CR boys, Smyrna girls place top three at state cross country championships

CR’s Blaise Moyer placed fourth overall in the boys’ Division I race Saturday afternoon. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

FELTON — After taking a fall during the race, Josephine Ledford recovered and made up for her lost time.

The Lake Forest High sophomore was still able to place 11th in the Division II girls’ race during Saturday afternoon’s DIAA cross country state championship meet at Killens Pond State Park.

“I was OK,” said Ledford. “I had a pretty bad fall during the race, so I was definitely hurting by the end. But I was still kind of happy with where I finished.

“I got spiked in the shin, and it was hurting pretty bad, so I fell over from the pain. I stayed down for a second or two, but I tried my best to just hop back up. People were passing me, and they cheered me on as they went by, so that helped.”

Lake Forest’s Josephine Ledford (right) earned an 11th place finish.

The state meet, split into four different races — Division I and D-II boys, D-I and D-II girls — ended with four upstate schools capturing team titles.

Charter School of Wilmington (D-I boys), Padua Academy (D-I girls), Wilmington Friends School (D-II boys) and Ursuline Academy (D-II girls) earned the titles. It marked Padua’s seventh straight girls’ title.

The Caesar Rodney High boys grabbed third place in the D-I race, with Blaise Moyer (16:08.70) placing fourth to top all downstate finishers.

Cape Henlopen High’s Ethan Edery (16:15.30) placed fifth, followed by Polytech High duo Matt Gatune and Kenny Guy finishing in 11th and 12th, respectively.

Salesianum School’s Aidan Higley (15:49.40) placed first overall for the individual title.

The Cape boys, with 99 points, placed fourth among D-I schools, finishing just behind CR’s 94 points. Sixth place Polytech (151) and 10th place Sussex Tech High (323) also grabbed spots in the top 10.

Sussex Academy’s Jake Mundok lifts his arms as he approaches the finish line in the Division II race. He paced the downstaters.

On the Division II side, Sussex Academy’s Jake Mundok grabbed 10th place to lead all downstate runners in the division.

It was Mundok’s first season as a cross country runner.

“It feels awesome,” Mundok said. “I ran here last weekend (in conferences) and I did better than I did last weekend, so it just feels awesome. This is my senior year, this is my last race ever, so it’s emotional but I’m excited.”

It was Tatnall School’s Declan McDonnell (16:03.90) who placed first among D-II runners to grab the individual title.

Indian River High accumulated 248 points to finish ninth as a team — the top downstate finish in the division.

Caesar Rodney’s Keely Arndt (19:12.50) paced the downstate D-I runners, grabbing third place in the girls race.

Smyrna’s Sarah Larose (19:27.90) and Raegan Sebastianelli (19:29.20) grabbed fifth and sixth place to lead the third-place Eagles, which accumulated 104 team points.

Smyrna’s Kelly Barr crosses the finish line. She placed 14th to help the Eagles place third as a team in the girls’ Division I race.

Fifth place Cape Henlopen (140), sixth place Milford High (154) and seventh place Caesar Rodney (168) rounded out the top 10 D-I downstate schools.

Padua’s Judith McLaughlin (19:04.40) won the D-I girls title with her first place overall finish.

Ledford was the lone downstate D-II runner to finish in the top 15, placing with a time of 19:51.90.

She was just a week removed from a personal-best 19:24 at the Henlopen Conference championship meet.

“I know I wanted it,” said Ledford. “I didn’t meet my goal of First Team All-State, but I’m still happy with where I finished and I’m happy to be running at states. This is one of my favorite races of the year.”

Sussex Academy’s Emily Trout (20:42.90) was the next-fastest downstate runner, placing 23rd.

Ninth place Sussex Academy (232) and 10th place Lake Forest (239) each cracked the top 10 on the team leaderboard.

Tatnall School’s Lydia Colasante (18:48.90) grabbed the individual title.

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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