Swanson wins again; Kent teammates Buckel, Depp, Spray post PRs

STEVENSVILLE — Alden Swanson is showing that she’s not a one-hit wonder.

The Kent County High School sophomore on Sept. 20 won her second cross country race in as many weeks, touring the 5K course that begins and ends at the Chesapeake Bay Business Park — and includes a gravel trail through the woods — in 21 minutes, 5 seconds.

Lyla Goffena, a senior from Manchester Valley, was second in 21:25.

Everyone else was an also-ran.

Kent Island senior Kaitlyn Stevens was third on her home course in 22:12 — more than a minute behind Swanson.

There were 43 girls, including 32 from the Mid-Shore counties of Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline and Talbot.

Boasting three runners in the top six, Class 3A Manchester Valley of Carroll County edged Class 2A Kent Island, 30-37, in team scoring. Class 2A Queen Anne’s (71) and 2A Easton (87) were the only other schools to bring a full team.

Class 1A Kent County has only four girls, one shy of being able to score as a team.

Freshman Sophie Cousineau was second into the chute for Trojans, and 11th overall, in 24:10.

Senior Molly Depp was 31st in a personal best of 29:25 and sophomore McKenzie Smith was 34th in 30:26.

On the boys side, Queen Anne’s junior Ben Marks also was the front-runner for the second week in a row. (Marks and Swanson were the winners of the Rumble in the Jungle invitational Sept. 13 hosted by Cambridge-South Dorchester High School.) His winning time was 16:33.

Manchester Valley junior Logan Amis was second in 16:46.

No one else in the field of 88 boys broke 17 minutes.

Manchester Valley (26 points) ran away with the team victory with all five scorers placing in the top nine.

Kent Island, led by senior Trey Donnelly (17:30, fourth) was a distant second with 52 points.

Then came Easton (77), Queen Anne’s, North Caroline and Kent County.

Senior Jack Spray (PR of 21:10, 35th), freshman Ashton Dean (21:15) and sophomore Trent Johnson (21:16) followed one another into the chute.

Sophomore Andrew Buckel wasn’t far behind, 39th in a personal best of 21:26, and senior John Hinton (21:52, 46th) completed the Trojans’ scoring.

Sophomore Lynden Saunders (22:00) was one spot behind Hinton, and senior Aiden Herman (22:02) was on Saunders’ heels.

Kent County’s top five also were pushed by senior Kevin Stroup (23:07) and freshman Landon Merritt (28:38).

Coach Henry Sabetti said that all the Trojans “are learning what it means to set and achieve goals,
and what it means to race at the varsity level.”

Kent County has a mostly underclassman roster. Spray, Hinton, Herman and Stroup are the only seniors, and there are no juniors.

Spray, Buckel, Hinton, Depp and Smith are the only Trojans with cross country experience.

Sabetti said he anticipates that consistent training and cooler weather will lead to “faster racing.”


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