Bowser, Bamforth win Henlopen cross country titles

FELTON — Naomi Bowser was already having a pretty good week.

It became even better on Saturday.

The Smyrna High senior won the girls’ Henlopen Conference cross country championship race at Killens Pond. It is the first conference title for Bowser in her career.

Sussex Tech senior Ben Bamforth was the boys’ champion.

Bowser’s race win comes just four days after she captured the Kent County title on Tuesday at Polytech High. She set a course record that day.

Photos Special to the Delaware State News/Doug Curran

While Bowser’s time of 19:00.2 wasn’t a course record on Saturday, it was the second-best time in meet history. She just missed breaking Caesar Rodney’s Rebekah Mills time of 19:00.0. set in 2014 at the Indian River High course.

Bowser is only the second Smyrna female to win an individual conference championship after Katie Deinert in 2008.

The Milford High girls were led by four finishers in the top-10 to earn the girls’ team championship.

Milford’s Deja Rodriguez wound up second with a time of 19:27.7. Her teammate Rajene Bowe was fourth (20:11.6).

Milford’s top-five runners also included Emily Holstein in seventh (20:45.4), Olivia Cromer in ninth (21:38.0) and Holly Tesoro in 18th (22:15.7).

The Buccaneers have now won four overall conference team championships. This is the first since they won back-to-back in 2010 and 2011.

Helena Helou made a little history of her own. The Sussex Academy runner finished third in the girls’ race with of time of 19:55 — the best individual result in Sussex Academy’s short existence.

Bamforth won the boys’ event in 16:27.0. He, like Bowser, also celebrated an individual county title on Tuesday when he won the Sussex County championship race in 16:49.

Bamforth is the second individual winner in Sussex Tech history, joining Dave Ricksecker who won in 2007. Bamforth improved on a third-place finish in last year’s race to take the crown this season.

Caesar Rodney won the boys’ team championship for the fourth time in the last five seasons.

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