Cape boys’ XC has great shot at state championship
The Cape boys’ and girls’ cross country teams are coming off wins at the Henlopen Conference Championships last weekend. The boys and girls each won a state championship on the same day in early 2000 under coach Pat Pollock, but last weekend was a first at the conference meet.
“Our boys ran very well and are racing their best at the right time of the season, while the girls showed their strength by still winning the title after our No. 3 runner did not finish,” said coach Matt Lindell.
Junior Ethan Edery and sophomore Ryan Baker will lead the 1-2 punch into the Delaware State Championships this Saturday at Killens Pond State Park. Both Edery and Baker have run in the low 16-minute range and will need to be among the leaders if Cape is to have a shot.
Junior teammate Julian Callaway and senior Lance Kauffman have both gone under 17 minutes this season and will need to dip under the barrier again. Senior David Adili-Khams and sophomore Liam O’Donnell, in the five-six position, are racing at their best right now and could put the trophy on the bus with a season-best performance Saturday. The Cape top six will all race in the first wave of eight, while Caesar Rodney has all seven in the wave, Polytech has four and Sallies has three. Sophomore Andrew Wolak, Cape’s No. 7 runner, will race in wave two.
Sophomore Katie Kuhlman will lead the Vikings girls into the state championship meet, as she is ranked second in the first wave. Padua will clearly be the favorite to take the team title, but a second-place finish by the Vikings is very achievable if they all race well. Junior Mia Nuebling has been a solid No. 2 runner for the past three weeks, while sophomore Ariana Adili-Khams looks to dip under 21 minutes at Killens Pond. Sophomore Elizabeth Melson ran well at the conference meet and hopes to finish strong Saturday, while Peyton Evans, Lindsay Rambo and Ry Howard will round out the Vikings.
Fantastic freshman Brynn Crandell of Indian River, winner of the county and conference titles, will compete in her first state championship meet. She is not the favorite, but she’s within reach of a top-three finish, and after seeing her race for the past three weeks, I would not count her out.
The meet schedule is a follows: Division II girls at 10:30 a.m., Division II boys at noon, Division I girls at 1:30 p.m., Division I boys at 3 p.m. This is a no-spectator event, so the parents who have watched their senior son or daughter for the past three years will not be allowed into the park. I would be renting a private independent helicopter to watch my son win that state title.
State championship flashback
In 1981, Cape was in the Division I meet when they finished third to Sallies and were led by the late Danny Harmon and the late Tony Sheppard. In 1983, yours truly led the Vikings by finishing third behind Pete Schultz and Steve White, and the Vikings were second to Sallies 65-82. The interesting story about the 1983 meet was that Cape put four runners in the top 10 and still did not win the title. Soccer player Mark Wagner was fourth, Mark Stack was ninth and Kyle White was 10th overall. We had their streak on the ropes, but a sub-par performance by our No. 5 meant we could not get the knockout. Cape has never won a Division I state title; no other Henlopen Conference team has won a DI title either. Caesar Rodney has come the closest, as the Riders finished three points behind Sallies in 1994 and only two points behind Saint Mark’s in 2007. Cape won Division II titles in 1977, 1979, 1982, 1999 and 2001. In 2000, the Cape girls were third in the DI meet, while in 1999 the girls joined the boys to win the DII title.
Individually for the Vikings, Cindy Price in 1989 is the only Lady Viking to win a state title (amazingly done at Brandywine Creek State Park). Jay Reed in 1975, Lance White in 1976 and 1977, the late Tony Sheppard in 1980, the late Danny Harmon in 1982, and Taiwan Savage in 1991 and 1992 all won state titles for the Vikings.
15th Run with Santa 5K
The Seashore Striders, pending approval, will host the 15th annual Run with Santa 5K at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes from the main beach parking lot at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 12. Park entrance fees are in effect to enter the park. A long-sleeved T-shirt is guaranteed to the first 200 entries, and custom awards will be presented to the overall, masters, and top three in 10 age groups. Entry fee is $25 through Friday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. We will do a rolling start with groups of no more than 30 based on pace per mile. A drive-by packet pickup will be held at the Lewes library from 4 to 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 11. If the event does not gain approval due to COVID, it will transfer to a virtual event. For more information and to get registered, go to www.seashorestriders.com.