WFS Cross Country Adjusts to Change with a Winning Mentality


Paul Nemeth

The WFS Cross Country team.

Carlin Beskrone, Sports Editor

Eleven months ago, the Wilmington Friends School cross country team concluded an amazing season, finishing fourth in the state for Division II with two All-County runners, one All-State runner, and one runner finishing with the fastest time in the state of Delaware. This year, the team plans to continue with their winning mentality and improve from last year’s impressive season.

    Despite last year’s success, the team has not become complacent. Their mentality is always forward thinking, looking to improve. “Last year we finished third in the guy’s side for discs, so we hope to equal that performance. On the girls’ side, we had a dual meet with Tower Hill, and they got us this time, but we plan on getting them at Discs in two weeks,” commented cross country coach, Alex Hallenback. The cross country team is looking to build on previous years’ achievements and continue their winning trajectory.

    Thus far, the cross country season looks promising. The varsity runners have three wins against Wilmington Christian, Caravel, and St. Elizabeths. “It’s been going well. We haven’t had any big Delaware meets, but yesterday I went to Cary for the Great American Cross Country Festival where I got 8th place, posting the fastest time run by a Delawarean this year. As a team, we are probably going to have one of our best years yet, with all of our varsity runners doing well, and this year we have Ross Clark, so we can’t lose,” Nisbet explained. The team appears to be headed for a season as good or possibly even better than the year before.

One thing the cross country team is going to have to face is that this is the first time since 2014 that the team will be running without Andrew Slomski, one of the two All-County runners last year. He was an asset to the team, posing one of the fastest times in the county, even as a sophomore. Nonetheless, there are several rising stars who show potential to live up to Slomski’s legacy. Sophomore Hannah Blackwell posted one of the fastest times in the county as a freshman. New recruit Ross Clark, though he has little formal training, is showing tremendous development in his skills. “Our performance through the last month has been stellar, top in the state. We’re just trying to grind away, work hard and stay humble,” Ross Clark ’19 added. Despite graduating several seniors, the younger runners show a lot of potential and everyone believes they can fill the vacancies that the seniors left.

    The 2016-2017 cross country season was superb, and the 2017-2018 season is on track to be just as strong. With the emergence of younger runners like Hannah Blackwell, the introduction of new runners like Ross Clark, and the continuing ability of returning runners like Connor Nisbet, this fall is going to be an exciting time for the Wilmington Friends School cross country team.