McCroy, Torres lead Vikes’ 1A East sweep
CAMBRIDGE — The Bayside Conference cross country championships usually offer more competition.
And the state meet at Hereford has always been the place where Cambridge-South Dorchester High head cross country coach Sean Reincke has wanted his team to perform well.
But the meet between those two annual races — the Class 1A East Region championship — has always been somewhat of a worry for Reincke.
“There tends to be this lull when we get here,” Reincke said. “I didn’t want that to happen this year.”
So Reincke and assistant Lois Narr changed things. They changed team meetings. They changed workouts. They even changed what they were saying in meetings and workouts. But the Vikings still couldn’t escape their regional lull.
“We’ll go back to the drawing board and try and figure it out,” Reincke said. “Thankfully we’re deep enough and we’re strong enough that we were able to still be successful.”
Sophomore Connor McCroy led a 1-2-3 finish in the boys’ race after freshman Niveyshka Torres paced a 2-4-6 girls’ charge Thursday, Nov. 3, as the Vikings swept the team titles at the 1A East Region championships.
“We were the Kent Island of last week,” Reincke said, referencing the Buccaneers’ 1-2 Bayside finish in the boys’ competition. “(We) were strong enough up front that they were able to overcome a runner being injured.”
The Vikings were minus an injured Gus Thomas, who has been their No. 3 or 4 runner this year. But McCroy’s victory in 16 minutes, 47.10 seconds, and a furious closing surge from Matt Koletsky (17:32.90) and Ben Cornwell (17:33.20)— who finished second and third, respectively, while holding off Snow Hill’s Keegan Gould (17:17:33.30) — keyed Cambridge-SD’s victory. Trevor Goodwin was seventh and sophomore Giovanni Paderi’s 29thplace effort helped give the Vikings 42 points — 20 less than runner-up North Dorchester.
“That was really poor racing on our part, unfortunately,” Reincke said.
Part of that was due to not having the speed of a Kent Island and other Bayside powers. That was especially noticeable out front. A week after battling Kent Island’s Brandon Nichols and Erick Sanchez for the better part of the 3-mile course, McCroy was alone in front at the halfway point and pushing himself.
“I just got to keep pushing because I know I’m slowing down,” said McCroy, when asked his mindset with a comfortable lead. “(I was) still thinking that it hurts, still thinking I need to stop telling myself it hurts, still telling myself I need to push. I did.”
McCroy had expanded his lead as he moved past the pond one last time and worked into the final 800 meters with no one close to challenging him, as he cross the finish line 45 seconds ahead of Koletsky.
“He wanted the course record but it’s so hard to replicate that coming off racing Kent Island,” said Reincke of his sophomore standout who was 26 seconds off his Bayside time. “But I will say he is just the easiest kid to work with. He is not arrogant. He just works hard. He does exactly what you ask. And when the gun goes off he’s going to race with guts until the finish line.
“And he has not had a bad race in my opinion.” Reincke continued. “Now, granted his time was slower today than it was a week ago, but again, who was he racing? So I have no problem with that, and he still broke 17 (minutes).”
Last Wednesday, Reincke had a problem with how his girls were being passed over the final mile en route to a fourth-place finish at Baysides. Yesterday, Torres led a tighter string that followed champion Emily McAllister of Snow Hill across the finish line.
“I was running with Leah (Krotee), and when coach Narr told me at least one of us get her, I wanted Leah to follow me and I wanted to be strong enough to bring us both up,” Torres said. “It was pretty hard.”
McAllister finished in 20:29.10, while Torres placed second in 21:46.50, followed by sophomore Josie Shenton (fourth, 21:53.90), Krotee (sixth, 22:14.50), sophomore Carrie Price (9th, 22:34.70) and freshman Sarah Condon (12th, 23:22.40). Cambridge-SD totaled 31 points to beat runner-up Snow Hill by 14.
“Wicked strong,” Reincke said of Torres. “Still really young when it comes to how to feel a race. Learning a lot. But the potential is extreme with her. I see her with a year of track under her belt and I think she should definitely be a front-runner in the Bayside next year.
“The funny thing on the girls is I have five girls that can literally run the same time,” said Reincke, who was without the injured Janee Quailes yesterday. “We haven’t had a meet yet where that’s happened. So I keep waiting for that to happen when the stars align and boom, boom, boom. And if we can do it next weekend we’ll have really good results.”
North Dorchester’s boys’ team qualified for next Saturday’s state meet at Hereford High in Parkton, as Joe Bates and Davion Dockins finished ninth and 10th, respectively. Kent County, which finished fourth and qualified for states was led by Patrick McColigan, who placed fifth in 18:03.
Cambridge-SD’s girls’ cross country team celebrate Thursday after winning the Class 1A East Region championship.
Cambridge-SD’s Connor McCroy heads for the finish line en route to winning Thursday’s Class 1A East title.
North Dorchester’s Da’Vion Dockins heads for the finish line during Thursday’s Class 1A East Region cross country championships. Dockins finished 10th, helping the Eagles take runner-up honors and qualify for next Saturday’s state meet.