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Devlin, Hoey, Unionville girls, Rustin boys rule at Ches-Mont championships

By DENNY DYROFF

KENNETT SQUARE – There were a lot of similarities between the 66th Annual Ches-Mont League Cross Country Championships, which were held Monday morning at Unionville High’s Steeple Course, and the 65th annual running, which was held on the same course last year.

Repeating winners were Downingtown West’s Aislinn Devlin, Bishop Shanahan’s Josh Hoey and Unionville’s girls’ team. The only new visitor to the winner’s circle was West Chester Rustin’s boys’ team.

In the girls’ meet, Downingtown West’s Aislinn Devlin successfully defended her Ches-Mont League individual title – for the second year in a row. As a freshman, Devlin won the silver medal. For the last three years, it’s been gold, gold and nothing but gold.

On Monday morning, Devlin crossed first and set a course record with a time of 17:43. She held the record with a 17:48 from last year’s league meet. This year, she finished 40 seconds ahead of any other runner in the race.

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“It was really windy today,” said Devlin. “My time was a few seconds faster than last year. There were parts of the race with a tailwind but mostly it felt like a headwind. It was crazy – working a lot harder and not going as fast.

“At the start, I knew it was going to be really windy. Two girls took it out hard so I let them take the wind for a while. Then, I made a move and held the lead for the rest of the race.”

Devlin, who is one of the premier runners in the state and one of the best in the East, will have her main races in late October and November – states, regionals and nationals. She still came to run hard on Monday.

“I was racing today,” said Devlin. “With the wind the way it was, I wasn’t expecting to run super-fast.  I didn’t speed up as much. But, I wasn’t settling because I knew Anna (Juul) could come up at any time.”

Juul, a Unionville senior, snagged the silver medal with a time of 18:23 to lead the host Indians to a team title with 55 points. Downingtown East was runner-up with 77.  Unionville’s other scorers were Madison McGovern (sixth), Elizabeth Edwards (11th), Jillian Brislin (12th), and Kaylee McCarthy (24th).

“I’m not happy with my race today,” said Juul, who was silver medalist for the second year in a row. “I wanted to improve my time from last year and I was four seconds slower.

“I know I’m in much better shape than last year so I’m frustrated. It was still a good workout. I was tired at the end.”

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Hoey, who won last year’s league meet wearing the colors of Downingtown West, crossed first Monday morning wearing Shanahan green. He finished at 16:24 – just slightly ahead of Rustin’s Brandon Hontz at 16:26.

“I just kind of sat on the leader (Hontz) for the first three miles,” said Hoey. “I was comfortable with the pace. With 400 meters to go, I took over the lead and just strided it in from there.

“I’ve done a lot of changes in my training and my transition is just building. I won’t start tapering until just before states. Today was just a workout. The best part of the race was feeling good in the final 400.”

Hontz, a Golden Knight senior, said, “This was a good race. It was evenly paced and the weather was nice. We went out in 5:12 or 5:13 which is pretty average.

“The pack stayed together until around the two-mile when five of us started going. It broke up in the last mile. In the last 400, it was just the two of us in a sprint to the finish. I stuck with him but he pulled away at the end.”

With Hontz setting the pace, Rustin claimed the team championship trophy with 71 points while Downingtown West was second with 76. The Knights’ other scorers were Ryan Demis (sixth), Edward Harpstead (13th), Colbe Clark (20th) and Blake Winkley (30th).

Ches-Mont League Cross Country Championships
At Unionville
GIRLS RESULTS
 
BOYS RESULTS

 

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