Beacon boys, Mariner girls prevail in district cross country showdown

November 3, 2017

The Beacon boys and Mariner girls capped off unbeaten dual-meet seasons with victories at the annual battle of Cape district rivals Oct. 30 at the Virden Center in Lewes. The Beacon boys secured a 25-34 win behind strong pack running, while Mariner’s girls rode a 1-2-3 sweep up front to a 21-37 triumph. 

Mariner eighth-grader Brian Sponaugle took the individual title for the boys, traversing a breezy 3K course in 10:56. Sponaugle pulled away from Beacon seventh-grader Luke Burton, the DAAD Invitational champ, early in the second mile. Burton held on for second in 11:08, while Mariner eighth-grader Elliott Bastian closed like a missile to place third in 11:12. Other top finishers were Brexton Carter (Beacon) in 11:16, Hunter Jones (Beacon) in 11:34, Ethan Edery (Beacon) in 11:34, Justin Marsh (Mariner) in 11:55, Owen Smith (Beacon) in 11:57, Brody Smith (Beacon) in 12:07, Aidean Beaumann (Beacon) in 12:15, Jakob Hayes (Mariner) in 12:23, Joseph Nsiah (Mariner) in 12:29, Pablo Hernandez (Mariner) in 12:30, Jackson Isaacs (Mariner) in 12:31 and Liam O’Donnell (Beacon) in 12:33. Twenty-five boys broke 13 minutes on the day, a sign of great things to come for Cape’s high school program.

The performance of the day came in the girls’ race, as Mariner seventh-grader Katie Kuhlman dominated from the gun en route to a big personal best of 11:58, the third-fastest performance ever on the Virden course. Eighth-grader Mia Nuebling followed her teammate across the line in second with a 12:49 clocking, and seventh-grader Brayden Parkes ran 13:34 to claim third and guarantee a Mariner win. Other top finishers were Elizabeth Melson (Beacon) in 13:48, Madison Couchman (Beacon) in 13:58, Alissa Swann (Beacon) in 14:09, Olivia Burkentine (Mariner) in 14:35, Lillian Fisher (Mariner) in 14:46, Mac Cryne (Mariner) in 14:50, Clio Evans (Beacon) in 15:09, Evelyn Turman (Mariner) in 15:18, Sara Dawson (Mariner) in 15:49, Maya Thompson (Beacon) in 16:10, Ella Walker (Beacon) in 16:17 and Dilvi Patel (Beacon) in 16:19.

Henlopen Conference Championships

The Henlopen Conference Championships will be held Saturday, Nov. 4, as 12 teams will come together on the 3.1-mile course at Killens Pond State Park to decide the conference champion. The girls’ varsity race will go off at 3 p.m., while the boys’ varsity will race off the line at 3:30 p.m. The junior varsity girls will begin at 2 p.m., with the junior varsity boys  going off at 2:30 p.m. I look for the Riders of Caesar Rodney to win the boys’ meet, and the Eagles of Smyrna should capture the girls’ meet. Cape Henlopen, led by sophomore Olivia Brozefsky, is running solid and could be second on both the girls’ and boys’ meets. Watch out for a tough Indian River girls’ team. They could surprise a few teams Saturday as well.  

MacElrevey wins Skyline Conference Championships

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy senior Austin MacElrevey, a graduate of Cape Henlopen and former Seashore Striders runner, captured the biggest race of his career Nov. 1 in Westchester County, N.Y., as he won the individual 8K title in a personal-record time of 26:31. MacElrevey pulled away from sophomore James O’Brien of Farmingdale State, who finished second in 26:51, while Ryan Haun, a junior from St. Joseph’s, was third in 27:22. The USMMA team finished second by only three points and was one of the favorites going into the meet. The meet postponement last Sunday due to rain was a disappointment for the USMMA team, as two of their top five boys and most of the favorite girls’ team were scheduled to leave for sea Tuesday and would miss the meet. Had all members of the USMMA team been on the starting line, it surely would have been different team results.

MacElrevey, who had a great career and several conference championships while at Cape, has improved every year as a college runner and has come a long way since he was the final finisher at a youth National Championship years ago with the Striders. Congratulations to Austin as he captures a college conference championship and was named Skyline Runner of the Year.

East Coast Regional Championships

The Youth Regionals are coming up this Sunday, and any cross country runner in Delaware is encouraged to participate at the event to be held just outside Philadelphia in Tyler State Park, Newtown, Pa.

The Seashore Striders will be taking part along with an army of talented runners from around the region. The meet will be hosted for the first time by AOC cross country, better known as the Ambler Olympic Club.