Cape cross country teams double down Smyrna
The Smyrna Eagles girls’ cross country team won the Henlopen Conference last season, but times have changed in a year. Many Eagles were lost to graduation, opening the door for the young Cape Henlopen squad of coach Matt Lindell. Sophomore Alyssa Young of Smyrna sat on the shoulders of Cape’s top runner Katie Kuhlman for three-quarters of the race before making her move with a half-mile to go, and she did not look back. Sophomore Kuhlman hung on for the runner-up spot with a new Cape course record time of 20:33, and the Vikings won 23-27.
Rounding out the top five in the girls’ race were Ariana Adili-Khams of Cape in 21:39, Kelly Barr of Smyrna in 21:51 and Mia Nuebling of Cape in 21:52.
Cape sophomore Ryan Baker continues to enjoy his best season to date, as he pulled away at the mid-point of the race to cruise to a 17:11 victory, leading the Vikings to a 15-48 win. A good sign for the Vikings is the slow improvement of junior Ethan Edery, who is coming off an injury. Edery, a sub-4:30 miler on the oval, ran a solid race to take second place and seems to be looking like himself again. Lindell was pleased with the results, as they are working to achieve late-season goals.
Rounding out the top five in the boys’ race were Julian Callaway of Cape in 17:41, Daniel Adili-Khams of Cape in 17:55 and Lance Kauffman of Cape in 18:16.
“The boys’ and girls’ teams ran well yesterday on our challenging course on campus,” said Lindell. “On the girls’ side, we continue to tighten our top-five pack, which is important as we get closer to the championship phase of our season. On the boys’ side, we were not pressed hard by the Eagles; however, the friendly internal competition on the team allowed for some good times up front. Overall, for meet No. 3 of the season, the boys and girls are ahead of where we were last season, and I am excited to see how much more time we can drop over the next month.”
Henlopen Conference wrap
The third week of the season was one of the nicest weather days so far and the results showed it. On the girls’ side, eight of the top 10 achievements came this week, led by a blazing performance at Killens Pond turned in by Josephine Ledford of Lake Forest in 19:15. That ties the Lake Forest school record that was set by Holly Wilson in 1998 and leads this year’s top 10 list. Ledford pulled away from Brynn Crandell of Indian River after both went through the opening mile in a quick 5:50. Ledford went 19:24 in 2019 to capture the Henlopen Conference individual championship on the same course. Milford’s Faith Mitchell moved into the No. 2 spot with her 19:24 performance. Sussex Academy’s Emily Trout shot up to fourth on the list with a nice run of 20:14, while teammate Sadie Tunnell also made the list in the eighth position in 21:16.
Smyrna’s Alyssa Young ran her best race of the season in a first-outing course on the Cape campus, turning in a 20:16 to outrun Cape’s Katie Kuhlman in 20:33, which dropped her to sixth on the list. Caesar Rodney runner Angelina Lione ran 21:12, with teammate Arianna Purtell rounding out the top 10 list with her 21:41 performance.
On the boys’ side, the top time in the Henlopen Conference was lowered to a quick 16:23 turned in by Caesar Rodney’s Blaise Moyer on his home course. His teammates Julian Jones and Ralph Nicholson both improved to 17:15 and 17:19 to make the list in the eighth and ninth positions. Unlike the impressive girls’ week, only three changes happened on the boys’ list this week. The Golden Knights of Sussex Central squeaked by the Ravens of Sussex Tech 28-29 in the closest meet of the week.
This weekend would have been the Henlopen Conference Championships in a normal year, but now we are only at the midpoint of our season. With all the changes in our world and the guidelines for teams to follow, it is nice to see the athletes racing hard and performance times dropping, and the season is shaping up to be one to remember.
Sussex County Championships
This year’s Sussex County Championships will be held at Sandhill Fields in Georgetown Tuesday, Nov. 24, with Cape Henlopen, Indian River, Sussex Central, Sussex Academy, Sussex Tech, Delmar, Seaford and Woodbridge taking part in the meet. The course is a 5,000-meter loop that consists of grass, dirt, a beautiful raised bridge, a couple small hills thrown in at the midway mark and a wide-open start and finish area. The walking and jogging trails have been getting a lot of use by the public, and it is nice to be able to get some exercise through nature in a safe environment. As a Sandhill Fields board member, I am excited to direct the Sussex County Championships and showcase a beautiful new facility in our backyard. To learn more about the facility, go to sandhillfields.org.