There were repeat individual champions at Monday's Ches-Mont Championships on a nice morning in Kennett Square on the campus of Unionville High School.
Unionville's Cole Walker defended his title in the boys race and shortly thereafter West Chester Henderson's Jenna Mulhern won the girls race for a second straight season, while the individual champs also led their respective teams to the win.
Walker ran away with the win, similar to how he did last year. He took the lead early and extended it from there, coming home in 15:46 for his third sub-16 performance of the season. He was followed by his teammate Ethan McIntyre, who provided another lowstick, with a second place finish in 16:09. That's a six place and 45-second improvement over last season for the junior.
Unionville got a big lift from Sam Elsen, who took ninth in 16:39. The hosts scored 66 points, enough to beat out second place Downingtown East (73 points) by seven. West Chester Henderson was third with 97 points and Great Valley was fourth with 101 points. PA No. 2 Downingtown West, which raced to fourth at the Manhattan Invite on Saturday, did not race its top group on Monday.
Mulhern executed a strong race plan and ran to her second straight Ches-Mont in as many tries. And the race played out similarly to how it did last season. The sophomore took it relatively easy for the first two miles and then took off in the final mile to take the win in 18:14. That time is 18 seconds faster than a year ago.
Allyson Clarke of West Chester East took second in 18:42, a strong bounce-back race for the senior with her fastest time of the season. WC East took three of the top five spots. After Clarke, junior Michaela Schiele was third in 18:55 and sophomore Sonia Piombino took fifth in 19:12, rounding out a strong showing for the Vikings' top three.
Oxford Area's Taj Lanier broke up that WCE pack and placed fourth in 18:59, another good showing by the junior.
West Chester Henderson won the Ches-Mont title again this season. With Mulhern scoring the single point up front, the PA No. 5 Warriors showed they still have good strength. Amanda Kelly was eighth, and the trio of Caroline Miller, Liesl Scherrer, and Megan Baker were separated by just four seconds. Henderson scored 56 points for the win.