Monument Runners Prepare for State Championship
November 18, 2016
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This Saturday, November 19th, Monument’s Michael Goretti, Grace Phair and Jasmin Johannsdottir will run in the Massachusetts State Cross Country Championship. Of all the athletes who participated in fall sports, they are the only athletes from Monument to qualify for the state wide competition.
Last Sunday, November 13th, both the girls and boys teams ran in the Western Massachusetts Cross Country meet at Stanley Park in Westfield, Massachusetts. A total of 156 runners participated in the boys race, including seven from Monument. Goretti crossed the finish line with a time of 18:07, placing 18th overall.
In the girls race, Monument was represented by seven students. Phair, a sophomore, finished fifth out of 119 in 19:42. Johannsdottir, a junior, finished the 3.1 mile course in 20:36, coming in 17th overall.
This is only the second season Goretti has been a member of the cross country team. “I played soccer my freshman year,” Goretti explained. “I was a good runner and not very good at soccer, so I decided to switch to cross country.” Saturday will be the first time he will compete in a state wide competition. “I’m definitely excited because it’s a new experience. I’ve never been to states before, but I’m still nervous for the competition,” he said. The race at Westfield was the first time Goretti came in first on the Monument team all season. “I knew I was capable of it. The majority of the race I stuck with Nick Gray, but then around the two mile mark I was feeling good and I was able to make my move.”
As Goretti prepares for Saturday, he is hoping to continue with the success he has experienced this season. “I want to try to have a pace that is under six minutes per mile. I’m going to go out there and do my best because Saturdays are for the boys,” said Goretti. The boys’ race is scheduled for 2:30 and the girls’ will begin at 1:10 in Gardner, Massachusetts.