by Tom Utescher
In last Thursday’s Inter-Ac League cross country opener at Germantown Academy, just a single point separated the host Patriots from visiting Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. Placing all five scorers in the top 10, GA secured a 28-29 victory over the Blue Devils.
It was the second dual meet for SCH, which had defeated Phil-Mont Christian Academy in a non-league race back on September 11. GA had not run any duals, but on September 19 the Pats had finished 12th out of 18 boys teams at the George School Invitational, where Germantown Friends had smoked the rest of the field.
There were fairly large gaps between the first few finishers in last week’s league debut at GA. Patriots junior Owen Ritz, the brother of 2014 Inter-Ac and Pa. Independent Schools champion Sam Ritz (’15), was first to complete the five-kilometer course, checking in at 17 minutes, 37 seconds. At 17:55, the runner-up spot was claimed by SCH senior Will Concannon, who for the second year in a row is team co-captain along with his classmate Robert Hass.
The visitors also secured third place thanks to junior Noah Chandler and his time of 18:21, which put him just three seconds ahead of the second Germantown finisher, junior Peter Butler. Blue Devils senior Hunter Ferry, formerly a member of the SCH soccer squad, landed fifth in 18:52, and in sixth place was GA’s only senior and the 2015 captain of the Patriots, Carter Seggev (19:27).
In a finishing sprint for seventh place (GA’s course ends on the track in Carey Stadium), the Blue Devils’ Noah Shoup (19:35) edged out another 11th-grader, the Patriots’ LeRoy Moser (19:36). Each team had positioned four runners among the first eight athletes to complete the race, and in the team scoring SCH had a slim edge, 17-19.
However, Moser would prove to be first in a string of five consecutive finishers for Germantown Academy. Following him to the line were junior Braden Cody (ninth; 20:02), Owen Ritz’s freshman brother Danny (10th; 20:31), junior Jordan Gans (11th; 20:41), and freshman Vinit Joshi (12th; 20:44).
Because GA had eight harriers finish before SCH brought in its fifth scorer, the Blue Devils were accorded 12 points in the team scoring for the performance of junior Jamie Alden, who placed 13th overall in 21:04. This got the Blue Devils very close, but the Patriots came away with a one-point victory.
The winners would also collect places 14 through 17 through the efforts of freshman Kevin Lamb (21:06) and sophomores Nick DeBello (21:07), Bradford Azizi (21:07) and Stefan Kusmerik (21:59). SCH co-captain Hass was 18th in 22:03, and rounding out the top 20 were a pair of freshmen, the Patriots’ Jack Kraynak (22:25) and the Blue Devils’ Kenneth Barrist (23:03).