Kingsway senior Kyle Rakitis edged Delsea senior Andrew Littlehales with both running sub-15:40 and led Kingsway to its fourth straight team title Saturday at the Tri-County Championships.
Rakitis ran 15:30 over 5,000 meters at Cumberland Regional in Upper Deerfield Township and finished about 40 meters ahead of Littlehales, who ran 15:38.
Kingsway edged Highland 52-55, with Williamstown third with 83 points. Kingsway also won in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The meet was not held last year.
Rakitis’s time is fastest at the Tri-County meet since 2014, when Josh Clark of Highland ran 15:16, Justin Branco of Delsea 15:17 and Noah Culbreath of Kingsway 15:27.
Senior Ryan Allen and junior Cesar Pedro also finished in the top 10 for Kingsway, Allen clocking 16:24 for 4th and Pedro 16:38 for 8th. That’s a monster all-course PR for Pedro, whose previous 5,000 best was 17:25 at last week’s Gloucester County Championships at West Deptford Park. Allen’s 16:24 was also a PR, three seconds faster than he ran at Delsea earlier this month.
Kingsway’s four other runners all finished between 20th and 27th. Junior Darius Davis and senior Nick Allen ran 20th and 21st in 17:39 and 17:41 to round out the Dragons’ scoring pack. Seniors Alex Guidice and Thomas Driscoll placed 23rd and 27th in 17:47 and 18:10.
All-underclass Highland had juniors Cole Knoedler and Gavin Gallo and sophomore Aziz Muhammad-Kane in the top 10. Knoedler and Gallo palmed 6th and 7th in 16:36 and 16:37, and Muhammad Kane was just behind them in 9th in 16:45.
Juniors Anthony Imperatore and Jake Smith placed 17th and 18th for Highland in 17:20 and 17:25, giving the Tartans a tight 49-second gap between 1st and 5th.
Also in the top 10 were Williamstown junior Nicholas Krol [3rd in 15:57], Timber Creek senior Cole Mylan [5th in 16:26] and Triton senior Forrest Miller [10th in 16:58]. It was Krol’s first race ever on any course under 16 minutes.