Ocean City Today

WP and SD athletes perform well at Classic

Tidewater cross country event draws 25 schools, more than 500 runners
By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Oct 12, 2017

(Oct. 13, 2017) More than 500 runners representing 25 schools participated in the annual Tidewater Fall Classic last Wednesday in Salisbury.

“The field for Tidewater was the biggest that we will face all year, so I was happy to get some of our runners out of their comfort zones for this race, as it will help prepare us for Baysides and regionals,” Decatur Coach Jody Stigler said.

The Decatur girls’ cross country team finished in eighth place. Junior Kailey Andrews led the Lady Seahawks. She was the 37th female runner to cross the finish line (22:41.35). Freshman Mary Mergott was close behind, coming in 39th overall (22:56.31).

Junior Erick Hicks, sophomore Mikayla Denault and junior Dori Krasner finished in 58th (23:43.42), 59th (23:45.13) and 60th (23:48.58) place overall.

“Their small spread on the day was what was encouraging to me,” Stigler said. “Standout runners for the girls were Mary Mergott and Mikayla Denault.”

Decatur’s boys’ team finished in 15th place. Senior Jack Reimer was the squad’s top finisher. He completed the race in 18:21.13, good for 44th place overall. Freshman John James (111th, 19:52.66), sophomores Austin Cheynet (122nd, 20:07.81) and Sam Rakowski (142nd, 20:23.93) and junior Chad Fischer (163rd, 20:48.58) also scored points for the team.

“Jack has been consistently our number one runner this whole year, so I expected him to be our number one runner last week, which he was … The standout runner for the boys was probably John James who was our second boy to cross the finish line,” Stigler said. “The boys struggled a little bit in terms of team scores because Jack finished relatively well and then we had a big gap back to our second through fifth runners.

“John is usually our fourth, fifth or sixth boy but he stepped up this week and was our second boy,” he continued. “Hopefully this will help motivate some of our others and really create some competition within our team.”

Stigler said he is seeing some good development from the younger runners.

“Of the three standout performers, two are ninth graders and one is a 10th grader,” he added. “We will need each athlete to really improve their performance from the start of the season, but often the inexperienced runners are able to really significantly improve throughout the season and we are starting to see that.”

Worcester Prep also participated in the meet.

“Both boys and girls performed well,” said Prep Coach Keith Geiger.

The Lady Mallards finished in 16th place. Senior Annemarie Cherry led the team, crossing the finish line 68th overall (24:09.13). She was followed by sophomores Ashley Laws (79th, 24:27.61) and Damiana Colley (120th, 26:05.37), senior Marissa Grosso (140th, 26:58.44) and sophomore Maddy Shanahan (154th, 27:52.33).

“The girls, as a team, performed much better than I expected and I was pleasantly surprised that they finished 16th. It is a few spots higher than last year,” Geiger said. “Annemarie Cherry and Ashley Laws both ran their personal best times for the year.”

Worcester’s boys’ team finished 21st overall.

“The top five boys all ran well, although the competition was tough,” Geiger said. “It always adds a little perspective when we run in the Tidewater because you get a chance to really see where your team stands compared to the best on the Eastern Shore.”

Freshman Connor Carpenter led the Mallards, coming in 66th place overall (18:57.91). Freshman Ethan Griffith was the next Prep athlete to cross the finish line. He placed 115th overall (20:02.44). Junior Cameron Hill (167th, 20:52.44), freshman Ben Brandt (197th, 21:30.49) and senior Connor Cebula (212th, 22:11.43) also scored points for the Mallards.

Geiger said he is pleased with the athletes’ performance on both the boys’ and girls’ teams thus far.

“I’m happy with where we are. The goal this year is to win the ESIAC championship in a week,” Geiger said. “Delmarva Christian is a much better team this year, so it will be a tough race. I think if we keep up the intensity and effort in practice, we have a good chance of repeating as conference champs.”

Worcester will compete in its Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship meet on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in Georgetown, Delaware.

Decatur has one regular-season meet left, slated for Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Pocomoke. The Bayside Conference championship meet will take place Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 3 p.m. in Cambridge.

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