The Caesar Rodney girls cross country squad went undefeated, at 10-0, were winners of the Henlopen Conference and boasted a top-5 finisher in the 2012 DIAA Cross Country State Championships to earn Dover Post “Team of the Year” honors.
After posting an overall record of 11-1 last season, the Riders entered the 2012 campaign having lost only 3 seniors to graduation. With the majority of the team returning, they were primed to make their mark state-wide on the cross country courses in hopes of bringing home a conference and state title.
The Riders were led by Rebekah Mills, who helped guide CR to not only an undefeated regular season, but to a Henlopen Conference Title, as well.
Along with Mills, the Riders had a solid senior leadership group headed by Jacqueline Mihok, Amanda Seiwell, Tienaira Nickerson, Katelyn Morpus and Lexi Labeau.
However, the real strength of the Riders was their mix of talent up-and-down the grade levels as CR had many underclassmen contribute to the team in a big way.
From the junior class, Nicole Skocik and Tyra Reid stood out all season long for the Riders, and look to become leaders as seniors in the fall.
The depth of the Riders was impressive, with a number of freshmen bursting onto the scene last season. Ciera Florio, Laura Wagner, Meghan Hayward, Peighton DeMarreau, and youngers sister to Rebekah – Channah Mills all impressed in their freshmen campaigns.
The Riders ran away with nearly every meet they participated in last season, with the exception of two close battles with Henlopen standouts Milford and Smyrna. Heading into the Henlopen Conference Finals, the Riders, along with the boys, swept the Championships led by Rebekah Mills who finished with a time of 19:18.84 to take home top conference honors.
The Riders were off to compete in the DIAA State Cross Country Champions, were again they were seen as one of the outside favorites to challenge for the title. The Riders finished just over 6 minutes behind first-place Charter School of Wilmington, to finish in fourth-place behind Appoquinimink and Middletown.
Once again, Rebekah Mills was the standout for the Riders, finishing second-overall with an impressive time of 20:01.70, just under 3 minutes behind State Champion Amanda Rickert of Charter. CR had 6 runners finish within the Top 50 in the State Championships including Seiwell, Cummings, Campagnini, Channah Mills and Mihok.
The Riders will return in the fall, back with nearly their entire team from last season. With another year experience under their belts, the Riders are poised to yet again challenge for the conference and state titles.