Twining leads the way as CR boys capture Henlopen cross country title

 

FELTON — After taking the SAT in the morning, Nate Twining ran to his second straight Henlopen Conference boys cross country individual championship in the afternoon.

“I’m tired,” the Caesar Rodney High senior said on Saturday at Killens Pond State Park.

“I may stay home and watch a movie tonight.”

The rest was well earned — splattered in mud after leading from start to finish, Twining was part of the Riders’ team champion that edged out Sussex Tech by three points.

“My team is awesome and we’ve got a lot of great freshmen who have come a long way,” Twining said. “I like to watch a team develop, which is why I want to become a coach some day.”

Running at a 5:20 mile pace and finishing the course at a near sprint down the final straightaway, Twining ran a 16:35 to top Kent County champion Tosin Ibironke of Smyrna by nearly 17 seconds.

“My mindset was that I’ve worked hard all year, so why finish second?” Twining said, taking a break from shaking hands and congratulating other top runners as they completed the course.

“There were a couple rough spots,” Twining said. “The starting line was like a treadmill — I’d take one step forward and go two back.”

Other Riders making the title run in a light but steady rain were Johnathan Epstein (12th overall, 17:47), Kevin Taylor Jr. (16th, 18:02), Brighton Dawson (17th, 18:05), Christian Cosden (19th, 18:12), Malachi Stubbolo (24th, 18:23), and Noah Mills (26th, 18:28),

It was CR’s second straight team title, and third in five years for coach Mike Tucci. The Riders will be tough to dethrone, considering the top eight finishers in the junior varsity race were from CR, and 14 of the top 18.

Top five individual boys finishers, in order, included Twining, Ibironke (16:52), Lake Forest’s Drew Harris (17:00), Sussex Tech’s Ben Bamforth (17:11), and Dover’s Sean Saxton (17:14).

Sussex Tech senior Roxanne Ramirez won the girls race by 50 seconds, finishing in 19:41 to easily best Milford runnerup Deja Rodriguez-Santiago (20:31), Smyrna’s Abby Mace (20:34), Milford’s Rajene Bowe (20:50), and Lake Forest’s Hannah Fox (20:55).

“I knew I had a good chance (to win) but I was running against awesome girls that work very hard,” she said.

“ … It was definitely cold and rainy, and not ideal conditions, but I just had to push through it to get to the end.”

Caesar Rodney and Cape Henlopen each finished with 69 points among their top five runners, and No. 6 Cowan Cummings won it for the Riders by finishing 20th overall to break the tie. Tucci coached the girls champions as well.

Finishing for the Riders’ girls were Lauren Grismer (8th, 21:10), Nicollette Beers (10th, 21:23), Stephanie Torres (15th, 21:42), Sasha Feuerstein (17th, 21:46), Sarah Wearden (19th), Cummings (20th, 22:09), and Katie Bole (23rd, 22:13).

Milford’s Bob Spath was tabbed girls coach of the year, and Lou Nicoletti earned the boys honor.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.