(Nov. 1, 2013) Fourth place. That’s where both Stephen Decatur’s boys’ and girls’ cross country teams finished during the Oct. 23 Bayside Conference championship in Cambridge.
Kent Island won the girls’ competition with 34 points. Queen Anne’s was second (93), Cambridge took third (97) and Decatur placed fourth with 136 points.
“I’m pleased with our top two girls. They ran well, but it takes everybody,” said Decatur Coach Jody Stigler. “It’s a team effort. The girls have room to improve. Moving forward, we need to work on consistency.”
Sophomore Alison Alvarado was the first Seahawk to cross the finish line. She placed 15th overall (21:24). Senior Katie Collins was right behind her in 16th place (21:30). Junior Meya Chilengi was the third Decatur runner to complete the race (32nd, 23:01). Seniors Alex Tushup and Chloe FauntLeRoy both finished the race in 23:18 (36th place).
Stigler said the boys learned from watching the girls’ race. He told the Seahawks they had to “go out fast the first mile and try to hold on.”
“They did that and ran well,” Stigler said. “I thought the boys ran really well for the most part. The top two boys ran great races.”
Kent Island won the boys’ competition, scoring 26 points. Cambridge was second (91), North Caroline placed third (112) and Decatur finished with 124 points. Senior Kevin Herbert was the first Seahawk to cross the finish line. He finished 11th overall (17:30). Junior Jake Gaddis followed two seconds behind in 12th place (17:32). He tied with Kent Island’s Austin Heath.
Rounding out the top five Decatur finishers was senior John Niedfeldt (28th, 18:17), freshman Cameron James (36th, 18:53) and senior Jacob Eisenman (46th, 19:17).
Male and female runners who placed first through 15th earned All-Bayside Conference honors. Alvarado, Herbert and Gaddis received accolades.
Decatur was scheduled to compete in the 3A South Regional cross county meet yesterday, Oct. 31, at Oak Ridge Park in Hughesville. In past years, Decatur participated in the 3A East region, one of the strongest in the state for cross country and track.
The top 25 percent of individual runners and approximately half of the teams competing in each regional race will advance to the state championship, Saturday, Nov. 9, at McDaniel College in Westminster.