Padua’s cross country team didn’t let something like a second-place finish at the New Castle County meet the week before cloud its thinking when the state championship was held Nov. 12 at Killens Pond State Park. The Pandas’ Sophia Holgado was the first to cross the finish line, and her teammates were close behind as Padua captured the DIAA Division I crown with a resounding 21-68 victory over Charter School of Wilmington.
For the Pandas, it was their 10th consecutive title and 22nd overall.
Holgado, a junior, finished second overall last year at Brandywine Creek State Park. This year, her time of 19:10.80 was 1.2 seconds better than teammate Mary Flanagan. Anna Bockius took fourth and Kylie McCarthy sixth, while Kelsey Wolff was eighth. All are juniors except Bockius, who is a freshman. The Pandas’ non-scorers, Jane Mazzeo and Mary Drost, finished 10th and 16th, respectively. This was Padua’s day.
Wilmington Charter had all five scorers finish between 11th and 17th place, and their other two runners were 19th and 21st, but that was not enough against a dominant Pandas squad.
St. Andrew’s captured its first Division II state championship, but Archmere had an outstanding day to take second place. The Auks had all five scorers finish between seventh and 24th place, with St. Andrew’s taking the 47-83 victory. Ursuline finished third with 110 points.
Maddie Priest paced the Auks with a seventh-place showing. Teammates Taylor Costa, Ryan Vitola and Anna Benner were bunched together, coming in 15th, 18th and 19th, respectively. Helen Socorso was the other scorer.
Clare Kornacki led Ursuline with an 11th-place finish.
Defending champion Saint Mark’s came in seventh. Natalie Donaldson capped her high school career with a third-place showing.
Brynn Crandell of Indian River repeated as the individual champion.