Smyrna’s Ibironke, Bowser win Kent cross country individual titles

WOODSIDE — Not only did Smyrna High sweep the individual winners at the Kent County cross country championships, the Eagles rewrote the course record book.

Tosin Ibironke won the boys’ race while Naomi Bowser was first in the girls’ event hosted by Polytech High on Tuesday afternoon. Both set a course record.

“I love running with him,” Bowser said. “He’s such a good inspiration for me.”

Caesar Rodney took home the team title for the boys and Milford High won the girls’ team championship. The Henlopen Conference championship meet is this Saturday at Killens Pond at 2 p.m.

Smyrna High’s Tosin Ibironke and Naomi Bowser with their first-place trophies after winning the individual championship at the Kent County cross country meet Tuesday. (Delaware State News/Tim Mastro)

Smyrna High’s Tosin Ibironke and Naomi Bowser with their first-place trophies after winning the individual championship at the Kent County cross country meet Tuesday. (Delaware State News/Tim Mastro)

It was the second year in a row Ibironke captured the county championship.

Both Ibironke, a senior, and Bowser, a junior, credited their faith for helping them win the race.

“I was kind of getting tired so I just started praying,” Ibironke said. “I was praying the whole race and that was what helped me through it. I knew the other guys weren’t too far from me so I had to keep pushing and keep praying.”

“I asked God to let me do my best today and I guess this is my best,” Bowser said.

Bowser had previously set the course record at Polytech on Oct. 19 in a tri-meet. She bested that mark with a 18:58 performance on Tuesday.

Bowser became the first ever girl to break 19:00 at Polytech. Her previous course record was 19:24, beating that time by 26 seconds.

Ibironke also broke a barrier that had never been broken before — he finished in 16:35.

Caesar Rodney’s Johnathan Epstein finished second to Ibironke with a time of 16:47. Ibironke and Epstein are now the only two boys to finish with a time of less than 17:00.

Ibironke took lead at half mile mark of his race and held on while Bowser led wire-to-wire. Milford’s Deja Rodriguez, the defending Kent County champion, finished in second.

“I know for me it’s easier for me to keep the lead instead of trying keep up with people,” Bowser said.

The Caesar Rodney boys’ edged Dover with 50 points to the Senators’ 57 for the boys’ team title. The Milford girls had four runners in the top-five (Rodriguez, Rajene Bowe, Emily Holstein and Olivia Cromer) to record 27 points to beat Smyrna who came in second with 54.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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