Off-season gives Mitzel head start
— The Trojans had a solid showing in their first cross country race of 2017, placing third as a team. They were spurred on by junior Daniel Mitzel, who lopped 10½ minutes off his time at this juncture last season.
Mitzel, whose improvement has inspired and impressed coach Henry Sabetti, toured the scenic 3-mile course at the Adkins Arboretum in a personal best of 22 minutes, 5 seconds.
He was 31st overall in a field of 62 boys.
Kent County sophomore Daniel Rickman was the overall winner, stopping the timer in 17:50.
This was Rickman’s cross country debut. He played junior varsity soccer last fall.
Kent finished third in the five-school meet, totaling 71 points. Also scoring were se- nior R.J. Ball, 11th in 19:58; junior Noah Vargas, 17th in 20:43; and sophomore Tim Wintermyer, 33rd in 22:08.
Chase Andrew, Jonathan Conner, Thomas Martinez and Brandon Mitzel played the role of “spoiler” or “pusher,” placing ahead of the other teams’ top five finishers.
Senior captain Kyle Roderick was unavailable for the meet. Roderick’s return to the lineup this week is expected to boost the Trojans’ scoring as a team, Sabetti said.
Queen Anne’s won the Sept. 6 race with a low score of 34 points. Easton, the host school, was next with 48 points. Kent, Parkside (94) and Mardela (137) completed the field.
On the girls side, Kent senior Mei-An Blatchford was seventh in 25:59. She placed in the top third of the field.
Sabetti said he was generally pleased with the Trojans’ performance, while noting that the runners who
trained during the summer are “having the best season so far.”
NOTES: Rickman and Daniel Mitzel punctuated their first week with stellar efforts at the Run4shelter 5K Saturday on Kent Island. Rickman headed the field and Mitzel was fourth overall.
Proceeds benefited Haven Ministries, a nonprofit that operates a homeless shelter, food pantry, thrift store, street outreach, transportation program and a resource center in Queen Ann’s County.
Coach Sabetti reported that senior Johnathan Campbell suffered a seasonending injury that was not related to cross country or school activities. He is staying with the program, however, as the team manager.
Expectations are lofty for Kent County junior Daniel Mitzel, who ran a personal best in the first race of the season Sept. 6.