The Tatnall School and Salesianum School cross country teams opened their 2015 season up in New Jersey this past weekend at the Cherokee Challenge and came back home with promising results at season's beginning.
The Tatnall girls have a very young squad with three impactful freshmen among their fastest four performers at Cherokee Challenge. The Tatnall girls swept the top three places in the freshmen race at the Cherokee Challenge with Keelin Hays (1st, 11:55), Olivia Hardin (2nd, 12:05), Lauren Anshen (3rd, 12:13) and also had Eirinn Sikes (6th, 12:31) and Lainey Teklits (9th, 12:42) run under 13 minutes in the freshmen race.
Coach Patrick Castagno has a very talented class of 2019 that will be exciting to see how they develop together over the next four years as a squad. Only junior Quinn Teklits with the 18th fastest time overall at the Cherokee Challenge in 12:10. In the results merge from all 4 class races, the Tatnall girls finished third behind two recent Nike Cross Nationals qualifying squads from Pennsylvania in Pennsbury (82 pts) and Unionville (95 pts) with 107 points.
A positive sign for the Tatnall girls looking to get back to Nike Cross Nationals after failining to qualify the past two years out of the Southeast Region. The rest of the region needs to be on alert. Tatnall girls are back with a pack of speedy ninth graders.
Salesianum had two guys dip under 10 minutes on the two mile course at Cherokee High School with senior Andrew Hally finishing as a close runner-up in the senior race with a time of 9:46, while teammate John Walker was two spots behind in fourth place with a time of 9:58.
The Tatnall boys did not have their top returnee and front runner Joey Garrett racing at the Cherokee Challenge, so Michael Flanagan stepped up to lead the team running a time of 10:07 for 11th place in the senior race.
Despite Salesianum having two superior front runners over Tatnall, Tatnall ended up being the team that finished well ahead in the team scoring as well in the results merge of all the class races in third place with 218 points averaging 10:30 among their top 5 performers compared to Salesianum in 10th place with 369 points and a 10:34 average. Tatnall had a pack of four guys run between 10:31 to 10:39 in their respective class races.