by Tom Utescher
With the finish line on their newly-laid out cross country course being relocated just minutes before the start of last Wednesday’s league tri-meet, the runners from host Springside Chestnut Hill Academy really weren’t much more familiar with the route than the visitors from Agnes Irwin and Baldwin School.
Still the Blue Devils found their way to the end of the circuit early and often enough to post a convincing victory over each of their guests. The three teams ran together, but the event was officially scored as two separate dual meets, with SCH beating Baldwin, 18-39, and overwhelming Irwin, 18-40.
Freshman Terri Turner, a new student at Springside Chestnut Hill, breezed to victory in 19 minutes, 27 seconds, and led a one-two-three finish for the Blue Devils that included the defending Inter-Ac League champion, junior Jamie Costarino (20:41), and eighth-grader E.K. Hellstrom (20:48).
Wednesday’s twin wins gave the Blue Devils a 4-1 record in league duals.
Last year, SCH won the girls’ league title for the first time ever, but this year Germantown Academy will present a serious challenge. It‘s the Patriots who are responsible for the Devils’ lone league loss thus far, prevailing 25-31 despite a first-place finish by Turner.
Veteran SCH coach Ann Keiser is back leading the team this season, but there is a new assistant coach, Corinne Dionne, a New Jersey native who ran for St. Bonaventure at the collegiate level. Like Keiser, she is a member of the faculty at the school.
Coming into last Wednesday’s event, Agnes Irwin held a 2-1 record in the league, with wins over Notre Dame and Penn Charter, and a loss to GA, while Baldwin was 0-2 following setbacks against Charter and Episcopal Academy.
Following the Blue Devils’ top three runners across the line, Baldwin senior Alice Douglas was the last runner in the 20-minute bracket, at 20:59, and SCH soon had its fourth runner in the clubhouse, as sophomore Nicole Novo claimed the fifth spot overall in 21:38. It would be a little while longer before another athlete from the host school arrived to round out the Devils’ team score.
At this point, SCH had put itself out of reach of the others, but Irwin and Baldwin continued to battle down to the last spot. In the final reckoning the Irwin Owls, missing a member of their regular top five, were edged out by the Bears of Baldwin, 27-28.
Rounding out the top 10 overall were senior Sarah Davies (6th; 22:14) and junior Katya Smith (7th; 22:31) of Irwin, senior Livia Somkuti (8th; 22:36) and freshman Lila Williams (9th; 22:41) of Baldwin, and Irwin junior Emily DiNubile (10th; 22:49).
The fifth scorer for the Blue Devils was eighth-grader Allie Kitchell (11th; 23:03) and right behind her was sophomore teammate Brooke Hanraty (12th; 23:05). Baldwin added 13th and 18th place overall to complete its scoring in the meet, and the fourth and fifth runners for Irwin placed 14th and 16th overall.
The Blue Devils’ superb sprinter and hurdler from the track team, sophomore Brooklynn Broadwater, came in 15th in 23:25, and the other runners making it into the home team’s top 10 were sophomore Brenna Isackman (17th; 23:36), junior Claire Cohen (19th; 24:10), and senior Sarah-Chen Ogorek (21st; 24:22).
Ogorek is one of the quad-captains for the team this season, along with classmates Caroline Canning, Winter Chernak, and Sarrah Schreffler.