Riders sweep Henlopen Conference cross country meet, Delmar’s Cave sets record

Delmar senior Austen Cave placed first in the Henlopen Conference cross country championship boys’ race for the second consecutive year on Saturday, finishing in a record 15:43. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

FELTON — Caesar Rodney High cross country coach Mike Tucci was pleasantly surprised to see a pair of his runners finish first and second in the girls’ Henlopen Conference championships Saturday afternoon at Killens Pond State Park.

With a first-place finish from senior Maleah Chumley and a second-place finish from junior Keely Arndt, the Riders took home first place with a team score of 52 — just three points ahead of second-place Smyrna’s 55 points.

“I don’t know how it could be any better,” said Chumley. “Our coaches are just so supportive of us and they truly care about how we do.”

Caesar Rodney’s Maleah Chumley (right) and Keely Arndt (left) finished one-two in the girls’ race.

Cape Henlopen finished third with a team score of 73.

“Overall, we won by three points and we went up against some very strong teams today in Smyrna and Cape,” Tucci said. “We really had to put up our best effort and they really brought it out in us today. Going one-two was a pleasant surprise. I know our second runner [Keely] is very happy right now.”

Chumley, whose goal heading into the race was just to finish, recorded at time of 19:15.4. It turned out to be nearly a whole minute faster than Arndt’s second-place time of 20:18.0.

Caesar Rodney senior Maleah Chumley, just five days after winning at the Kent County championships, places first at the Henlopen Conference championships.

“I felt so happy when I crossed the finish line, and I was so proud of her [Keely] and happy to see her behind me. We just immediately went on our cool-down run,” said Chumley.

“On paper, she shouldn’t have been there,” Tucci said of Arndt. “But that’s why we race. She can be anywhere from two, three, four, five, depending on the day.”

Caesar Rodney junior Keely Arndt, the second-place finisher Saturday, approaches the finish line just in front of Lake Forest freshman Josephine Ledford.

In just two short years, Chumley jumped from a 25:40 time during her sophomore year to a personal-high of 18:32 as a senior in 2018.
Lake Forest freshman Josephine Ledford, finishing with a time of 20:19.4, placed third overall.

Caesar Rodney had four runners place in the top 15, with eighth-place Sydney Wissman and 15th-place Paxton Easton turning in times of 21:11.9 and 21:46.7.

Tucci’s CR boys’ squad completed the team sweep, placing first overall with a team score of 25. Cape Henlopen (111) and Dover (126) earned second and third, respectively.

Delmar’s Austen Cave (right) and Caesar Rodney’s Colin Ritchey (left) finished one-two in the boys’ race.

Delmar senior Austen Cave, who became the first Delmar runner to win the Henlopen Conference championship last season, took home his second consecutive boys’ conference title.

His time of 15:43 was the best time in the meet’s history and was 34 seconds faster than his 16:17 time in last year’s conference meet.

CR senior Colin Ritchey placed second and Lake Forest senior Shane Massey rounded out the boys’ top three finishers.

Tucci was awarded the boys’ Henlopen Conference Coach of the Year, while Cape’s Matt Lindell won the girls’ Henlopen Conference Coach of the Year Award.

Milford High’s girls’ team earned the regular season Henlopen Conference Southern Division title, with Caesar Rodney winning the overall regular season Henlopen Conference title.

For the boys, Indian River earned the regular season Southern Division title while the Caesar Rodney boys won the overall Henlopen Conference regular season title.

The DIAA state championships, held at Brandywine Creek State Park, are set for Saturday, Nov. 10 and will be hosted by MOT Charter.

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