Delaware Exceeds Expectations at NIRCA Nationals

The Delaware Club Cross Country team traveled to Shelbyville, Indiana to cap off their season at NIRCA Nationals on Saturday, November 11th. Despite the courses for both men and women being ~200 meters long, our runners showcased their skills, achieving personal records across all races.

The day began with the upperclassman women’s 6k race. Despite the long course, junior Leah Goodman worked her way up to finish 26th overall and achieving a new personal best of 26:54. Not far behind was Junior Margaret Fogarty with a time of 27:37 also earning a new personal best in her debut cross-country season. Senior Natalie Pinto concluded her cross-country career by coming in at 28:17 leaving a lasting impact on the girl’s team. Senior and girls captain Aine Grubb crossed the line with a time of 32:01 and capped off the women’s upperclassman squad.

In the upperclassmen men’s 8k race, all three Delaware runners concluded their cross-country careers on a high note, setting new personal bests. Graduate student Anthony Stohr crossed the line with a new personal best of 29:46. Senior Matt Scarpelli had an impressive performance with a respectable time of 30:10. Despite a setback of a torn ACL in March, senior Ryan Lazev completed his goal of running in NIRCA Regionals and Nationals for the first time and finishing with a new personal best of 35:22.

The Delaware men’s team met the requirements to earn a championship race at NIRCA Nationals. The seven runners representing the Blue Hens were Evan Diefenbeck, Matthew Kwiatkowski, John Papadopoulos, Chris Calandra, Brady Sheaffer, Alejandro Lobo, and Daniel Giron. All five finishers set new personal records on this flat and fast course. Sophomore Evan Diefenbeck leads the pack once again with a respectable time of 26:42. Sophomore Matthew Kwiatkowski finished close behind with an impressive time of 26:48. Graduate student John Papadopoulos’s (27:53) hard work paid off with his impressive performance. Fellow grad student Chris Calandra (27:57) also ended his XC career on a high note. Sophomore Brady Sheaffer ended his sophomore season finishing 5th for the Delaware men and a time of 28:09. Unfortunately senior Daniel Giron and sophomore Alejandro Lobo were battling injuries and had to cut their race short, but still fought hard and had a successful season.

Our underclassman women’s 6k were up next and did not fall short of excellence. Ella Maletta and Camila Montes placed 9th and 14th respectively overall and earned their way onto the stage for awards. Freshman Ella Maletta led the underclassman girls and crossed the line in an impressive 25:18. Sophmore Camila Montes continues to improve each race finishing second for Delaware in 25:31. Fellow sophomore Hannah Heredia (26:01) followed just a few spots behind finishing 20th overall. Freshman Ariana DeNicola (27:05) and Natalie Greger (27:25) rounded the top five underclassmen for Delaware all putting up respectable performances. Freshmen Kate Kershaw (27:30) Anna Callaghan (27:53) Carly Curnutt (28:47) and Kaeley Jucewicz (29:33) all had notable performances as they made their nationals debut.

Delaware’s underclassman 8k capped the long yet exciting day of racing. Sophomore Jack Pelczar had a breakout day leading the pack with an impressive time and PR of 28:30. Sophomores Evan Pawlik (29:07) and Josh Pawlik (29:55) worked together to claim the next two spots and both achieved personal bests. Freshman Dylan Aks (31:36) was next to cross the line for Delaware earning a new best time as well. Freshman Cole Donnelly (32:09), John Healy (32:26), and Ethan Storm (33:11) rounded up the top seven each establishing new pr’s and finishing their first national level collegiate race. Notable mention for sophomore Liam Trageser (33:35) as he displayed his improvement with a big personal best.

Although Delaware’s cross-country season has come to an end, the winter and spring track seasons are just around the corner. Delaware track and field is set to kick off its season on December 9th at the Susquehanna Early Season Invite!

All official times are a result of a 200-meter-long course for both men and women and should be adjusted accordingly for all 8k and 6k splits.

Full results can be found here.

Delaware’s XC Nationals team
Jack Pelczar finishing his race.
John Papadopolous closing out his XC career.
Leah Goodman eyeing the finish line.
Camila Montes and Ella Maletta with their awards.