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The Country School was well represented at the Region 1 Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships. Pictured are (front) Keve Frusztajer (Guilford), Quinn Freeman (Guilford), Sam Duffy (Madison), Lalia Goodman (Old Lyme), Lillian Clare (Madison), Tash Frusztajer (Guilford), Kieran Freeman (Guilford), Liv Killam (Madison), and Tillie Killam (Madison); along with (back) coach John Fixx, Anna Vlieks (Madison), Gabe Goodman (Old Lyme), Miklosh Frusztajer (Guilford), coach Beth Coyne, and coach Blair Lachance. (Photo courtesy of The Country School )
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The Country School in Madison sent a collection of runners to compete at the Region 1 Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships that took place at Sunken Meadow State Park on Long Island on Nov. 24. The Country School’s runners put forth great performances across the board at the regional meet with several runners qualifying for the National Championships that will be held in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday, Dec. 14.
The Country School crowned its second Northeast regional cross country champion when 3rd-grade student Laila Goodman of Old Lyme finished in first place for the 2K course by running a time of 7 minutes and 59 seconds, while competing against girls from all six New England states and New York. Goodman’s time was the fastest in her age group. She now advances to race at the National Championships with her fellow Country School qualifiers.
The course at Sunken Meadow State Park earned its name as it was drenched in water, resulting in muddy trails, puddles, and slippery slopes. On a day of extraordinary achievement during adverse weather conditions, 3rd-grader Tillie Killam of Madison finished sixth overall in Region 1 by running her all-time fastest time of 8:59.
Liv Killam, a 1st-grade student from Madison, finished in 11th place in Region 1 by turning in a time of 9:24. Goodman, Tillie Killam, and Liv Killiam are part of the Litchfield Track Club, which finished second overall in the team competition, qualifying them to represent the Northeast at the national meet.
The final qualifier that made it through to nationals is the tenacious and fleetfooted 3rd-grader Lillian Clare of Madison. One of the youngest runners in her division, Clare took 17th place in a time of 12:45 for the 3K course, beating out runners who had placed ahead of her during the Connecticut qualifier two weeks earlier.
Tash Frusztajer, a 1st-grader from Guilford, completed the 2K course in 9:28 to finish 39th overall. Keve Frusztajer and Jacob Rothberg of Guilford, both 4th-graders, ran times of 13:22 and 14:41, respectively, to finish in 64th and 87th place.
Emma Kowalski, a 6th-grade student from Killingworth, splashed through the puddles and slid along the muddy trails to finish her 3K with a time of 14:52, good for 111th place overall in a difficult division. On a day that featured formations of geese flying overhead, 6th-graders Sam Duffy of Madison and Gabe Goodman of Old Lyme took 71st place and 98th place, respectively, with their times of 11:53 and 12:28.
Madison residents Tessa Burch and John Reach, captains of the 8th-grade team, laced up their spikes to tackle the mud bath over 4K of rolling hills and trails. Burch finished the course with a personal-best time of 18:45 in the final meet of her Country School cross country career. Reach set a personal best with a time of 15:20 to come in 62nd place overall.
Other runners who competed for The Country School at the Region 1 Championships included 2nd-grader Quinn Freeman from Guilford, 3rd-grader Kieran Freeman of Guilford, 6th-grader Sean Duffy of Madison, 6th-grader Anna Vlieks from Madison, and 6th-grader Miklosh Frusztajer of Guilford.
The coaches for The Country School’s cross country program are Beth Coyne, John Fixx, and Blair Lachance.
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