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Decatur cross country teams win home meet

Worcester Prep boys’ and girls’ squads both finish in second place during event
By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Oct 19, 2017

(Oct. 20, 2017) Stephen Decatur hosted last Wednesday’s nine-school cross country meet in Berlin and both the boys’ and girls’ squads came in first place.

“Both teams ran pretty well at the meet,” Decatur Coach Jody Stigler said. “I thought it was our best race as a team, boys and girls. Our top-seven individuals are starting to assert themselves, which we need to happen at this time of the year.”

Worcester Prep’s boys’ and girls’ teams both finished in second place.

“It was the best we’ve run, by far. It was finally a little cooler, the humidity was gone, which makes for a much better experience and all the kids ran their best,” Prep Coach Keith Geiger said. “Maybe not their best times, because the course at Stephen Decatur is so tough, but they certainly all ran to the best of their abilities.”

Decatur’s Lady Seahawks scored 15 points in the victory. Seven of the first eight girls to cross the finish line were Decatur athletes.

Junior Kailey Andrews led the pack. She won the race in 22:56.2. Also scoring points for Decatur were freshman Mary Mergott (third, 24:14.9), junior Erica Hicks (fourth, 24:39.6), senior Laila Mirza (fifth, 24:51.5) and sophomore Mikayla Denault (sixth, 24:55.3).

“I expected a strong performance based on the competition, but they exceeded my expectations. Kailey has been our number-one runner all year, but we are starting to see our 2-7 girls step up and really push each other which will cause all of them to get better,” Stigler said. “If the 2-7 girls can take it to the next level and really start to push Kailey at our next meet, I think that would be a very good sign for us heading into our championship season.”

Worcester Prep tallied 53 points for second place. Arcadia finished in third place with 77 points.

Senior Annemarie Cherry was the first Lady Mallard to cross the finish line. She came in ninth place overall (25:47.1). Rounding out the top-five Prep runners were sophomore Ashley Laws (12th, 26:01.4), senior Marissa Grosso (15th, 27:40), and sophomores Damiana Colley (17th, 27:41.4) and Maddy Shanahan (21st, 30:57.2).

“The girls were great and continue to give their best. Annemarie Cherry and Ashley Laws set the bar high for both work ethic and results,” Geiger said. “They always come to practice and meets ready to and willing to do what it takes. It’s a great example to set for everyone.”

The Decatur boys’ team recorded 30 points to win the competition. Senior Jack Reimer led the Seahawks and was the first runner to cross the finish line (18:51.8).

Sophomore Austin Cheynet (fifth, 20:08.6), junior Chad Fischer (seventh, 20:54.9), sophomore Sam Rakowski (eighth, 21:02.2) and freshman John James (ninth, 21:05) also contributed to the victory.

“I thought that both Kailey and Jack ran their best races of the season … Jack was really motivated because it was his last home meet. He really took off the second half of the race and ran away from the competition,” Stigler said. “The boys ran well as a collective group. Austin Cheynet and Chad Fischer both worked very hard and had a good result in this meet.”

Worcester scored 65 points for second place and Arcadia took third (78).

Freshman Connor Carpenter was the first Mallard to complete the race. He finished second overall (19:39.9).

Freshman Ethan Griffith (sixth, 20:19.7), junior Cameron Hill (15th, 22:05.6), freshman Ben Brandt (18th, 22:30.9) and senior Connor Cebula (26th, 23:09.9) came in second through fifth for Worcester.

“Connor Carpenter is starting to show that he’s one of the better runners in this area,” Geiger said. “We have three freshmen in our top five and Connor is starting to show some leadership and commitment. If he continues to train and embrace the sport, he could be a great runner for the next three years.”

Worcester’s final meet of the season, the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship, was scheduled for yesterday, Thursday.

Decatur’s Bayside Conference championship will take place Wednesday beginning at 3 p.m. in Cambridge.

“I think the team is looking pretty good going into the Bayside meet,” Stigler said. “The girls’ team is probably a little better than the boys’ at this point. Our goal is to place as many individuals as possible in the top 15, who are named to the All-Bayside team.”

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