Ocean City Today

WP boys’ XC team captures second conference title

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Oct 26, 2017
Courtesy of: WP CROSS COUNTRY The Worcester Prep boys’ cross country team won the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference title for the second year in a row.

(Oct. 27, 2017) The Worcester Prep boys’ cross country team won the first-ever Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship meet in 2016, and the Mallards took top honors again this year.

“Winning the ESIAC for the first two years is great. I hope that other schools in our conference continue to grow or start their programs, so that we have representation from all the schools,” Prep Coach Keith Geiger said. “In the future, I will look back proudly that Worcester Prep was leading the way early on in cross country.”

Freshman Connor Carpenter crossed the finish line first in the boys’ race (19:16) and earned the ESIAC Runner of the Year title.

“Connor and I game planned a little bit because I knew it would be between him and a Delmarva [Christian] runner,” Geiger said. “We divided that he needed to start to pull away after mile two instead of waiting for the final sprint. It was great. I think he can be very good in the coming years.”

Freshman Ethan Griffith (third, 19:56), junior Cameron Hill (sixth, 21:49), freshman Ben Brandt (seventh, 22:08) and senior Connor Cebula (ninth, 22:13) also contributed to the victory.

Worcester scored 26 points. Delmarva Christian came in second with 34 points, followed by Salisbury School (68).

Worcester’s girls’ teams finished in second place with 36 points, behind Delmarva Christian (26). Salisbury School took third (60).

Prep senior Annemarie Cherry finished second overall (24:27). Sophomore Damiana Colley (fourth, 25:12), senior Marissa Grosso (sixth, 25:54) and sophomores Maddy Shanahan (11th, 27:50) and Abby Taylor (13th, 28:56) scored points for Worcester.

“It was a great ending to the season. Several of the boys and girls had their personal records for the year. Not only the top runners, but all the way down our rosters,” Geiger said. “Many of the runners had such a tremendous improvement that even though the girls didn’t win, I still feel like we had a successful year.”

This was only the third season for the cross country program.

“The improvements are really where I look to see if it was a successful year,” Geiger said. “So many of our runners improved dramatically. We had fun, we worked hard and got better. What more can you ask for?”

The boys’ team will graduate two runners – Cebula, who has been in the top five for Worcester most races this year, and Matt Wilson.

“They both have been with the program since the beginning and I will be sad to see them go,” Geiger said. “They’ve been great leaders on the team, whether or not they’re in the top five. They keep the other runners in check and have helped me out a great deal over the years.”

The girls’ team will lose Cherry “our best runner for three straight years,” Geiger said, as well as Grosso, Olivia Parker and Taylor Campbell.

“They will all be difficult to replace, in the team score sense, but also just having them around to lead,” Geiger said. “Annemarie and Marissa, in particular, I think were very good leaders and helped keep all the underclassmen together. They cheered each other on and kept everyone positive.”

Despite graduating some talented runners, Geiger thinks the teams will be strong next season.

“Our boys’ team is very young, with three freshmen in the top five. I hope that they all take it seriously enough to run a little over the offseason and improve upon this year,” Geiger said. “If that happens, we can be a contender that competes with some of the better public schools around.

“We are losing our top runner for the girls, and that will be a difficult spot to fill, but [sophomore] Ashley Laws and Damiana Colley are poised to take it to the next level and become the leaders,” he added. “I’m hoping to get a few more girls around the school to try out for the team and count on the younger freshmen to take big steps in the offseason. I think we’ll always be a decent team as long as we continue to improve, work hard and have fun.”

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