Rosado of Wilmington Friends in 16:32 and Jack Veto of Saint Mark’s in 16:33.
Top Henlopen finishers in the D2 boys’ race were Jake Mundok of Sussex Academy in 16:53, Stephen Culver of Lake Forest in 17:10 and Declan Burke of Indian River in 17:27.
The final race of the afternoon was boys’ D1, with Charter holding off Salesianum 39-42 for the team title followed by Caesar Rodney with 94, Cape Henlopen with 99 and Concord with 113.
Aidan Higley of Salesianum ran on the shoulder of Charter’s Andrew Avila most of the race, then outkicked him on the final straightaway to win 15:49 to 15:53. Ryan Banko of Sallies was third in 16:06 followed by Blaise Moyer of CR in 16:08 and Ethan Edery of Cape in 16:15.
Polytech had a pair of sophomores break 17 minutes – Matt Gatune in 16:48 and Kenny Guy in 16:48.
Edery was Cape’s top runner in fifth place in 16:15. The top 7 for the Vikings all ran under 18 minutes, including: Julian Callaway in 17:05, Hunter Jones in 17:10, Lance Kauffman in 17:31, Ryan Baker in17:36, Daniel Adili-Khams in 17:47 and Sam Epstein in 17:49.