SCH junior Haotian Cao (right) leads Penn Charter senior Chris Thomas during last Tuesday’s meet. Their positions reversed a little later; Thomas placed seventh overall, and Cao 15th. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

The boys’ cross country teams from visiting Penn Charter and host Springside Chestnut Hill Academy were both looking for their first Inter-Ac League dual meet victory when they met last Tuesday afternoon. With each team’s five scorers placing among the top 10 finishers overall, the Quakers won a close one over the SCH Blue Devils, 25-30.

Supporters of the home team saw two of their runners capture the top two spots, but then the meet swung PC’s way as a pack of five Quakers locked up third through seventh place.

Previously, both teams had lost by almost identical scores to the other league team on this side of the Schuylkill, Germantown Academy. Going by the overall results thus far, Malvern Prep appears to be the favorite heading into the Inter-Ac championship meet on October 23.

Staged at Belmont Plateau for some time now, the league meet had been held on the old Chestnut Hill Academy campus for many years. Part of the route crossed the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s St. Martin’s golf course, but with that section now off limits, the current SCH home course features a number of different loops around the school’s own playing fields.

Finishing third, fourth and fifth for PC last Tuesday were (right to left) sophomore Luke Jaspan, senior Blaise Ciarrocchi and freshman Drew Gillespie. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

Springside Chestnut Hill’s number one, Marco Goldberg, opened up a sizeable gap on the rest of the field relatively early in Tuesday’s race, winning in 18 minutes and six seconds. His 10th-grade classmate, Matt Miles, became the runner-up as he completed his first sub-19-minute race, hitting the line at 18:48.

With the clock at 19:10, yet another sophomore finished, but this time it was a Penn Charter’s Luke Jaspan, and he turned out to be leading a procession of five PC runners who were all timed in the 19-minute bracket.

Senior Blaise Ciarrocchi placed fourth overall in 19:19. and was followed by freshman Drew Gillespie (19:41), junior Alex Turner (19:43) and senior Chris Thomas (19:46).

Blue Devils captured the last three places in the top 10, but SCH could not overcome the results of the block of Charter runners in the middle. Two freshmen for the host team were both timed at 20:10, with Isaac Becker being designated the eighth-place finisher while Peter Humphreys was ninth. Senior David Moslow was 10th in 20:20.

In a Senior Day ceremony before the race, the SCH program recognized Moslow and his classmate Bruce Wang.