Mulhern, Henderson Girls Cruise At Ches-Monts

In a what has been an unusual fall in every sense, Jenna Mulhern of West Chester Henderson made her cross country season debut at Wednesday's Ches-Mont Championships.

The junior showed little sign of rust, rolling to the win on a very foggy and muddy morning in Kennett Square on the campus on Unionville High School. Mulhern earned the win -- her third straight Ches-Mont title -- in 18:55.

The Henderson girls took the team title decisively, scoring just 32 points and putting three girls in the top four and four in the top ten.

For Mulhern, it was just about getting the win on Wednesday. She hung back in the pack early and then made her move in the last mile to the lead, which she extended from there.

"I just worked on my kick and did what I needed to do to get the win without taking to much out of me," Mulhern said.

While it was Mulhern's first XC race of the fall, it's Mulhern's second hard race effort of the year. She went 16:40 on the track for 5,000 meters a few weeks ago. She'll be in the mix to win her second state title in three years in PIAA Class AAA in a few weeks.

The Henderson girls proved it will also be a team contender in AAA. West Chester East's Sonia Piombino was second and then after her were two Henderson runners with Liesl Scherrer and Weronica Ziemniak taking third and fourth, respectively. Amanda Kelly was eighth and Caroline Miller rounded out the scorers, placing 16th in the always-deep Ches-Mont League. 

The Downingtown West girls were second with 66 points, and Avon Grove was third and West Chester East was fourth. The top four teams qualify for the PIAA District 1 Championships next week.

In the boys' race, the defending AAA state champions Downingtown West claimed the win, led by a 1-2 finish by Declan Rymer and Aiden Barnhill. The D-West pair waited until the final loop to make their move on the field and then raced to the line with Rymer earning the narrow victory over his teammate Barnhill.

D-West scored 55 points for the team title, while Downingtown East ran very well to take second with 63 points. West Chester Henderson (third with 78 points) and Unionville (fourth with 107 points) took the other two district-qualifying spots for teams.

Up next for the Ches-Mont's best is the PIAA District 1 Championships next week at Tyler State Park in Newtown.

Watch the girls race above and check out an interview with Mulhern below.