Double pole vault school records set by Fletcher, Bowman

January 26, 2024

The Cape Henlopen Vikings track & field teams, coming off a double conference championship last week at Snow Hill, Md., both took part in last-chance meets this week. The girls traveled to Snow Hill for the final meet on the 165-meter oval, while the boys went the opposite direction to Ursinus College on the 200-meter oval. A pair of notable accomplishments highlighted the meet. Addison Bowman set a new school record in the pole vault with a personal-best leap of 10-feet-6-inches. Bowman broke her own record of 10-4½ that she set at the Henlopen Conference Championships. Pole vaulter Bailey Fletcher also set a new school record as he jumped a personal-best 14-11, breaking the 14-10¼ record set by Sam Young in 2015. Fletcher has the top jump in the state and is ranked No. 57 in the U.S., while Elce Walsh of Padua has the top girls’ jump at 11-6. Cape teammate Eddie Houck tied for second with a season-best jump of 13-6. The cool thing about the pole vault record is that both Fletcher and Young work out at the Philly Jumps Club.

Other boys’ highlights from the Ursinus Invite include hurdler Robert Redden finishing sixth in the 55m hurdles in 8.12 and Ben Clifton taking sixth in the 800 meters in 2:01.15. Cardin Benjamin finished 12th in the mile at 4:38.82, while Machi Savage was second in the high jump at 5-feet-7-inches. Bernard Jones went over 20 feet again, leaping 20-4¾ in the long jump, while the 800m relay team finished fourth in a time of 1:35.51. Sussex Central thrower Victor Perez tossed the shot 43-1 to place seventh in the event, while Isaiah Ro was ninth in the 55m hurdles in 8.24. In a late-night 3K, Jason Baker ran 9:17.38 for a second-place finish, while the Cape boys ended the night with a fifth-place finish in the mile relay in 3:35.88.

Highlighting the Snow Hill Invite was Kennedy Johnson with a double win, taking the long jump at 16-0 and the 400 meters in 1:04.96. Kiersten Smith was third in the 55m dash in 7.81, while Maddy Gazze was fourth in the 55m hurdles in 10.10 and second in the 200m dash in 30.19. Anejah Johnson-Grace was second in the long jump at 15-0 and won the triple jump in 31-11. On the boys’ side, Javian Wise won the 200m dash in 24.63, with teammate Elijah Shockley-Taylor second a tick behind in 24.64. Navin Duffy was second in the 400m dash in 57.13, while Ryan Andrew was second in the pole vault at 12-0. Carter Gibbons was second in the triple jump in 40-9.

Sussex Academy and Sussex Central are both scheduled to compete Sunday, Jan. 28, at Franklin & Marshall. The Delaware State Championships are set for Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Prince George’s Sports Complex.

Finish Chute

Back in the late 1980s, Bruce Springer of Timeout Sports, TC Coveleski and I started an event called the 10K Beach Run with a course going from the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand south toward Indian River Inlet bridge. The race was 3.1 miles south and 3.1 miles north for a tough 10K. TC loved when the elements were tough, especially the wind. We did a T-shirt and awards to the top finishers in each age group. We averaged about 100 people per race, and it lasted about five years. Dewey Beer Co now has a January 5K series called the Frosted Beach Face, which is a 5K each Friday night at 5:30 p.m. There is one event left, this Friday, Jan. 26, and it is capped at 75 participants. Points are based on order of finish, with awards presented at the conclusion of the series. Cool Idea from cool folks!

The Seashore Striders will gather Friday, Feb. 2, at Irish Eyes in Lewes for a celebration of the 2023 Strider Challenge that 128 folks took part in for 12 months. The challenge was that they had to do 100 miles a month by running, walking, swimming, biking or rowing, and each participant donated $10 per month to support one of our four charities. If a participant failed to reach 100 miles, they had to make an additional donation. The challenge raised over $12,000, and we will present four checks for $3,000 each to the following beneficiaries: Humane Animal Partners, Beebe Medical Foundation, Cape Henlopen Food Basket and Sussex Family YMCA.

There’s still time to join the 2024 Strider Challenge; if interested, visit

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