The Cairn men’s cross country team claimed their third straight CSAC Championships with a dominating performance at ChesLen Preserve on Saturday morning. The Highlanders claimed six All-CSAC honors and seven of the top-15 spots. Cairn shattered a team record with four runners named First Team All-CSAC.
It was a healthy dose of experience and youth leading the pack for the Highlanders. Veterans Matthew Benedict (4th – 28:44.0) and Caleb Basile (6th – 29:06.8) followed up All-Conference honors in each of the past two years with First Team honors in 2016. Joining the party on the First Team were a pair of freshman, Joel Varughese (5th – 28:45.6) and Dylan Rowles (7th – 29:13.4), who capped off stellar rookie seasons with top-seven finishes on Saturday.
Earning four First Team honors wasn’t enough for the Highlanders. Cairn picked up a pair of Second Team honors as well, with Stephen Basile crossing the line in 31:04.7, followed closely by teammate Jonathan Snider (31:10.7). Basile and Snider finished in 13th and 14th to earn Second Team honors.
Just seconds outside of All-Conference honors was senior Matthew DeFlavis, who turned in one of his best races of the season finishing the 8K course on Saturday in 31:17.0.
Evan Carey (32:02.1) cracked the Top 20 in a race for just the second time this season with a 19th-place finish. Carey’s other top-20 finish came on the very same course on September 3 in the CSAC Preview. He improved his time by 2:10.1 from the beginning of the season.
Outside of the Top 20, the Highlanders had a number of strong personal performances. A number of Highlanders earned personal records, including Cullen Henry (33:44.9), Ross Cochran (35:04.7), and James Snider (44:28.9).
The Highlanders finished with 35 team points, ahead of second-place Marywood (55 team points) by 20 points. The Highlanders dropped their team score by nine points from last season.
With their third-straight title, the Highlanders become the fifth team in conference history to claim at least three-straight titles. Cairn’s first title in 2014 ended a stretch of six-straight titles for Gwynedd Mercy.
Keystone’s Marcus Ward took the individual title with a time of 28:05.5, over 11 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
The Highlanders will next take the course in two weeks when they travel to DeSales for the NCAA Mideast Regionals on November 12.
On Wednesday, November 15, Vietnam Veteran David Christian was invited to speak to Cairn University students. Christian, originally from Bucks County, is the youngest most decorated Vietnam War veteran, having