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December 11, 1998     Cape Gazette
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December 11, 1998

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84 - CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, December 11 - December 17, 1998 Striders crown three All-Americans at nationals Palmer, Pavlik and Olenderski finish at nationals in top 30 By Tim Barn forth The Seashore Striders competed Saturday, Dec. 5, at the AAU Na- tional Cross Country Champi- onships in Knoxville, Tenn., with t9 athletes taking part among the 2,600 athletes from all over the United States. It was the eighth year in a row that the club has qualified athletes for the national championships, dating to 1991, when the first pair of Striders - Sallie Beth Johnson and Suzannah Martin - traveled to Oregon for the large cross-country carnival. Since that first national meet, the purple and gold have qualified 93 athletes in all, with this year's group of runners finishing in the top 12 individually or in one of the top-three teams at the regional meet held this year in Rehoboth Beach. "For the last few years we have been qualifying 15 to 20 runners for the nationals, and this year we had a total of 36 parents and ath- letes make the trip," said assistant coach Patrice Riggin. The Striders left on a New World tour bus, Dec. 2, for Natur- al Bridge, Va. and continued on to Knoxville Thursday evening. The team reviewed the course and went through prerace activities Friday, Dec. 4, before heading to the starting line Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m., with the Bantam girls leading things off. Last year, the Bantam girls fin- ished third in the country, and the All-American threesome of Chelsea Palmer, Laura Olenderski and Bethany Pavlik didn't take long to pick up where they left off last season. Palmer, primarily a sprinter and jumper, raced to the front and mixed herself in with the lead pack for the opening half mile, with teammate Pavlik only steps behind. "I was just thinking that if I try to go out with the leaders and run tough that I have a good chance of finishing in the top 10," said Palmer. "The course was pretty easy, and when I race, I just try to win and do the best that I can all the time." With just over 1/4 mile to go, Palmer was still close to the lead- ers, running in fifth place; she was able to grab a spot in the top 10, with a ninth place finish in the field of 207 runners and a 3K per- serial best of 11 minutes 59 sec- onds. Pavlik ran a great race to finish only 14 seconds back in her best of 12:13, to grab 16th place over- all, while Laura OJenderski fin- ished 29th in her best time of 12:46. Palmer and Pavlik were named first team All-American, while Olenderski was named to the second team. RUNNING Tim Bamforth The result was sweet revenge for Pavlik, who said she was dis- appointed in herself at last year's meet. "I wanted to go out with Chelsea and try to be first team All-American because I missed it by one place [26th] at last year's meet," said Pavlik. "We were both under 6:25 at the mile, so we knew that we had a fast time go- ing. Next year Chelsea, Laura, and I move up to Midgets, but we are looking forward to having another good team with Mary Beth [Betts] and Sarah [Neff] and Brennen [Killeen]." Helena Melendez finished 100th in 13:50; Elizabeth DeCas- tro was ll2th in 14:10; Bethany Wade rounded out the Bantams in 121st at 14:21, as the team placed sixth overall among the 17 teams. Melendez, DeCastro and Wade all ran personal bests and finished ahead of several girls who beat them at the regional meet. P.J. Melendez finished 80th in the Bantam boys in his best of 12:20, while Joseph D'Amico fin- ished 84th in his shadow, with a best of 12:21. Milton's Betts was 153rd in 13:01 in the Midget girls division, while Tiffany Melendez finished in 16:13, 71st among 288 runners at the 4K course. Evan Mock was 82nd among the 281 Midget boys in a time of 11:31, while Cole Pavlik finished 67th in 22:15 for the 5K course. Matt Riggin led the youth boys team with a 91st-place finish in 14:30, while Jay Hartnett was close behind in 14:37, for 107th place. Jacob Barr finished 146th in 14:57; Taylor Donohue was 158th in 15:04; Russell Ayers fin- ished 181st in 15:18; first-year runner Andrew s 182nd in 15:18. The youth boys tished 17th in the field of 33 teams. Milford's Billy Haines finished 40th with a time of 17:38, to earn second team All-American honors in the young men's division. The Striders were again little fish in a big pond as many teams from Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, New Jersey and Arizona formed all-star teams from around their states, and the local Striders all basically live in the surround- ing areas of Lewes, Rehoboth Beach and Milton. Is it unfair? Sure it is; however, from a coach- ing point of view, it is much more enjoyable to see young athletes work together, grow together, and have fun together through running and become a family for the sea- son, than to watch a team - where teammates do not know each oth- er by first names - win a meaning- less trophy. SPLITS - The Cape Henlopen indoor track team is off and run- ning as it competed in the Salis- bury Invitational Monday, Dec. 6. Highlights for the girls include the following: Jodi Moore ran a nice lead off in the 3,200-meter relay with 2:41 and returned to win the mile in a personal record of 6:03. The 3,200 - meter relay team of Moore, Lauren Kleb (2:56), Eliza- beth Pratt (2:51) and Carol Ann Dulin (2:45) finished third. Hur- dler Meridith Marshall looked good in the 50-meter hurdles in 8.7 seconds; jumper Lindsay Barkauskie jumped 4 feet 10 inch- es for a third. Julie Jackson fin- ished fourth in the shot put in 28- 3, while the short-mile relay team - at 4:25.5 - finished fifth with Pratt (68.6), Carrie Litke (65.1), Synthia Whitiker (65.4) and Dulin (66.4) running on the team. For- mer.Seashore Striders national cross country and track qualifiers Moore, Pratt, Katie Couchman, Marshall, Cassie Cahill and Maren Ford are on the roster for veteran coach George Pepper. On the boys side, Chris Jackson ran a personal record in the mile at 5:06 for fourth place and came back to run the 800-meter in 2:18, while Matt Savini pole vaulted 10-0 and Alex McClure tossed the shot put 38-8. Mike Blankenship anchored the 4-by-lap relay in 19.2 and ran the 50-meter dash in 6.7 seconds. Donner Eadey ran 6.3 in the 50- meter dash and also jumped 5-6 in the high jump. Ricky Cooper ran a nice lead in the mile relay, while Jason Wilson turned in the fastest 4-by-lap relay spilt at 42.7 in the 300-meter dash. The team returns to Salisbury Monday, Dec. 14, and Friday, Dec. 18, to race back into the action. Last week my expecting wife - Jan. 28th - and "I had a scare late Tuesday night as contractions were happening quickly and con- sistently, and doctors and nurses were busy circling our Beebe Medical Center bed explaining to us what was happening, what they were going to do and where Chris- tiana Hospital: was if we needed it. Luckily, the world of medica- tion kicked in and Monique and company are fine, but they re- mained on the second floor for 48 hours. It is now rest and relaxation untiJ the little bundJe of joy is born. With my dad "John the Grillman" and I sharing a birthday on the Dec. 20, this little baby just might be trying to make it a three- some celebration for the Bamforth family. Special thanks go out to all of our concerned family, friends and Striders - especially Morn, Kay J. and Ellen H., who allowed me to become a U.S. Air yo-yo flier Fri- day and Saturday to make a quick round trip to Knoxville. COASTAL TOWING & REP00JR \\; Est. 1958 00ZARD Electrical Contractor L.P.I. Cert. 959 645-8457 645-9060 1-800-610-8457 CERTIFIED LIGHTNING PROTECTION P.O. Box 252, Lewes, DE 19958 OCKING)TUI:i:[RS |1 I world of business is ruthless, cruel and cut-throat. Do you heart for it? u've to luave wlat it takes to suc- jg ;.el. Alld part of dmt is xx, .lit] hhh. Tha, what ,,e',* dl smut. W, provide you witl a highly personalized program that will help impvow your fitness I New I and nutrition. In fact, '11 even I You (. Pay I give you two free sJions wid, a Mo.lkly quali[ied iarsonal trainer. 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