Local cross country runners compete in national championships

November 24, 2023

The high school and middle school cross country seasons are over, which means one thing: the national championships. The youth nationals are held in Louisville, Ky., while high school runners travel to Cary, N.C. Both courses were fast and flat this year, with many personal-best performances by our local runners.

The Seashore Striders cross country team traveled west to Louisville for its 33rd consecutive trip to the Cross Country Coaches Youth National Championships. More than 2,500 runners took part in the meet on the well-known Tom Sawyer State Park course. The Striders crowned four top 25 All-Americans in the meet. In the 8U sub-bantam girls’ division, Esther Furlong finished 59th in 10:27 for the 2K course, while Nora Furlong was 76th in 11:06. Ruby Leps ran 13:22 in the 9-10 bantam girls’ race for 11th place, while Nolan Furlong was 10th in 11:55 in the boys’ division. Leo Furlong ran 11:34 in the 11-12 midget boys’ race, good for 17th place, while Kai Mundok ran 11:50 for 24th place. Jude Peacock ran 11:58 for 52nd place, while Seth Moore ran 13:04 for 77th place, Whit Leps ran 13:09 for 81st place and Bennett Curry ran 13:26 for 93rd place. The Striders boys’ 11-12 team finished 15th of 29 teams. All four runners who cracked the top 25 in their division were named All-Americans. 

Several Henlopen Conference runners made the trip south to North Carolina for the Nike Cross Southeast Regionals at the Wake Med Soccer Park last weekend. The locals were highlighted by Indian River standout Brynn Crandell, who placed ninth in 17:37 in the girls’ championship race. Faith Mitchell of Milford placed 46th in 19:45 in the open race. Cape’s Jason Baker ran well, taking 28th place in 16:05 in the boys’ open contest, while Cape’s Max Gillen was 242nd in 17:15. Justin Friscia of Sussex Academy finished 323rd in 17:39. Nate Waydelis of Milford finished 178th in 16:56. In the Rising Stars race, Riley Stazzone was 51st in 17:15, Brayden Redd was 55th in 17:19 and Andrew Radka was 62nd in 17:28. A total of 105 boys broke 16 minutes, while 99 girls broke 19 minutes, showing the amount of talent that competed in this meet.

Tunnel to Towers

The fifth annual Delmarva Tunnel to Towers event was held Nov. 18 at Fort Miles in Cape Henlopen State Park. The event attracted 227 participants, which is one of the largest Delmarva T2T events.

Sean Norris, 32, captured the overall male championship in 22:28, while Melissa Wiley, 37, of Ocean City, Md., captured the female championship in 23:28. Herbert Kaufer, 59, of Lewes won the male masters race in 26:26, while Kim Geyer, 56, won the female masters championship in 28:50.

"It was great to see so many people come out to help us celebrate our fifth year here on Delmarva, and show their support for our first responders, military and veterans,” said Brian Brubaker of Tunnel to Towers. “It is important for us as a community to continue to come together to show that we will never forget what happened in 9/11, and honor those who selflessly serve our communities every day by keeping us safe, especially those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives in doing so.”

According to the Tunnel to Towers website, “This year alone, Tunnel to Towers delivered over 200 mortgage-free homes across the country to America's heroes and their families.”  

This year’s event had first responders, fire trucks, police cars and a great assortment of American flags. The 3.65-mile race distance is in memory of the 365 firefighters lost during 9/11.


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