Cape cross country notches double wins

October 15, 2021

Cape boys ran away from Polytech 24-33 and also topped Smyrna 16-44 to notch up two more wins in Henlopen Conference cross country action. The race of the year was up front, as Cape’s Ryan Baker and the Poly duo of Matt Gatune and Kenny Guy quickly separated themselves from the field, racing to an opening mile of 4:59. Cruising through two miles in just over 10 minutes, it was Gatune and Baker ready for a final-mile battle. The crowd of a few hundred waited with anticipation for the pair to exit the woods. It was Gatune with a few steps on Baker with 400 meters to go. Baker found an impressive kick and pulled away, passing three miles in 15:07, sprinting to a new course and school record of 15:40.4, while Gatune was close behind in 15:43.3 for his own school record. Kenny Guy was third in 16:02, while Joey DeGregory was fourth in 16:49. Liam O’Donnell ran a superb race to take fifth in 16:51, while Julian Callaway was sixth in 16:53. Rounding out the top five for the Vikings was Brian Sponaugle in 17:31 for ninth place. Liam Meginniss was the Smyrna top man in 17:07 for seventh place.

The Cape girls had a similar score, as they topped Polytech 23-34 and Smyrna 25-32 to win both meets. Katie Kuhlman of Cape won the overall title, leading from start to finish for a time of 19:35.5. Kuhlman’s performance is a new season best and only seconds off her lifetime best, set last year at the Sussex County Championships at Sandhill Fields (19:33).

Following Kuhlman across the line was the Smyrna duo of Alyssa Young in 20:06 and Kelly Barr in 20:21. Next was the Poly duo of Ellie Yerkes, fourth in 20:39 and Maddy Todd, fifth in 20:55. The Vikings secured the meet by grabbing four of the next five spots, led by Colleen Flynn, sixth in 21:14; Mia Nuebling, seventh in 21:38; Ariana Adili-Khams, ninth in 22:07; and Hailey Hassell, 10th in 22:11. Smyrna edged Polytech 27-28 for the closest meet of the day. Most Delaware teams will be traveling to the Joe O’Neill Invitational on a flat-and-fast Bellevue State Park course this Saturday.

Mariner XC

The Mariner Middle cross country teams continued their winning ways Oct. 11 against Laurel, as both the boys and girls won decisively at Trap Pond State Park. The boys’ 18-41 win was keyed by an eye-popping performance from sixth-grade standout Asher Woods, who covered 2.07 miles in 13:14 after a 6:07 opening mile. Also scoring varsity points for the Vikings were eighth-grader Brayden Redd (second, 14:18), eighth-grader Andrew Henion (third, 14:57), seventh-grader Aidan Wyatt (fourth, 14:58), and eighth-grader Dale Edwards (eighth, 17:36). The girls earned a 16-47 victory on the strength of a 15:10 clocking from sixth-grader Allison Ortiz. Eighth-grader Chloe DeForrest followed her home in second (15:50), while eighth-grader Liv Longo (third, 17:38), eighth-grader Zoe Miller (fourth, 18:08), and sixth-grader Ava Haase (sixth, 19:00) rounded out the scoring.

Beacon XC

Sixth-grader Shiloh O’Grady won her first invitational meet at the DSU Farm in Smyrna Oct. 9, taking an early lead on the field and putting to work all the tools she has learned in her last five years of running cross country. O’Grady was all alone at the finish, hitting the line in 13:53 for the two-mile course, while Beacon’s Izzy Daniel, a seventh-grader, was second in 14:15. Beacon grabbed fifth with seventh-grader Emma Thompson in 15:08, while Anna Miller ran 17:45 for 14th overall. Beacon did not have a fifth runner, so they finished with an incomplete score.    

Beacon finished third in the boys’ race and was led by top 10 finishers Cooper Forcucci in third and Nicholas Petito in fourth with times of 12:32 and 12:34, respectively. 

Who needs a long run?

Megan Manning of Fort Collins, Colo., better known as my son Jake’s girlfriend, took part in the inaugural Boulderthon Marathon Oct. 9, where she finished second in the 20-24 age group and 16th overall out of 132 women. Megan ran 3:47:38 to average an 8:40 pace for the 26.2-mile distance. Amazingly, she was on pace for a 3:26 predicted finish as she went through the half in 1:43:14, averaging 7:52 a clip. Megan’s longest run was in the eight- to nine-mile range, which put her in uncharted territory after 20 miles. A great sub-four-hour marathon where she proved that anyone can run a marathon and it’s just mind over matter. Who needs to spend all that training on a long run, anyway?


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