Already SCH cross country co-captains as juniors last year, Marco Goldberg (left) and Matt Miles will fill the same roles as seniors. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

As usual, the boys of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy started out their cross country season with a non-league meet at Phil-Mont Christian Academy.

In the past, there have often been other teams involved as well, but last Thursday, it was a straight-up dual meet between the SCH Blue Devils and the host Falcons. Down a bit in terms of numbers, Phil-Mont bowed to the visitors, 16-43, with Blue Devils senior Matt Miles finishing unchallenged in first place with a time of 19 minutes and four seconds.

As in the 2018 season, Miles is an SCH team co-captain along with classmate Marco Goldberg. Goldberg did not race at Phil-Mont on Thursday, as he was one of several runners who were away on an SCH Outward Bound excursion.

Although SCH placed sixth at the Inter-Ac League Championships last fall, all five Blue Devil scorers are back for 2019. Goldberg placed 20th overall and Miles was 23rd at the 2018 league meet, and the other scorers were current senior Ben Tishgart and sophomores Jack Stephenson and Aidan Villasis. The last two are among a dozen 10th graders on this year’s roster.

Another sophomore, Sam Meyer, placed second in last Friday’s dual meet with a time of 20:49. Close behind were Tishgart (a Colorado College recruit for lacrosse) in third at 20:50, and Stephenson, who placed fourth in 20:51.

Stephenson edged out Phil-Mont’s first finisher, sophomore Isaiah Bell (fifth; 20:52), then visiting 10th grader Oliver Moscow officially completed the Blue Devils’ victory, arriving sixth in 20:59.

Yet another visiting sophomore, Harris Proctor, led the 21-minute bracket with a time of 21:07 that netted him seventh place, just ahead of the second man for the host Falcons, junior Torin Eimer (21:10).

Rounding out the top 10 were SCH juniors Peter Humphreys (ninth; 22:29) and Isaac Becker (10th; 22:33).

The Blue Devils also secured 11th through 13th place thanks to sophomore Luca Belmonte (23:00), Villasis (24:09) and senior Tyler Southworth (25:11). Phil-Mont picked up 14th place courtesy of sophomore John Shirley (25:21), then in 15th and 16th were two more 10th graders, Henry Brandstadter (25:55) of SCH and Noah Crane of the Falcons (26:24).

Rounding out the overall field of 22 competitors were another half-dozen Blue Devils: Matt Miles’ sophomore brother, Charlie (17th; 27:10), senior Marvin Liu (18th; 27:32), sophomore Wesley Jordan (19th; 27:37), junior Harry Kelly (20th; 27:43) and sophomores Jude Halfpenny (21st; 30:16) and Shawn Gindea (22nd; 30:28).

Paul Hines is back for his 39th season as SCH head coach, and the assistant coaches are faculty members Kevin Harris and Polly Kimberly.