By DENNY DYROFF
For 21st Century MediaWARMINSTER -- If spectators wanted to see the top finishers in the boys race at Saturday's William Tennent Invitational, they had to look to the East -- to Downingtown East and West Chester East.
Downingtown East's Billy Caldwell captured the gold medal when he crossed the finish line of the course at William Tennent High with a time of 15:58. The silver medal was won by West Chester East's Eric Diestelow who posted a time of 16:03. His teammate Stephen Dages claimed the bronze medal with a clocking of 16:11.
"We went out in 4:55,' said Caldwell. "I was in the lead pack at the mile. I wanted to draft because it was little windy. So, I was just off the lead. I ran with the top group until there was just a little over a half-mile left.
"I stayed with Eric (Diestelow) on the uphill and then made my move on the downhill. I just tried to push and see what he had left. When he didn't go with me, I knew I had it from there. But, I had to keep pushing because I knew he could come back up on me.
"This was my first time to run this course. It was definitely a fast course -- a lot of downhills and flat. It was a good tune-up for Ches-Monts and districts.'
Caldwell and Diestelow will face each other again on Friday at the Ches-Mont League Championships.
"Today was good,' said Diestelow. "We had good conditions -- especially with all the rain we've had. The course wasn't bad at all. My first mile was good. I tried to stay with the pack instead of going out and pushing it.
"I was at 4:54 for the mile and was right there with the front pack. In the second mile, we slowed down a bit and the race got more tactical. I took the lead going into the second mile and held it until there was 800 meters left.
"Billy and I really dropped down the pace in the third mile. That's when we dropped the rest of the pack. He just had a better kick than me. He ran a really good race. We ran together in our dual meet. We've been close all year.'
Downingtown East finished second in the team standings with 94 points while host William Tennent took the title with 56. Central Bucks West was third at 100 followed by Masterman at 108 and West Chester East with 115.
Four of Downingtown East's runners finished in the top 25, including Keelan O'Reilly (13th, 16:33), Tom Fitzgerald (21st, 16:53) and Alex Ochner (25th, 17:02). The Cougars' other finishers were Parker Broms (34th, 17:18) and Jared Helm (58th, 17:54).
West Chester East's other finishers were Sean Dougherty (22nd, 16:54), Joe Dougherty (38th, 17:25), Ryan Orr (50th, 17:44), Jared Franz (55th, 17:51) and Tyler Ronayne (73rd, 18:12).
Conestoga, which finished 11th in the team standings with 245 points, was led by Killian Nelson, who placed 14th with a clocking of 16:34.