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(Oct. 12, 2018) Twenty-six teams from Maryland and Delaware converged in Salisbury last Wednesday for the 46th annual Tidewater Fall Classic.

Berlin schools Stephen Decatur, of the Bayside Conference, and Worcester Prep, of the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference, were among the participants.

Decatur’s girls’ team finished in eighth place and the boys’ squad came in 10th overall.

“Overall, I think we had an average performance. I don’t think this was our best race of the year, but it was a good experience for our team,” Decatur Coach Jody Stigler said. “This is the biggest race that we will run all year in terms of number of athletes in the race. To improve our team score, we will need to have more runners finishing toward the front of the pack.”

Sophomore Mary Mergott was the first Lady Seahawk to cross the finish line. She finished in 24th place overall (22:49.48).

Also scoring points for Decatur were senior Dori Krasner (32nd, 23:13.66), junior Mikayla Denault (42nd, 23:49.97), senior Erica Hicks (48th, 24:07.28) and freshman Amalia Murphy (77th, 26:22.66).

Junior Sam Rakowski led the Decatur boys’ squad. He finished in 45th place overall (19:08.28).

Rounding out the top-five Decatur runners were freshman James Parana (57th, 19:35.13), senior Chad Fischer (65th, 19:56.63), freshman Samuel Woodley (66th, 19:57.63) and sophomore John James (69th, 20:05.63).

Prep Coach Keith Geiger said the Tidewater Fall Classic is his favorite event of the year because “it really gives a good sense of where we are as a team in relation to everyone else on the Eastern Shore.”

“There are so many great runners and great teams from both Maryland and Delaware,” he said. “As a team, I was happy that we placed in the middle of the pack. We’ve had a bunch of injuries on both the girls’ and boys’ side, so I would like to see us run a race with everyone healthy, because I think we could make a decent jump in the standings. But, we have a great group of enthusiastic runners that work hard and try their best, so I can’t be disappointed.”

Worcester’s girls’ team finished in 12th place and the boys’ squad took 16th.

Geiger thought the Mallards fared pretty well. He was impressed with the runners who led the Prep girls’ and boys’ teams.

Freshman Myranda Beebe was the first Lady Mallard to finish. She crossed the line 27th overall (22:56.23).

Coming in second through fifth for the squad were juniors Ashley Laws (56th, 24:29.79) and Quinn McColgan (83rd, 26:42.14), senior Hannah Merritt (91st, 27:33.93) and sophomore Anna Dashiell (114th, 31:19.66).

“Myranda Beebe continues to impress and get better each meet. For a freshman, she did remarkably well at her first big meet. I think she will continue to be a great leader for us,” Geiger said. “Ashley Laws has also improved a great deal since the beginning of the year. She is getting closer and closer to Myranda each meet.”

Sophomore Graham McColgan led the Worcester boys’ team. He placed 32nd overall (18:42.82).

Sophomore Connor Carpenter (37th, 18:50.08), junior Frank Carter (108th, 21:54.70), senior Parker Brandt (114th, 22:13.76) and junior Gavin Hentschel (118th, 22:31.45) also scored points for the Prep squad.

“Graham McColgan and Connor Carpenter are really pushing each other to be better,” Geiger said. “I think it’s fantastic that Connor has somebody this year that can really challenge him and get the best out of him. So far, Graham has won each race, but Connor is so close. It’s fun to see.”

Decatur’s next meet is Wednesday on its home course in Berlin at 4 p.m. Worcester will host a meet today, Friday, at 4 p.m.

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