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Decatur cross country teams earn first-place honors during Sept. 11 season opener in Sby.

(Sept. 20, 2013) The Stephen Decatur boys’ and girls’ cross country teams earned first-place honors during the Sept. 11 season opener in Salisbury. Five schools participated.

The Lady Seahawks finished with 33 points. Mardela placed second with 55 points and Parkside was third (71).

“The girls did OK. We’ve definitely got to improve and get more runners up top,” said Decatur Coach Jody Stigler. “They need to push themselves. I think running against stronger competition will help.”

Senior Alex Tushup was the first Decatur runner to cross the finish line (24:29). She finished third overall out of the 40 female athletes who competed.

Also scoring points for the Seahawks and contributing to the victory were senior Katie Collins (25:57, sixth), junior Meya Chilengi (26:05, seventh), sophomore Alison Alvarado (26:25, eighth) and junior Jordan Klebe (26:33, ninth).

“It was good that we had so many (running) close together,” Stigler said of the top five Decatur athletes finishing third, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth.

The Decatur boys’ team scored 27 points. Parkside placed second with 46 points and Mardela finished in third (81).

“I thought we did pretty well for the most part,” Stigler said. “There’s places where we need to improve.”

The No. 1 Seahawk finisher was junior Jake Gaddis. He completed the race in 19:54, just four seconds behind Parkside’s Alex Sterling. Forty-six boys participated.

Rounding out the top five Decatur finishers were seniors Kevin Herbert (20:58, fourth), John Niedfeldt (21:12, fifth) and Jake Eisenman (21:43, seventh) and freshman Cameron James (21:58, ninth).

The next cross country meet is scheduled for Wednesday in Cambridge.

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