In many ways, the Chester-Glen Mills cross country meet Thursday was like a tennis match.
After the first four runners from each team crossed the finish line, the Clippers and Bulls were in a dead heat, which meant the meet came down to whoever finished ninth would determine the team winner.
Unless, of course, there was a tie, which there was when James Jackson of Chester and Jonathon Hayes from Glen Mills crossed the finish line in 21 minutes, 7 seconds.
That left it up to the sixth runner from each team to break the deadlock under PIAA rules and Chester freshman Tae’On Bradley-Chambers won that battle to give the Clippers their first win over the Bulls in well, no one knows quite how long, with a unique 27-29.5 triumph at rain-soaked Rose Tree Park.
Jamie Wharton has been the coach at Chester for 22 years and he said it’s the first time he has beaten the Del Val League rival.
“I don’t know,” Wharton said. “It might be back in the 80s.”
Whatever, it’s been a long time. Lamaj Curry and Kevon Mingledoff finished in second and third place, respectively, to lead Chester.
Tahir Grimes of Glen Mills was the overall winner with a time of 18:39.
Elsewhere in the Del Val League:
Chichester 22, Academy Park 33 >> Tylir Fowler and Matt Valentin finished 1-2 to pace the Eagles to their first win of the season. Fowler crossed the finish line in 20:48, while Valentin was timed in 21:08. Frankie Salvador and Matt Sendek helped Chi sweep four of the top five places.
David Meeley placed third overall in 22:14 to pace Academy Park.
Penn Wood 27, Interboro 30 >> The Patriots took five of the top eight places to hold off the Bucs.
Dennis Manyeah was the top finisher for Penn Wood. He was second, followed by teammates Nate Randall (third), Inerji Serlif (fifth), Zaire Miller (seventh) and Todd Jackson (eighth).
Billy Hallinan of Interboro was the overall winner with a time of 17:42. Luke Crozier took fifth for the Bucs in 19:37.
Girls Cross Country
Terri Turner led the way as Penn Wood claimed the top six places to beat Interboro, 15-47, at Rose Tree Park.
Turner covered the 5,000-meter course in 20:47. Elicia Moore was second, Maishia Coleman third, Kyra Carroll fourth and Janae Pitt fifth.
Eden Luong was Interboro’s top finisher. She placed seventh overall in 24:59.