Chris Lowry repeated as the boys champion of the Delaware Country cross country meet on Tuesday at Cowan. But his path to a second consecutive crown wasn’t without its setbacks.
Lowry competed in the state track meet in the spring, part of Yorktown’s 3,200 relay team. He had been having trouble with his right knee, and he hoped a few weeks off before cross country training would serve him well. It didn’t, as his problems remained.
So Lowry missed most of the summer before a cortisone shot allowed him to get back to training. He’s quickly progressed to the point where he won Tuesday’s race with a time of 17:10.3. Second-place finisher Drew Barber (Wapahani) finished in 17:27.6.
“I wanted to come out here and have a really good race with these guys,” Lowry said. “Because I know everyone loves the county invite. It’s a big race around here.”
Yorktown coach Jared Turner credits Lowry’s work ethic for his quick recovery, saying it’s what allowed the senior to return and defend his title despite the knee problems.
“We knew that once he was able to train and he was pain-free, he would have a chance to meet all his goals that he set at the beginning of the year,” Turner said. “That was the big thing. He still had his goals set at the beginning of the year, even when he was dealing with his knee problems. In the middle of battling them, his goals didn’t change. This was one of them. This is an early-season goal, but it was one that he was able to meet.”
While Lowry was able to repeat as individual champion, Yorktown finished fourth in the team standings. Wes-Del captured the boys team title with 43 points. Warriors coach Brad Gillum said the county title is the school’s first since 1986, when Gillum was a sophomore at the school.
Brandon Blackmer led Wes-Del, finishing third in 17:35.3. Teammate Austin Brown finished sixth, and Evan Bishop was seventh, giving the Warriors three runners in the top 10. A fourth, Samson Waters, finished 11th, and Bryce Marsh finished 16th.
“To be able to win is a testament of not only how hard we worked, but how good we are right now,” Gillum said. “And we definitely cherish a county championship.”
Yorktown’s Blake Collins finished fourth with a time of 17:36.7. Cowan’s Blake Brooks finished fifth with a time of 17:49.1.
The girls race also saw a repeat individual winner, with Delta’s Jenna Parsons claiming the title in 20:40.5. Parsons spent much of the race running with Yorktown’s Sarah Hazen and Wes-Del’s Kyleigh Blackmer. She said she was surprised that she eventually got the lead to herself, and she was then able to maintain it, finishing almost 22 seconds ahead of Hazen, who took second in 21:02.3.
“I know that I can make more of a move, and they can’t really catch me because I can kick it in the end,” Parsons said.
Parsons led Delta to a team title as well. The Eagles finished with 38 team points, with four runners finishing in the top 10. Genna Douthitt took seventh, Caitlyn Thompson was ninth, and Andrea Grasso finished 10th. The Eagles’ fifth runner, Jenny Moynihan, finished 11th.
“Obviously the more girls you can get in the top 10, the better off you’re going to be,” Delta coach Steve Wray said. “That’s just math. … Really the recipe that we’ve got is we’ve just had a hard-working group that runs well together.”
Yorktown’s Carly Trulock finished third in 21:15.4. Blackmer finished fourth in 21:48.8, and Yorktown’s Erin Taylor was fifth in 21:57.6.