Wilson sets new record, but CHA and Springside succumb
Last Tuesday’s cross country gathering at Chestnut Hill Academy featured a record-breaking effort by an individual runner who hasn’t lost in a dual meet this season, and a tussle between teams seeking their first league win of the fall.
In the varsity boys’ race, CHA junior Dustin Wilson smashed his own home course record by 22 seconds, completing the school’s regular-season route of 3.0 miles (the championship course differs) in 14 minutes, 58 seconds. His 12th-grade teammate, Mike Fuery, easily captured second place in 16:12, but after that Malvern Prep sent a string of four runners across the line, and the Blue Devils fell to the visiting Friars, 26-31.
Their female counterparts from Springside School hosted Germantown Academy, with each squad in quest of an elusive victory within the Girls Inter-Ac League. Led by junior Christina Russo with a time of 21:17, GA locked up the first four places and had three other athletes finish in spots eight through 10 as the Patriots overpowered the Lions, 18-41.
The Blue Devils’ Wilson usually cruises to victory in dual meets, so when home fans saw the slender CHA star really pushing himself over the last few hundred meters they knew that something out of the ordinary was going on.
The league championships the following week would be held at Chestnut Hill, but on a 3.1-mile circuit, so this would be Wilson’s last chance this year to break his own record on the 3.0-mile loop that the Devils use in regular-season competition. He not only wanted to set a new standard, but also break the 15-minute barrier. Mission accomplished.
Fuery, the other component of CHA’s one-two punch, took second place 32 seconds ahead of Malvern’s lead runner, Brian McDonough. CHA’s fortunes then took a downturn as three more Friars finished after McDonough to give the visitors third through sixth place.
Chopping more than half-a-minute off of his best time on the course, Blue Devils junior John Hass captured seventh place in 17:12. Malvern rounded out its team score by taking eighth place, and in a duel for the ninth spot CHA senior Tate Sager beat out Malvern’s Conner Duncan by two seconds. Sager’s time of 17:28 was almost a minute better than his previous best. The fifth scorer for the Devils was sophomore Skip Rosamilia, a new student at CHA.
When healthy, Germantown Academy’s girls team took second place team at the George School Invitational back in September. Medical problems hampered the Patriots on other occasions, though, and GA came up short in its first five Girls Inter-Ac dual meets.
Back in the pink last Tuesday, Germantown took on a Springside team that has ongoing injury issues. Senior Gabi Novo and sophomore Maddi Hinchey have been out of action for much of the season. The Lions defeated league rival Baldwin School in an exhibition event, but were beset by injuries when the teams met up again for their official league meet. Springside lost that contest to the Bears, and the Lions were unable to overcome any of their other Inter-Ac opponents.
Last Tuesday GA’s Russo ran alone for much of the race, and coming in second was GA sophomore Bridie Lawlor, with a time of 21:44. The Pats went on to build an insurmountable lead in the team scoring as seniors Hannah Lindgren and Fatimah Wilson crossed the finish line together in 22:06.
The first Springside runner and fifth overall in 22:16 was freshman Sarah-Chen Ogorek, and she was followed to the finish by Lions junior Emily Davis (22:27) and sophomore Kelsea Brewer (22:28).
The Patriots’ team score was completed by junior Devon Singmaster, who was eighth in 22:53. Rounding out the top 10 overall were GA freshman Sarah Williams (22:58) and senior Izzy Mann (23:36).
The fourth and fifth scorers for Springside were sophomore Paris Baldante (11th place; 23:40) and senior Amanda Culp (12th; 23:53).