Eagle Scout shines on the indoor track

Next level big step in individual sports
February 11, 2020

Fly Like an Eagle - Jake Mundok is an Eagle Scout, surfer and distance runner from Sussex Academy and Lewes who has earned 21 merit badges. I know him from cross country and indoor track. He’s one of those mentally and physically fit athletes and tough competitors on the sports scene. If there were an Academy of Lifelong Learning and Fitness, a guy like Jake would matriculate every day. Jake placed fifth in the 1,600 meters at the Henlopen Conference Indoor Championships in a time of 4:50 and fifth in the 3,200 in 10:40. 

Sprinter Savannah Sistrunk - Her name and track events sound fast together. Savannah has been a top eliminator in the short sprints all season on the indoor track circuit. At the Henlopen Indoor Track Championships Feb.6, Savannah placed second in the 55-meter dash in 7.4 seconds, fourth in the 200 meters in 26.8 seconds and third in the 400 meters in 1:02.2 . She will always be a pioneer, leading the Seahawks during their first season of indoor track and field. 

Mercer Bears lacrosse - Three Cape players started the game for the Mercer University Bears against the High Point Panthers Feb. 8 in High Point, N.C. Izzy Cryne, a junior, started in goal for the third straight year. Cailey Thornberg scored two goals, and Chloe Schaeffer scored a goal in her first collegiate game. The Bears next face the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs Friday, Feb. 14. Jillian Seker saw action as Lenoir-Rhyne beat Belmont Abbey 20-15. Jillian even had a shot on goal, which as a Cape defender never happened. 

Wrestling and running - I have been immersed as a sports reporter and track coach deep inside both sports for a long time. I understand the athletes at a simian level, I can just “feel it,” but can’t relate empathetically as I didn’t do either sport as the stud athlete everyone in my household grudgingly agreed I approximated. Mostly after the wrestler and runner leave high school, I know that next level is not in their future. It is just crazy competitive to make a college team in either sport, and money opportunities are more limited than in field hockey and lacrosse. Swimming is another individual sport hiding inside a team concept, and you have to be freaky good and talented just to make a team at the college level. Some years ago, I spoke with a New Jersey lifeguard who won the Mid-Atlantic open water 400-meter swim championship. Young man looked like Burt Lancaster from the 1968 film “The Swimmer.” “I swim freestyle for Syracuse in the Big East,” he told me on the beach at Rehoboth Avenue. “I’m impressed,” I said. “Are you competitive?” “No, I suck,” Lancaster said. “Every woman on our team can beat me.” “How about the manager?” I asked. “Yeah, her too.” We both agreed so much of sports is relative. It's best to just enjoy the moments. 

Snippets - Sydney Pedersen is a sophomore guard on the women’s basketball team for Wesley College. Sydney has started six games this season. Reven Mandela-James is a senior on the Delaware State University women’s lacrosse team and the only Delaware native on the roster. The Hornets will play at Mercer in Macon, Ga., April 9. Mercer has three Delaware natives on its roster, all from Cape Henlopen. Kendra Schweizer (Saint Mark’s) and Moira Carroll (Ursuline) are two Delaware natives on the University of Delaware’s women’s lacrosse team. Delaware will play at Temple March 20. I’ve run into many senior nights in my sports career and they are happy, sad and very nostalgic moments. At St. Georges Tech wrestling Feb. 7, nine seniors were featured. Here’s the deal. I heard about their high school majors like HVAC and plumbing; another guy was off to college to study electrical engineering. They totally embraced the technical education concept. Coach Matt Graviet after the wrestling match versus Sussex Tech Feb. 8 suggested that certain members of the Linemen for Life Club who have lost major weight, literally dropping two helmet sizes, be traded for running backs who have eaten their way out of the backfield. I won’t mention any names because that would invite retaliatory rudeness. The DIAA Indoor Track Championships are Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Prince George’s Sports Complex in Maryland. The Henlopen Conference Wrestling Championships are the same day in Milford. Wrestling or running, I have to make a decision. How can you be two places at once when you’re nowhere at all? Go on now, git! 


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