Cape, Sussex Academy compete in historic Unionville Invitational

May 3, 2024

Cape Henlopen and Sussex Academy both competed in the annual Unionville Invitational April 27 just outside Center City Philadelphia. Unionville attracts a big field of schools that are not competing in the Penn Relays at Franklin Field that Saturday. The top-five performances from locals follow: Addison Bowman finished third in the pole vault with a nice 10-6 clearance, while Harper Mamele finished fifth in the high jump, leaping 4-10. Trey Johnson on the boys’ side finished third in the 100m dash in 11.46 after running 11.62 in the prelims. Ben Clifton won a big 800m run in 1:57.74 for a season best and looks to be in tip-top shape heading into the Henlopen Conference meet. CR standout Ian Cain will be the top seed in the event at the conference, but Clifton will make it interesting and hopes to be pulled to a new personal best in what I feel will be one of the most exciting races of the day. Giovanni Palermo finished fourth for the 800m in 2:08.44, and Andrew Radka ran 4:46.90 in the 1600m to place third. Jason Baker finished third in the 3200m run in a season best of 9:33.11 for a huge race at the right time of the season, while Stephen Hart was fifth in the triple in 41-4.

Eddie Houck jumped well in the vault at 13-0 for second place, while also tossing the javelin 125-10 for the win. The javelin is not thrown in Delaware, but Houck’s performance just shows what type of athlete he is.

Sussex Academy had a few top-five performances as Max Rial led his team with a 47-0-foot toss in the shot put, good for second place, while Katya Geyer was fourth in the high jump, leaping 5-0. Rial has thrown over 48 feet this season in the shot put. My most improved athlete of the year, Ryan Moody, ran a new school record and season best of 4:25.56 in the 1600m to place fifth in a hot race. Sussex Academy traveled to Laurel April 30 for a quad meet with Early College and Woodbridge, but no results were posted on websites4sports. Most of the coaches in the state do a great job getting results posted, and as a coach since 1990, If I hosted the meet, my results were always posted within hours afterward. Kids love to read about themselves and see their names in print, but when results disappear on clipboards after the mile relay, I feel it is not fair to the kids competing.

The Journey 5K held in Bethany

A beautiful morning greeted almost 100 runners and walkers as they took part in the second annual The Journey 5K held at Sea Colony Tennis Center. The race was held in memory of the many people we have lost due to myeloma, and proceeds benefited the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. MMRF is the largest nonprofit in the world focused on accelerating a cure for multiple myeloma, and because of events like The Journey that directly support groundbreaking research, survival rates have tripled in recent years. The funds raised will help to further this mission and together, we can shorten the path to a cure by spearheading innovative clinical development efforts, driving precision medicine strategies forward and empowering patients at the center of their own care.

Running away with the overall win was River Van Wicklen of Red Lion, Pa., in a time of 18:39. Drew David of Washington, D.C., was second in 23:33, so Van Wicklen almost won the race by five minutes. Ashlee Upp of Magnolia won the overall female championship in 25:20, while JR Ward of Millsboro won the male masters in 24:25. Ginnie Todd of Frankford won the female masters in 26:45.

“We feel like our event is for a great cause, and the end of April is a perfect time for a 5K before the summer heat arrives,” said Jen Neal of Sea Colony. “We are going to continue to promote the event with a goal of 150-200 participants next year.”

Cape over Bucs

The Cape boys topped Milford 104-36 on Senior Day April 30 at Cape, while the Cape girls won 106-40. For the boys, the Vikings stacked the 3200m relay right out of the gate and stopped the clock at 8:20.4 for an impressive dual-meet win. CR has run well in this event this season and looks to be in the driver’s seat if the Riders stack it up. Cape won three of the four relays in the meet, and Stephen Hart won two individual events, the high jump in 6-1 and the long jump in 19-4. Elijah Shockley-Taylor won the 110m hurdles in 16.9 and the 300m hurdles in 42.6, while Machi Savage won the 100m dash in 11.3. Jason Baker also grabbed two events, winning the 1600m run in 4:36.2 and the 800m run in 2:06.5, while Ben Clifton won the 400m dash in 51.5. Cardin Benjamin won the 3200m run in 10:13, while Carter Gibbons won the triple jump in 41-4. Bailey Fletcher won the pole vault in 14-8.

On the girls’ side, Cape grabbed all four relays for 20 points, while senior Ashley Carrier enjoyed a big Senior Day, winning the 100m dash in 13.2, and the 200m dash in 28.4, and being part of the winning 400m and 800m relays. Anejah Johnson-Grace won both hurdle races in 16.6 and 52.1, while Kennedy Johnson won the long jump in 16-3. Addison Bowman won the pole vault in 9-0, while Marley Fyock won the triple jump in 32-3. Harper Mamele won the high jump in 5-0, and Lily Noonan won the 1600m run in 5:51.

Beacon vs. Mariner

The Beacon vs. Mariner intra-district meet was held May 1 at Cape with the Beacon boys winning 68-41. The Mariner girls beat Beacon 59-50 in a close meet. Talented seventh-grader Kha’Nihya Johnson won three events for Beacon and ran on the winning 400m relay to score 11.25 points. Johnson won the 100m dash in 13.4, the 200m dash in 28.9, and the high jump in 5-0, while the 400m relay time was 56.2. Mariner’s Allison Ortiz-Rivera won the 800m run in 2:44.3 and the 1600m run in 6:02.0, while also taking first in the triple jump with a nice leap of 30-1. Autumn Moore of Mariner won the shot put in 26-1 and the discus in 64-8, while Madeleine Rufficorn of Beacon won the long jump in 13-5. Claudia Stazzone of Beacon won the 400m dash in 1:06.2, and Laura Lima of Beacon won the 55m hurdles in 10.0. Mariner broke its 400m relay school record, running 57.0.

On the boys’ side of the action, Beacon’s Brayden Uszenski scored 13 points, winning the long jump in 15-8 and the high jump in 4-10. Aiden Crenshaw won the triple jump in 35-3 and the 800m run in 2:18.2, and ran on the 400m relay that finished first in 48.7. Crenshaw is getting close to the Beacon 800m record of 2:17 set by Robert Marsh. Nate Cohen of Mariner broke the school shot-put record with a toss of 38-2, and he also won the discus in 105-6. Jude Peacock of Beacon won the 400m dash in 1:00.7, while Dylan Harp won the 1600m run in 5:27.2. Geoffrey Davis won the 55m hurdles in 9.5.

Flashback - I coached the Beacon girls for 10 years, going 96-1. My only loss – by 1 point – was to my buddy Kenny Riedel at Mariner. Everything that could go wrong went wrong for Beacon that day, from false starts to triple scratches in the jumps to dropped batons to top distance runners hiding in the snack stands. On the flip side, Mariner’s Regan Ciabattoni had a field day, winning three events, and coach Kenny got every point he needed from his girls. With about two events to go, Kenny, who is better at scoring and placing runners where they belong than anyone I know, smiled and said to me, “I think I got you, coach.” Hats off to Mariner, Reagan and coach Kenny, as Mariner got Beacon that day at Cape and forced me to face 120 girls with the post-meet news.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter