Bo Manor boys win ninth consecutive region title
— On an unseasonably warm November afternoon, the Bohemia Manor boys’ cross country team found itself in a familiar position at the conclusion of the 1A North Region Championships: First.
Led by junior Grant Franceschina, the Eagles swept the Top 4 spots and ended the day with five runners inside the Top 10 as they rolled to their ninth consecutive region crown Thursday afternoon on the three-mile course at the Fair Hill Race Track.
The Cecil squad ended with 18 points, while Patterson Mill took second with 55 points and Perryville placed third with 67 points. All three teams advanced to next weekend’s state meet at Hereford.
“Our team consistently does well,” Franceschina said. “To think that the people who won it that first time was nine years ago, it’s crazy to think I was back in second grade at that point. To be a part of that means a lot.”
The junior, who placed second last season at regionals, ended Thursday in first in a time of 16 minutes, 39.8 seconds. Franceshina also crossed the finish line 13 seconds faster than last week, when he took second place on the same course at the UCBAC Championships.
“Today, I went out a lot harder [than last week] because there wasn’t anyone in front of me to chase after. I had to make my own position, so I had to be able to build the gap without anyone to motivate me in front of me. My first mile was a lot faster,” said Franceschina, who began the race in a pack with his teammates but pulled away near the end. “I’m really happy. Coming into the [region] race last year, I was expecting to win and it didn’t happen, so coming back this year and actually winning felt good.”
Sophomore Alex Longeway placed second in 16:45.7, sophomore Zachary Laird took third in 16:46.8 and senior Jack Franceschina ended in fourth in 17:35.5 for the Eagles.
Freshman Colin Parker captured eighth place in a time of 18:35.6 to round out Bo Manor’s scoring.
“It’s hard for a team to just want to beat their own but I challenged them to do that today,” Eagles coach Steve Pizzulli said. “You try to keep teams united out there and today I told them their goal was to beat each other. We saw a little bit of that fighting at the end and it was good overall for them to compete.”
Perryville senior Jacobo Negron (18:51.3), Perryville sophomore Brian Keenan (18:51.9), Bo Manor junior Luc Bollen (19:06.1), Perryville junior Jakob Lewis (19:08.6) and Bo Manor freshman Alexander Luzetesky (19:11.7) captured 10-14th place, respectively, to complete Cecil County’s finishers in the Top 15.
Rising Sun girls capture region crown
After just missing out a season ago, the Rising Sun girls’ cross country team finished first in the 2A East Region Championships at the three-mile course at the Fair Hill Race Track on Thursday.
Despite only placing one finisher inside the Top 5, the Tigers grouped enough runners near the top of the standings to edge Kent Island for the region crown.
Rising Sun finished with 57 points, while the Buccaneers earned 70 points. All five scorers for the Cecil County squad ended the afternoon in the Top 20.
“I’m beyond ecstatic,” Tigers coach Jim Burkhardt said. “I’ve been nervous about this all week because we don’t get to see many of the results from the Bayside [Conference] teams [such as Kent Island], so it’s kind of like going in blind.
“They knew that we needed to have all five of our scorers in the Top 20 to make it happen and sure enough they did.”
Wheeler, a senior, took fifth place in a time of 21:29.5, while her twin sister, Emma, finished sixth in 21:38.3. Sophomore Emma Cease placed 10th (22:24.9), senior Danielle Lee captured 17th (22:52.1) and freshman Grace Harkey (23:06.6) ended 20th to round out the Tigers’ scores.
“They finished better than I expected,” Burkhardt added. “It’s a weight off of everyone’s back, especially after last year when we lost by only two points. This year, winning by 13, that’s huge.”
Senior Amanda Frey (20:23.7) and sophomore Molly Connelly (20:32.4) placed first and second, respectively, for Kent Island.
Note: For extended coverage of the 1A North and 2A East Region races, including all state meet qualifiers, please visit CecilDaily.com.
Follow Jordan Schatz on Twitter: @Jordan_Whig
The Bohemia Manor boys’ cross country team, pictured, swept the Top 4 spots en route to its ninth consecutive region crown at the 1A North Region Meet at the Fair Hill Race Track on Thursday. Pictured left to right: Jack Franceschina (fourth place), Grant Franceschina (first place), Alex Longeway (second place) and Zachary Laird (third place).