Ocean City Today

‘Overall, I think the season was successful,’ Stigler says

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Nov 09, 2017

(Nov. 10, 2017) Stephen Decatur runners competed in the 3A East cross country regional meet last Thursday at Centennial High School in Ellicott City, going up against fast athletes.

“The competition was really strong as we expected,” Decatur Coach Jody Stigler said. “It is really tough for the kids to have that [three-hour] bus ride and get up there with competition that we haven’t faced before, but I thought we did pretty well.”

The Decatur girls’ team came in fifth place and the boys’ squad finished in eighth. Neither qualified for the state championship meet.

“The boys especially ran hard in the beginning of the race and gave themselves a chance,” Stigler said. “There were supposed to be five teams that qualified for both boys and girls, but Bennett did not have a full girls’ team so only four girls’ teams qualified. Unfortunately, we were the odd team out in the equation this year, but hopefully we can build upon this performance as we are still a pretty young team – one senior for boys and one for girls.”

Centennial won the girls’ race, scoring 42 points, followed by Mt. Hebron (43), Atholton (62) Reservoir (86) and Decatur (151).

Junior Kailey Andrews was Decatur’s top finisher, completing the race 26th overall (22:54.89). Also scoring points for the Lady Seahawks were freshman Mary Mergott (28th, 23:19.93), sophomore Mikayla Denault (29th, 23:23.22), junior Dori Krasner (33rd, 24:33.52) and senior Maya Knepp (35th, 24:55.10).

Atholton took top honors in the boys’ race (49). Centennial (54) finished second, followed by Mt. Hebron (56), Reservoir (56), Chesapeake (161), Long Reach (168), Northeast (178) and Decatur (207).

Scoring points for Decatur were senior Jack Reimer (29th, 18:45.33), sophomore Austin Cheynet (38th, 19:54.61), junior Chad Fischer (45th, 20:42.12) and sophomores Sam Rakowski (46th, 20:59.27) and Richard Poist (49th, 21:25.15).

Stigler said he was pleased with how the season went.

“Overall, I think the season was successful,” he said. “There was a noticeable improvement on both the girls’ and boys’ teams which is how I quantify success as a coach.”

The girls’ team came in third place and the boys’ squad sixth during the Bayside Conference championship last month. The top 15 finishers in both the boys’ and girls’ races earned All-Bayside Conference honors. Reimer, Andrews and Mergott were named to the All-Conference Team.

Each squad will graduate only a few of their top runners.

“The boys will lose Jack who has been our number one runner all year, so he will be a big loss. Other than that, no one else is a senior,” Stigler said. “The girls will lose two contributors – Laila Mirza and Maya Knepp – but the rest are underclassmen, including our top four or five runners.

“A way-too-early prediction for next year is that the girls will be strong and the boys will be a little better than this year…The boys’ team especially is young and boys seem to develop later than girls so many of our boys have a chance to significantly improve prior to next year since they are still young – mainly ninth and 10th graders,” Stigler added.

He presented awards to several athletes this week during the season-wrap banquet.

Reimer and Andrews received MVP Awards. Coaches Awards went to Fischer, Rakowski, Krasner, Denault, Mirza and freshman John James.

Cheynet and Mergott earned Top Newcomer Awards. Poist and Knepp were presented Sportsmanship Awards.



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