CAMBRIDGE — The youthful Trojans nearly qualified as a team for the state championship cross country meet, surprising themselves and their coach.
“Based on where this team was in August and where it is now, it was a tremendous effort,” Henry Sabetti said in reviewing last week’s Class 1A East Region meet.
The first two runners across the finish line for Kent were freshmen, and all five scorers were underclassmen.
“They gave everything they had,” said coach Sabetti.
Kent County placed sixth among the nine schools that brought full boys teams, one spot out of punching its ticket to the state meet Saturday at Hereford High School.
Host Cambridge-South Dorchester, led by individual runner-up John Condon and three others who finished in the top 10, won the team title with 31 points.
Patterson Mill, which had three runners in the top eight, edged Bohemia Manor, 51-55, for second.
North Dorchester (104) and Snow Hill (153) also qualified for the state meet.
Kent County (163) was next, followed by Perryville (194), Pocomoke (231) and Mardela (246).
Freshman Jacob Bohle was Kent County’s top performer, and 20th overall, in 19 minutes, 11.18 seconds.
Also scoring were freshman Connor Moxley (20:12.44), junior Thomas Martinez (20:19.15) and freshman Gabe Voshell (20:28.41), who bunched across the line in 31st, 32nd and 35th, respectively, and junior Andrew Smith (21:58.23).
They were pushed by sophomore Sam Buckel (21:59.90) and Tim Wintermyer (23:32.7), who is the only senior on the team.
Bo Manor’s Day Leone pulled ahead of John Condon on his home course about halfway through the 3-mile race, and led the rest of the way. Leone, a sophomore who played soccer last fall, stopped the timer in 16:23.66. Condon was second in 16:33.14.
No one else was even close.
Cambridge’s Declan Clayton (17:28.96) was the next runner across the line, but more than a minute behind Leone.
On the girls side, defending state champion Sarah Condon of Cambridge was first to finish in 20:47.99. Maya Osborne of Bo Manor (21:15.59) was a distant runner-up but helped Bo Manor win the team title over Cambridge by a mere three points.
Of the season in general, Sabetti said it was a “joy to coach.”
The roster included five freshman boys and three freshman girls.
He said the freshmen “learned what it takes to compete at the championship level and it requires consistent year-long running.”
He gave a shout-out to the parents for their tremendous support, first-time assistant coaches Matt Moore and Gustavo Aguilar, and captains Tim Wintermyer and Lacy Ervin.
“In many ways this was a building year and with consistent training we anticipate a bright future for KC cross country,” Sabetti wrote in a text message.
NOTE: Kent Island’s Finn Walsh (15:24.72) and Charlotte Kratovil-Lavelle (19:12.46) won the Class 2A races. Eight days after winning the Bayside Conference championship in a course record of 15:28.54, Walsh lowered the mark again.