The RunDown

The RunDown

Frosh Team Earns 3rd at Doc Braver Race

Coach DelPiano talks to the freshmen before the Doc Braver Championships.
Lucas Lopez
Coach DelPiano talks to the freshmen before the Doc Braver Championships.

River-Dell Cross Country continues to prove that its success isn’t dependent upon a single star, but a team. Head Coach Steffan DelPiano exited Darlington County Park this past Tuesday with his head held high. River Dell’s junior varsity and freshman teams set personal bests at the Doc Braver JV/ Frosh championship with some earning their spots onto the varsity team.

While the performances were collectively good, the spotlight is on Jon Allen, Hunter Barone, Fionn Kinsella and Sean Baxter. DelPiano proclaimed, “we have three freshman runners top fifteen in the county!”

Freshman Jon Allen had difficulties this past season dealing with injuries. “I missed practices and lost fitness,” stated the young runner. Little did Allen know, with a few bumps along the way he would lead his freshman team to a 3rd place finish at the Doc Braver JV/ Frosh Championship. Bumps has never been shy towards athletes. All athletes are well acquainted with bumps and stumbles.

Furthermore, Freshman Hunter Barone’s first XC season has been nothing short of extraordinary. As Barone says, “I had to learn new skills and adapt myself to a different environment.”  Coach DelPiano claimed that he “pushed Barone earlier than other freshman…he struggled with illness and injuries but can still run fast,” says DelPiano. It took more than just talent for this team to finish 3rd.

That required Fionn Kinsella had to make a name for himself.

Following in his teammate’s footsteps, Kinsella obliterated his old personal record by over twenty seconds. Kinsella may have gotten a late start this year coming out for the team after school had started missing the entire summer session, but he didn’t let that deter him from running fast and earning himself a varsity spot.

While the freshmen showed their talent and skill, sophomore Sean Baxter proved he belongs with the top varsity runners. Baxter noted, “my progress wasn’t linear…it took a lot of time.” Baxter struggled with adapting to the 5k race and the training over the 4-month period. The change in sprinting the 400 meters to pacing a 5000-meter race is exponential. At the 2400-meter mark on Tuesday’s race, Baxter clocked an 8:08 which demonstrates a shift in his performance. “It feels great knowing what I believed inside come to fruition,” said Baxter.

Next year, DelPiano believes that all the layering and groundwork his athletes have put together will truly shine. Coach DelPiano opined that, “the boys can legitimately contend for the win.”

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