Ben Bamforth wins Henlopen Conference championship

November 11, 2016

The Henlopen Conference Cross Country Championships were held Nov. 5 on the 5,000-meter Killens Pond course with nearly 500 runners taking part in two junior varsity races and two varsity races. Sussex Tech senior Ben Bamforth glued himself off the start to the fastest start in the past five years set by favorite Tosin Ibironke of Smyrna. Ibironke and Bamforth broke away from the field just past the half-mile and had opened up a gap of 10 seconds by the mile mark, crossed in a blazing 4:47.

“He took it out hard, and I decided I was not going to let go of him,” said Bamforth.

At the halfway mark in the Killens Pond trails, Bamforth pulled up alongside the Smyrna star, who unexpectedly stopped with leg cramps. Bamforth hit the two-mile mark in 10:09 and then had over a 20-second lead to cruise to victory to win his first conference title in 16:27. Ibironke was able to finish in 20:35 for 69th place.

“He just turned to me and said, ‘It’s yours - go ahead,’ and then I was all alone,” commented Bamforth.

Second place went to Johnathan Epstein of Caesar Rodney in 16:43, while Austen Cave of Delmar was third in 16:46. Cape’s Greg Boyce was fourth in 16:47, while Drew Harris rounded out the top five in 16:57.

In the team race, it was the Riders of Caesar Rodney edging out the conference dual meet champion Ravens of Sussex Tech by a 69-68 score. Dover grabbed third with 84 points. Cape Henlopen finished seventh with 180 points, while Sussex Academy was 12th with 344 points.

On the girls’ side of the action, the cream of the crop was Naomi Bowser of Smyrna, who ran away with the girls’ title in 19:00. Deja Rodriguez-Santiago of Milford finished second in 19:27 and led her team to the team title. The top local finisher was freshman Helena Helou of Sussex Academy, finishing third overall in a personal best time of 19:55 on the Killens Pond course. Cape’s freshman sensation Olivia Brozefsky was fifth in 20:28.

In the team race, Sussex Tech was fourth with 125 points, while Cape was eighth with 164 points. Sussex Academy finished ninth with 183 points.

This Saturday all the teams in the state will gather at Brandywine Creek State Park for the Delaware state championships. The Division I girls will go off at 1 p.m., followed by the Division II girls at 1:40 p.m.  The Division I boys will go off at 2:20 p.m., followed by the Division II boys at 3 p.m.

CCCNYC Regional XC Championships

The Seashore Striders hosted the East Coast Coaches Regionals last weekend at Killens Pond, as more than 500 runners from the region came together for 10 races, ranging from the 5 & under Mighty Mites to the 13-14 Youth Division. The top three teams and the top 20 individuals advanced to the nationals that will be held Saturday, Nov. 19 in Evansville, Ind.

Sixth-grader Luke Burton led the Striders with a second-place finish in the 12-year-old division, running the 3K course in 10:51. Six-year-old first-grader Mia Thompson led the girls by winning the Primary division 2K race in 11:06, averaging 8:57 a mile.

Results by age group as follows:

Girls 5U Mighty Mites:  2. Gracie Barthelmess - 5:01.9;  4. Lorelai Freese - 6:19.9

Girls 6-8 Primary: 16. Shiloh O’Grady - 10:46.4;  17. Allaire Burton - 10:49.9;  18. Isabella Benedict - 10:50.5; 22. Mia Thompson - 11:06.6;  31. Claudia Stazzone - 11:44.4

Girls 9-10 Bantam:  14. Faith Mitchell - 13:27.0;  18. Lily Noonan - 13:38.7

Girls 11-12 Midget:  13. Katie Kuhlman - 12:18.4;  15. Mia Nuebling - 12:22.7;  18. Devin Hundley - 12:25.2

Girls 13-14 Youth:  16. Emma Barthelmess - 17:05.8;  20. Aya Daisey - 17:23.0;  24. Emily Trout - 17:41.0;  31. Amaya Daisey - 18:41.6;  40. Brooke Jones - 19:56.7

Boys 6-8 Primary:  11. Michael Thompson - 9:27.8;  17. Riley Stazzone - 9:51.1;  26. Chris Friscia - 10:29.4;  30. Matthew Friscia - 10:42.0

Boys 9-10 Bantam:  5. Caughnery Freese - 11:25.1;  24. Drew Barthelmess - 12:40.0;  47. Brayden Trout - 13:52.5;  48. Stephen Hart - 13:53.9

Boys 11-12 Midget:  4. Luke Burton - 10:51.5;  13. Justin Friscia - 11:32.7;  22. Aiden Bowman - 12:00.8;  49. Rafael Perez-Rivera - 13:23.9.

Upcoming races

There are three Thanksgiving races in the area to get registered for that should not be missed.  On Thursday, Nov. 24, start your Turkey Day off with the third annual Gabby Gobble 5K at Irish Eyes in Lewes at 9:30 a.m.  Visit to register.  On Saturday, Nov. 26, work off your turkey dinner with the seventh annual Pumpkin Pie 5K at Grove Park in Rehoboth Beach at 9 a.m. Visit to register. On Sunday, Nov. 27, work off your turkey day leftovers with the 14th annual Sea Colony Turkey Trot 5K at the Freeman Fitness Center in Bethany at 9 a.m. Visit to register.  All three events attract large numbers and T-shirts are only guaranteed to pre-registered runners, so register now. Gobble Gobble!