KINGS PARK, N.Y. — The Green Mountain Athletic Association boys’ team for the 15-18 Division are now the USATF (USA Track and Field) Region 1 Champions. The boys won the New England Championship last weekend in Rhode Island.
Mike Mashtare, head coach of the BFA St. Albans cross country program, serves as a coach for GMAA and oversees the workouts for the Franklin County runners.
Mashtare uses workouts designed by Damian Bolduc. Bolduc and his wife Jessica started the GMAA Junior Racing program four years ago to train Vermont runners to compete at a higher level.
“We knew the competition would come from the Sentital team from Rhode Island and a couple of teams from Connecticut,” said Mike Mashtare. “Mainly, because we would be without our number two runner Cormac Leahy.”
“But the boys were up to the challenge and toed the line in 44-degree temps with drifting sheets of rain and strong gusty winds.
“It was perfect weather for Vermont boys from the Northwest and Northeast sections of the state.”
Evan Thornton-Sherman of St. Johnsbury quickly went to the lead along with Vermonter, Brogan Giffin.
“These two did battle for the entire 5K with Evan finishing 2nd by 8 seconds to Giffin,” said Mashtare. “This gave the team one point as Brogan was running as an individual and did not count in the team scoring.”
BFA St. Albans runners, Ethan Mashtare and Calvin Storms, and St. Johnsbury’s Luke Chadderdon went out in the lead pack.
Ethan Mashtare felt good and quickly moved into the top five by the mile marker and continued to move toward the front.
Ethan Mashtare would get as high as 4th place before falling back to 5th place in a new personal best of 16:51. Ethan Mashtare would score the team 3 points.
Chadderdon and Storms followed Mashtare slowly through the pack, constantly picking off runners and trying to gain on, and stay ahead of, the Sentinal runners.
Chadderdon would end up 8th in 17:12. Storm’s was just 8 seconds back in 12th in a new personal best time of 17:20.
Sentinal put three runners between Ethan Mashtare and Chadderdon.
“The race was on, but Storm’s 12th place finish offset the Sentinal’s 17th place,” said Mashtare. “Both teams had four runners in, and the race was on to see who’s last scoring runner, the 5th runner, would cross the line next.”
BFA’s Jacob Tremblay had quietly been moving through the pack on the uphills and was moving his way to a huge personal best time as well.
Tremblay’s 20th place finish sealed the deal for the team, and his 17:44 was a 31-second improvement.
St. Johnsbury’s Nathan Lenzini was having a strong race; he was also ahead of Sentinal’s 5th runner to place 23rd in 17:58.
The team easily outdistanced Sentinal 37 points to 61 points. The top five teams and top 30 individuals qualified for the Junior Olympic Nationals to be held December, 14th in Madison, Wisconsin.
The top 30 individuals were also medalist and all six boys easily medaled.
Mashtare, Storms, and Tremblay will be traveling to the famous Van Cortland Park in Bronx, NY, to compete in the Northeast Region Footlocker Qualifier.
All three will compete in the sophomore race and not the National qualifier race this year.