The Smyrna High cross country teams are very young this year, with incoming freshman filling out almost half the roster. But what these runners lack in experience, they make up for in potential.


The Smyrna High cross country teams are very young this year, with incoming freshman filling out almost half the roster.

But what these runners lack in experience, they make up for in potential.

Head coach Maura Schafer is thrilled to see such a big freshman class join the team.

“I’m so excited,” she said. “I hope that’s our program growing.”

Schafer said that having all these new runners hasn’t been holding the team back. In fact, the new members of the team have starting to practice alongside the returning runners.

“They’ve stepped it up,” she said. “They were so enthusiastic. They said ‘put us with the returners.’ A lot of them will be varsity.”

Altogether, the Eagles have only two seniors, and one of them is new to the team.

That makes senior Katie Deinert the veteran on the squad.

For the girls' team, Schafer expects some of the top runners to be Deinert and freshman Sarah Lenhart.

Junior Paul Tonkon and sophomore Cody Sawyer-Barwick are back to lead the boys’ squad, and freshman Ben Wattay is also coming on strong.

Assistant coach Lindsay Stevens is on board to help the cross country squad this fall.

The Eagles will start the season by hosting the Ron Powell Invitational on September 6 at St. Joseph’s in Clayton.

The conference season will be underway soon after that.

“We’re excited about getting into our conference meets and seeing where we stand,” Schafer said.


2008 Smyrna High cross country schedule*

Sept. 6      Ron Powell Invitational              10 a.m.
Sept. 10    Lake Forest                                  4 p.m.
Sept. 13    Lake Forest Invitational             9 a.m.
Sept. 17    St. Thomas More and Seaford   
                          at Seaford                             4 p.m.
Sept. 19    Middletown Invitational             10 a.m.
Sept. 24    Dover and Cape Henlopen   
                          at Cape Henlopen               4 p.m.
Oct. 8         at Milford                                      4 p.m.
Oct. 15       at Sussex Central                      4 p.m.
Oct. 22      Caesar Rodney, Polytech,
                          Sussex Tech                         4 p.m.
Oct. 28      Kent County Championships
                           at Dover                                3:30 p.m.
Nov. 1        HAC Championships
                           at Lake Forest                      2 p.m.

*In bold: Home events at the Ron Powell Memorial Course in Clayton