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Champions crowned at Junior Olympic Cross

Junior Olympic Cross Country

Junior Olympic Cross Country

Twelve young athletes were crowned as Junior Olympic Champions after advancing through the association and regional levels to compete at the 2011 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships at Whispering Pines Golf Course in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Saturday, December 10.

In the first ever running of the Sub-Bantam age group at the Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, Alex Ford of the Cougar Track Club won the girls’ 2 km title in 7:56.97 and Azaan Dawson of New Haven won the boys’ 2 km title in 7:37.88. Ford’s Cougar Track Club won the team title on the girls’ side while Nashua Pal Gate City won the boys’ title.

strong>Emma Arriaga won the Bantam 3 km race in 11:11.44 to lead the Equalizers Track Club to the girls’ team tile with 33 points. Maxwell Wilson of San Diego was victorious in the boys’ race in 10:24.14 to win the individual title, and the Cougar Track Club picked up their second win of the day by winning the boys’ team sores with 82 points.

In the Midget division, Lauren Gregory of Fort Collins won the girls’ title with a 10-second margin of victory in 10:10.35 for 3 km. Austin Boucher of the Indiana Blast won the boys’ title in 9:51.91. The Cougar Track Club won their third and final team title in the girls’ race, but was beat by the Triangle Champions Tack Club on the boys’ side.

In the Youth girls’ race, Chloe Pigg led the first mile before falling back to second at mile two; however, Pigg was able to come back into the lead to win the 4 km race in 14:06.79. James Burke was able to lead the boys’ race at each split on his way to winning in 12:40.73. The Waltham Track Cub won the girls’ title, while the So Cal Road Runners won on the boys’ side.

In the Intermediate race, Summer Harper of the Sojourners Running Club found herself in second at the first mile, but worked her way to the lead by the second mile. Harper covered the 5 km course in 17:48.53 to win the title after finishing as the runner-up in this same race in 2010. On the boys’ side, Esteva De La Rosa of O’Brien’s Army was in second at the first mile, dropped back to third at the second mile, but was able to fight his way to the lead in 15:09.01. Harper’s effort lead the Sojourners to the girls’ team title, and the Equalizers Track Club won the boys’ race.

Heather Bates lead at every split to win the Young Women’s 5 km race in 18:14.36. Enrique Soto ran through the first two mile splits with a tight pack of runners. Soto was in 5th at the mile and 2nd by two miles. In the closest finish of the day, Soto won by only a second to claim the Junior Olympic title in 15:44.  The Indiana All Star Running Team won the women’s race, while the Richmond Track and Field Club won the men’s.

In Junior Olympic competition the age groups are divided as follows: sub bantam (8 and under) racing 2 km; bantam (9-10) racing 3 km; midget (11-12) racing 3 km; youth (13-14) racing 4 km; intermediate (15-16) racing 5 km; and young men/women (17-18) racing 5 km.