SMITHFIELD, RI — Sunday, November 17th, nine local runners competed in the USATF (USA Track and Field) New England Association Championships in Smithfield, RI, with the Green Mountain Athletic Association.
The New England Association is one of the most competitive in the United States. Teams and individuals that qualify move on to the Regional Championships and hope to earn a trip to the National Championships.
Callie Parks, Meredith Mashtare and Anna Kaigle are great examples of the success new England Association runners can have at Nationals.
The top 30 Individuals and top 5 teams in each age group move on to the Region 1 Championship this Sunday at Sunken Meadows State Park in Kings Park, Long Island. The top 15 finishers were medalists in each race.
Kennedy Heth of Georgia raced in the 9-10 Division and ran the 3K in 15:01 to place 48th out of 69 finishers.
Kennedy ran well moving up through the pack of runners. Kennedy will run middle school cross country for the first time next fall, and this will give her an edge going into next year’s race.
Kaitlyn Lumbra of Georgia raced in the 11-12 Division and ran her 3K in 13:22 to place 70th out of 110 finishers.
This was Kaitlyn’s first experience in Junior Olympics and it was a positive one for her as she is already looking forward to next year.
Kaitlyn was unable to train hard this season as she was dealing with a nagging injury. She has a lot of potential and loves to run; she will be one to watch improve through the next few years.
Lauren Kate Garceau of Fairfield raced in the 13-14 Division, always one of the most competitive races of the day. This age group consists of 8th and 9th graders.
Lauren Kate had an unusual race--having to drop down in distance.
She ran 5K’s all season, and you would think dropping down in distance would be easy, but it’s actually harder because the pace is different.
It’s hard to teach the body in a couple of weeks to learn a different pace. Lauren Kate was still moving up through the pack when the race ended.
She still had a great race, placing 49th out of 107 in 16:36. That time is equivalent to a 21:02 5K, which would have been one of her faster 5k’s of the season.
Calla Bourdeau of Sheldon ran in the 15-16 Division.
Calla ran a great race to place 8th in 22:30. She did a great job considering that some of her training was on skates getting ready for hockey season. Calla had a breakthrough fall for her running, and it was nice to see her get 8th in New England Junior Olympic’s.
Sydney Heth of Georgia also ran in the 15-16 Division. She ran a strong race, placing 12th in 26:19.
“Sydney is a veteran of the Junior Olympic races and always has a strong showing.”
William Hughes of Fairfield raced in the 13-14 Divisio, the most competitive and largest race of the day.
This was Will’s first season running cross country. He ran for Fairfield this fall and was consistently one of the top boys in the state.
His team was made up of other 8th graders from around Vermont. Many who were in the top ten at the Middle School State Championships.
Will was not intimidated by his teammates or the competition as he ended up being the 5th person on his team.
It looked like the team was going to place 6th and get a wild card spot into the Region 1 Championships, but a discovered scoring error moved them to 7th and they did not qualify.
All of the boys on his team will be ones to watch the next four years in Vermont. Will placed 67th out of 145 finishers in a time of 15:04. An excellent job for a first-year runner and first year at the Junior Olympics.
The last race of the day was worth waiting for as it was made up of the New England 15-18 Division Champions.
Three of the boys on this team have been competing for GMAA since they were in the 11-12 Division and placed 4th at Nationals.
Calvin Storms of St. Albans was 14th with a new personal record of 17:22. Calvin ran his best race of the season.
Ethan Mashtare of Georgia was 15th with a time of 17:26. Jacob Tremblay of St. Albans was 30th with a time of 18:17, a personal record.
They will be challenged at the Regional Meet on Sunday, November 23rd, to see who will represent the region at Nationals.