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Seahawks compete in 3A Maryland XC meet last Saturday

(Nov. 15, 2013) Six Stephen Decatur cross country runners competed in the 3A state championship last Saturday at McDaniel College in Westminster.

The Lady Seahawks advanced to the state meet after the team finished fifth overall out of nine schools participating in the 3A South Regional championship, Oct. 31, at Oak Ridge Park in Hughesville.

It was the first time since 2006 an entire Decatur cross country team qualified for the 3A state meet, according Coach Jody Stigler.

Sophomore Alison Alvarado was the first Seahawk to cross the finish line during the state competition. She placed 83rd overall (22:17.3).

Senior Chloe FauntLeRoy ran to a 112th-place finish (23:22.1). She was followed closely by senior Katie Collins (114th, 23:22.6).

Also representing Decatur was junior Meya Chilengi (135th, 24:49.2), senior Alex McKahan (141st, 25:05.4) and sophomore Katie Hofman (149th, 25:44.9).

“For the first time being up there, I think we did OK. Our times were good,” Stigler said. “Some of the girls said they thought they could have run a little faster. I think they were a little bit intimidated because of the (strong) competition.”

Stigler said the McDaniel College course was more difficult than the regional course at Oak Ridge Park. There were also long, drawn out hills that the Seahawks were not used to, he said.

“We don’t face that kind of competition or see those (challenging) courses all year,” Stigler said. “It was just an accomplishment for us to qualify because we haven’t done it in so long. I think our lack of experience at that level hurt us.”

Stigler said this year was a good stepping stone for another state appearance in 2014.

Overall, Stigler said he was pleased with the cross country season. The boys’ and girls’ teams performed well during regular-season meets. Both squads placed fourth during the Oct. 23 Bayside Conference championship in Cambridge.

The girls took fifth at regionals to advance to states while the boys’ team came up short in qualifying, with a seventh-place finish.

Stigler said he will lose a few runners from each team to graduation, but a number of talented athletes will return to compete next season.

A handful of athletes are also slated to participate in indoor track this winter. Pre-season practices are set to kick off today, Nov. 15.

Stephen Decatur cross country athletes, from left, Alison Alvarado, Alex McKahan, Katie Hofman, Chloe FauntLeRoy, Meya Chilengi and Katie Collins, pictured with coaches Lauren Leighton and Jody Stigler, competed in the 3A state championship last Saturday at McDaniel College.
–PHOTO COURTESY JODY STIGLER
Lisa Capitelli, Ocean City Today
Managing Editor Lisa Capitelli, a New York native, entered Salisbury University (then Salisbury State) in the fall of 1998 and graduated in the spring of 2002 with a Bachelors of Arts degree. She majored in communication arts, and minored in art, with concentration on photography. Lisa began her career at Ocean City Today as a staff writer in February 2003. She was promoted to Assistant Editor in August 2011 and Managing Editor in May, 2013. Editorial responsibilities include covering sports — from local high school games, to fishing tournaments and recreation and park programs, the business community and weekly happenings, events and activities.

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