PHILADELPHIA — Before the 2017 Inter-Ac League Boys Cross Country Championship Meet started, Germantown Academy head coach Peter Jennings ’99 said that this year’s team had surpassed all expectations and that they were very excited to compete.
While the team placed fourth at the meet’s conclusion, Jennings was very pleased with how the racers did individually.
Leading those individuals was sophomore Matt Sandifer ’20, who finished fifth overall with a personal best time of 17:43.1
“I felt really good,” Sandifer said following Monday’s meet at the Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park. “I wasn’t really sure how I was doing at the end, but once I got the time I knew I did really well. I’m happy with it.”
Andrew Sandifer ’18 was the next Patriot to reach the finish line, registering a time of 18:59.1. Nicholas DiBello ’18 (19:20.5), Oliver Haddow ’18 (19:23.9), and Daniel Ritz ’19 (20:16.4) rounded out the top five times for GA, finishing 20th, 21st and 28th overall.
“We’re actually very happy, we thought third was probably the best scenario on a perfect day,” Jennings said. “We’re really happy with Matt Sandifer’s fifth place finish. Other coaches in the league have talked to me about him and have taken notice. A couple other guys matched their best times of the season on a difficult course.”
For the sophomore Sandifer, the fifth-place finish caps off a spectacular Inter-Ac season. He has been the first Patriot to cross the finish line in every meet this year, and has been a staple in the top three in almost every meet of the season.
“This is my first year running varsity for GA boys,” Sandifer said. “It felt great to get [this finish] this early in my career. It’s a great finish to the Inter-Ac season, especially because I was hoping for top-five. So it was really achieving a goal I set for the whole season.”
1. Malvern Prep – 34
2. The Haverford School – 47
3. Episcopal Academy – 65
4. Germantown Academy – 90
5. Penn Charter – 127
6. Springside Chestnut Hill Academy – 136