Downingtown East edges West Chester East en route to sweep

WESTTOWN — The Downingtown East girls and boys cross country teams each picked up big Ches-Mont League National Division wins on Wednesday afternoon against West Chester East. The Cougars were victorious in the girls meet, 18-47, and the boys won a nailbiter, 27-28.

The boys were the first meet of the afternoon. The Vikings’ (2-2) Eric Diestelow finished in first place, crossing the finish line with a time of 17:11. Diestelow ran in the lead pack for the first two miles, but then made his move in the final 1600 meters, breaking away and cruising to the victory. “My goal this afternoon was to try and stay in a pack for the first two, two-and-a-half miles. Our goal was to have one of our other varsity guys run in that pack and see how long they could hang. When the pack started to slim down, I made my move,’ Diestelow said.

For those who are unfamiliar with the sport of cross country, it is not just a group of individuals trying to come in first place for their school. Despite not having the winner, the Cougars’ depth showed through by taking the next three places. Keelan O’Reilly took second place, Alex Oschner captured third, Dylan McEvoy came in fourth, while Dylan Jackson finished in eighth and Jacob Dewey placed 10th. The Cougars (1-3) posted a score that was low enough to give them their first Ches-Mont victory of the season, by one point.

“Throughout the entire season we have trained on terrain like this, with rolling hills and stuff like that. We really tried to take advantage and power up the hills. I think that really helped our team today,’ O’Reilly said.

O’Reilly’s efforts to hang with Diestelow really helped his team. Not only did it reward the Cougars two points for the runner-up spot, but it allowed the rest of his teammates to hang with him as long as they could.

“After the race got underway I just stayed with him (Diestelow) as long as I could. I knew we would be together for a little bit and I just tried my best to hang with him,’ O’Reilly added.

The girls race was not as suspenseful. Cougars’ sophomore Lexi VanBlunk placed first, cruising through the course in 20:27.

“I train as hard as I can every day. Sometimes I even train with the boys. I know I need to get that level up for races like today,’ VanBlunk said. “I really tried to make my move on that steep long hill this afternoon. This course is fast and hopefully it helped me get better today and prepare me for the rest of the season.’

The Vikings received a strong performance from Kayla Jones who took second in a time of 20:57.

Vikings’ coach Scott Trama said, “Our team is getting better. We did a better job versus this team this year compared to last year. Downingtown East has a really good team. They could definitely be a top 10 team in the district.’

Up next for the Cougars (4-1) a dual meet at Coatesville next Wednesday, while the Vikings (3-1), they will participate in an anticipated tri-meet between Downingtown West and West Chester Henderson.

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