By Scott McGrath
The Kennett Invitational fielded teams such as Portsmouth Christian Academy, Berlin, Oyster River, Kennett, Berlin, and Kingswood. Although the forecast threatened rain and moderate humidity, there was never more than a slight drizzle and the temperature made for idea racing conditions. The flat course provided fuel to the fire and all races led to speedy competition.
The Girls’ JV race led off with Kennett’s Olivia Scribner bolting to the front. Following her to the finish line were Oyster River’s Marlee Yoder, Kaileigh Boulanger, Phoebe Lovejoy and Grace Castonguay. Scribner crossed the line first in 21:41, followed by the Oyster River contingent in 22:08, 22:24, 22:27 and 22:46 respectively.
Oyster River claimed 7 of the top 10 positions in an impressive 21 point victory to Kennett’s 40.
Next on the line was the Boys’ JV Race, featuring yet another Kennett front runner, Keith Badger, who would run all the way to the tape in 1st to win in 18:28. Badger was challenged by a late effort from Trevor Sassaman and the two battled to the line separated by 1 second. Oyster River would place its top 5 in the top 7 positions for a clear 21 point victory over Kennett’s 49.
In the Girls’ Varsity Race, OR runners Danielle Slavin, Sophie Sullivan, and Olivia Lenk secured the top 3 positions early and went to work. By mid-point in the race, it looked to be an Oyster River runaway with Cadence Murphy in 4th position’ but with several runners in tow. Emerging onto the field in the last 800m of the course, Slavin and Sullivan had separated from the pack and it was unclear who would prevail. Demonstrating experience and resolve, Slavin would pull away for the win in 19:28 to Sullivan’s 19:37. Lenk would finish 3rd in 20:03 before the chase pack, composed of Kennett’s Kim Dowles, Murphy, and Kennett’s Riley Steward rushed the finish line in 20:19, 20:30, and 20:31 respectively.
In the team race, Oyster River’s depth continued to show as the girls finished 1st with 21 points to 2nd place Kennett’s 38 and 3rd place Kingswood’s 82.
The Boys’ Varsity Race began with an aggressive start. Kingswood’s Wyatt Pooler, Cameron Stinchfield and Jim Huckman bolted to the lead followed by a mob of Oyster River singlets. By the midpoint of the race, Pooler continued to lead while Oyster River’s Henry Keegan had moved to 2nd. Stinchfield maintained 3rd while Oyster River’s Myles Carrico and Owen Fleischer shadowed a few strides back. With 600m to race, Keegan had secured a 10 second lead over Pooler while Carrico made up ground. Seeing the finish line, Pooler dashed away from Carrico while Keegan ran to victory in 16:17 to Pooler’s 16:26. Carrico (16:30) Stinchfield (16:55) and Fleischer (17:03) rounded out the top 5.
Oyster River and Kingswood runners claimed the top 10 positions, with Oyster River prevailing in a 32-44 point victory. Kennett finished 3rd with 88 points.
Many thanks to the Kennett community for another fantastic meet!