The 2017 cross country captains for Springside Chestnut Hill are (from left) senior David Moslow, junior Kenneth Barrist and senior Thomas Huggett. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

In boys’ cross country, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy is reconfiguring its line-up after graduating four of its five scorers from the 2016 Inter-Ac League championships. The Blue Devils finished fifth at last year’s meet, in between number four Germantown Academy and Penn Charter.

In that race, Noah Chandler snagged second place for SCH. He would become the league’s 800-meter champion in the spring, and planned to investigate the possibility of walking on to one of the teams at Syracuse University.

As a freshman, Marco Goldberg was the number two runner for the Blue Devils at last fall’s Inter-Ac race, coming in 11th overall.

The other point scorers for the team were all seniors, but running sixth and seventh in the varsity order for Springside Chestnut Hill were Matt Miles and Trevor Meyer, who are both back for the Devils this fall as sophomores.

The tri-captains for 2017 are seniors David Maslow and Thomas Huggett and junior Kenneth Barrist. On the young 2017 squad Bruce Wang is the other senior and Haotian Cao is Barrist’s only 11th-grade classmate among the Blue Devil harriers.

Joining the three returning sophomores are Will Jaeger and Marvin Liu, and the freshman class is represented by Isaac Becker, Edward Gu and Peter Humphreys.

Last Thursday the Blue Devils saw their first interscholastic action in a competitive tri-meet at Phil-Mont Christian Academy. SCH eclipsed the host Falcons, 23-32, and survived a stiffer challenge from Collegium Charter School of Exton, Pa., 26-29. Head to head, Collegium defeated Phil-Mont, 24-31.

At Phil-Mont last fall, SCH’s Goldberg claimed his first varsity victory. He won again last week, but he had to fight off a finishing sprint by another sophomore, Emmanuel Hernandez of Collegium Charter. Both runners were assigned a time of 19 minutes and 20 seconds.

Two more 10th graders were next across the line, this time with a greater gap between them. Close behind the leaders, Miles of Springside Chestnut Hill nailed down third place in 19:22 while Collegium’s Nick Mazzone was fourth in 19:41.

Three seconds later, the Blue Devils strengthened their position with a fifth-place result by Maslow.

Now the first Phil-Mont Falcons fluttered to the finish, with senior Josiah Cumens coming in sixth (19:52) – just ahead of Collegium sophomore Austin James (19:59) – and with eighth, ninth and 10th place going to three runners from the host school, junior Aaron Krpata (20:09), sophomore Andrew Chez (20:18) and freshman Torin Eimer (20:51).

SCH supporters nervously watched Collegium freshman Albert Sommar secure 11th place in 22:03, but then back-to-back Blue Devil finishers locked in the team victory for Springside Chestnut Hill. Cao arrived 12th in 22:09 and Huggett was 13th in 22:21. Huggett had to battle for his position, beating Collegium’s fifth scorer (senior Fred Nelwin) to the line by one second.

The other scorer for Philmont was sophomore Ethan Campbell (15th overall in 22:48).

Springside Chestnut Hill had two more top-20 runners in Barrist (19th; 23:06) and Meyer (20th; 23:20), while Jaeger placed 21st (23:35).