Cape boys’ cross country wins Tidewater Fall Classic

October 6, 2023

The Cape boys’ cross country team put together its best team showing Oct. 4 at the 51st annual Salisbury University High School Tidewater Fall Classic Invitational. More than 20 teams came together on the flat-and-fast 5K course at WinterPlace Park. The Vikings scored 46 points to run away with the title over Kent Island with 162 for second (low score wins). Sussex Academy finished third with 164 points, while Appo was fourth with 212.  

Cape sophomore Jason Baker finished second overall in a new personal record time of 16:15, while sophomore Brayden Redd was sixth in 17:12. Joey DeGregory looked to be back to his old form with a nice time of 17:18 for seventh, and Max Gillen was 10th overall and in the Vikings’ fourth spot in 17:34.

Other Henlopen Conference boys in the top 20 include senior Nate Waydelis of Milford in 16:40 for third, Mark Bieker of Dover in 17:18 for eighth, Ryan Moody of Sussex Academy in 17:43 for 12th, Tyler McCreary of Polytech in 17:45 for 13th, Bennett Brumbley of Sussex Tech in 17:48 for 16th, Kai’Lee Thomas of Smyrna in 18:06 for 18th and Justin Friscia of Sussex Academy in 18:06 for 19th. A total of 344 boys competed in the race.

For the girls, it was the Brynn Crandell highlight show, as the Indian River super senior broke the course record with a time of 17:36. It was her best cross country performance ever, as she defeated 248 finishers. More than a minute back was impressive eighth-grader Paige Ballinger of Sussex Academy in 18:48. Senior Faith Mitchell of Milford ran 19:52 for fifth, while senior Arina Varrato of Sussex Tech was seventh in 20:00. Junior Elyse Fuller of Polytech High School ran 20:11 for ninth overall, senior Elizabeth Dill of Dover was 13th in 20:59, senior Tierra Hill of Smyrna was 17th in 21:18 and freshman Aviana Shaw of Milford ran 21:30 to wrap up the top 20 finishers.

Frederick HS ran away with the girls’ team title with 48 points, while Milford was second with 108 points and Sussex Academy was third with 120. Cape was fifth with 170 points. 

Middle school wrap

In Mariner cross country action Sept. 25, over at Chapel Branch in Seaford on a very narrow and technical 1.5-mile course, the Vikings won with identical sweep scores of 15-50. Bree Terhune set a Mariner best on that course, running 10:20 for the win. Mariner grabbed the top seven spots on the girls’ side, with Fiona Fisher in 11:45, Annabella Sapienza in 11:50, Elena Kucharik in 13:04, Rayvin Jester in 15:03, Eve Barker in 15:14 and Ainsley Zachary in 15:44. For the boys, it was Asher Woods racing to first in 9:09. He followed by Andrew Oakels in 9:45, Jude Bastian in 10:04, Joseph Ruark in 10:15 and Trizton Willey in 10:16 to wrap up the top five. Mariner will take on Sussex Academy Monday, Oct. 9, at Cape.

The Beacon cross country team traveled to Postlethwait Oct. 2 for a tri-meet, with the boys easily winning 20-38 over Postlethwait and 15-50 over Magnolia. The girls won 15-48 over both schools. Erin Noonan won her first middle school cross country race in 14:31, while Beacon again swept the top five. Following Noonan were Lindsay Hassell in 14:43, Claudia Stazzone in 15:06, Emily Hilton in 15:32 and Shiloh O’Grady in 15:36. For the boys, Beacon put five in the top seven, led by Nick Petito with the win in 12:55 on the two-mile course. He was followed by Ethan Thompson second in 12:56, Jude Peacock fourth in 13:29, Brandt Kuklish sixth in 13:53 and Devin Silva seventh in 14:05.

Beacon will travel to Killens Pond Monday, Oct. 16, for a tri-meet with Selbyville and Chipman.

There has not been one opposing team that has come within 10 points of Beacon and Mariner. When compared to the last 30 teams I have watched over the years, they are good and solid, but not great. My question is, what is happening this year with middle school cross country? The opposing competition is just not there, and normally it is. Beacon and Mariner match up very well, and it should make for a great meet at the end of the season.

Over at Sandhill Fields Oct. 2, it was Sussex Academy over Woodbridge 19-38 on the boys’ side and 22-39 on the girls’ side. Benjamin Moody ran a nice race for a one-second win in 13:15 over teammate Joey Bukartek in 13:16. Kai Mundok was third in 13:39, followed by sixth-grader Nolan Furlong at fourth in 13:49. Logan Jackson of the Raiders was fifth in 14:09. For the girls, Taegen Forester won in 14:03. Jordan Blades was third in 14:42, while Patricia Lara-Nieto took fifth in 15:59.

Soles for Seniors 5K

The inaugural MAC Center Soles for Seniors 5K was held Oct. 1 at WinterPlace Park in Salisbury, Md., with 15-year-old Jonah McCann of Dagsboro taking the men’s title in 22:21. Susan Dunn, 46, of Laurel, won the women’s title in 23:22 for third place overall. Chris Stanley, 54, of Fruitland, Md., won the male masters title in 23:24, while Robin Radcliff of Salisbury won the female masters title in 26:09. A group of 57 walkers also took part in a one-mile course, giving the race a field of just under 100 participants. It was the first year the festival added a 5K run to the event, which also featured a cornhole tournament, craft vendors and food trucks. A nice event that will continue to grow.


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