Athletes of the Week March 22

March 22, 2019
Bennett Brumbley

Bennett won the Shamrock Shuffle 5K on St. Patrick’s Day in 21:05, which is a 6:47 per mile pace. It was his first Seashore Striders overall victory. Bennett is 11 years old. He is a kid not overworked or over appreciated. Everyone on the running scene loves Bennett. “He’s smart. Family is great, making sure he has fun and doesn’t overdo it,” said Race Director Tim Bamforth. Bennett is always runnerish, to coin a Richie Ashburn term, and when he finishes a race, he goes back out to escort some of his friends to the finish. On Sunday, it was 10-mile runners Jackie Quigley, then Jack Vassalotti. Usually he gets 82-year-old Doc Masser. Bennett is from Laurel, and although he runs without shades, his future is bright.

Mason Fluharty

A senior lefty already committed to Liberty University as a pitcher, Mason was on the mound when Cape clinched the state championship in May. A rangy lefty, stone-cold confident, throws four pitches, saving his slider for an out pitch. “Coach [Drew] Johnson told me if you can control two pitches you can dominate.” Fluharty’s other strength is his pickoff move. He threw out several runners last season. “I’ll be on first when I’m not on the mound,” he said. “I’m one of those lefties who bats right-handed. Last year, I hit right at .300.” Mason takes all honors classes and has a 3.6 GPA, which is higher than his ERA. The late legend George Fluharty was his pop pop and got him started in baseball.

Ruslan Kopunek

Ruslan led the Lucky Leprechaun 5K early March 10, but he looked too muscularly fit to stay out there. But the 26-year-old naval officer ran as fast as necessary, winning the 5K in 19:37, just ahead of masters runner Matt Sparacino, 41, of Harrington. “The 5K is my outer limit for going fast,” said Ruslan, who grew up in Rehoboth, swam for the YMCA while attending Holy Cross then St. Thomas More High School. Ruslan was on the Rehoboth Beach Patrol, later South Bethany, where a landline team captured national title – he was the swimmer. He was captain of the swim team at Loyola University with double degree in philosophy and economics. Ruslan is a commissioned officer in the Navy stationed in San Diego.

Savannah Reed

Softball senior in the circle, Savannah the pitcher will get the ball Friday as Cape softball opens the season at home against Sussex Tech. Savannah started every game last season, as the Vikings went 9-9. “I’m just a pitcher,” she said. Pitching coach George Peachin, through the travel ball network, has taught her to throw fastball and changeup, riseball and drop, and the curve ball. Coach Shannon Timmons said, “Savannah has looked good in preseason scrimmages against Milford, Caravel, Newark Charter and DMA. She has the potential to help us on offense, as she has a good eye for the strike zone, and we expect her to be effective at the plate this season. We are looking for Savannah to lead when she's in the circle and set the tempo for our defense.” Savannah has verbally committed to Greensboro College.

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