Winning has never been difficult for the Caesar Rodney boys cross country team, and last year’s campaign was no different for the squad who hasn’t lost a head-to-head regular season meet in over 4 years.
Another undefeated season, and a third-place finish at the DIAA State Cross Country Tournament earned the Caesar Rodney Riders “Team of the Year” honors in boys cross country.
Coming in to last season, the Riders were returning the majority of their squad, including a number of seniors. However, it was 2 returning juniors, P.J. Gallucci and Sam Phillips, who led the way for Caesar Rodney.
Both Gallucci and Phillips were named to the 2012 All-Henlopen 1st team, and while they were the standouts leading the pack, Caesar Rodney had quite a few runners who turned some heads throughout the season.
Seniors, Sean Hastings, Korbin Tinsley, and Austin Virdin all had tremendous seasons for the boys. While underclassmen Gallucci, Phillips and Bryce Stevenosky stood out amongst the younger core.
The entire group listed above helped CR capture the Henlopen Conference title, boasting 4 top-ten finishers in Gallucci, Phillips, Stevenosky and Hastings.
The Riders looked to take that momentum with them into the States, where they came into the race as one of the favorites to come out as State Champions. And even though they came up short of their goal, finishing third behind Newark and Salesianum, the Riders made an impression on the entire state.
Gallucci, Phillips, and Stevenosky all finished in the top 25 in the State Championship, three of only five top 25 finishers who were competitors from the Henlopen Conference.
The CR boys team is already seen as one of the top cross country squads in the state, and the program is only growing as interest in being a part of this winning club becomes more wide-spread.
And while the Riders will lose some talented runners going into next season, they still have an awful lot of their returning core coming back intact.
Along with upcoming seniors Gallucci and Phillips, are Presten DeMarreau, Brandon Brooks, Austinio Brown, Marc Garduno and John Graham.
Sean Connor and Clay Radford impressed as sophomores, and look to make an even bigger impact on the squad as juniors this season. While another underclassmen to keep your eye on is Nathaniel Twining who opened some eyes as a freshmen last season.