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January 6, 2010 > Local runners claim national cross country title

Local runners claim national cross country title

Submitted By Eric Peterson

Fremont-based youth team, Heat Cross Country, won the boys division at the Junior Olympic National Championships held in Reno, Nevada on Saturday, Dec. 26. Showing their depth, the Heat finished with its top five runners in the top 40 and 10 in the top 70 spots.

Connor McCarthy, who earned All-American honors by placing 10th overall, led the team. Also earning All-American status were Caton Avilla (17th place) and Aidan Goltra (21st). Gabe Arias-Sheridan (27th place) and Nolan Petersen (38th place) rounded out the scoring spots. The Equalizers, an all-star team from Southern California, finished second.

"Our great team depth was the difference," said Heat coach Eric Petersen. "We had 10 runners beat the fifth scoring runner of the Equalizers."

Jacob Schlachte, Brynn Sargent, Tim O'Shea, Adler Faulkner and Sean Aylward all figured in the scoring.

"With so much talent on the team we were able to handle individual performance swings and extreme changes in course conditions," added Petersen. "We raced twice in Reno this season: the first time was sunny and dry with temperatures in the 40s; last Saturday (December 26) the course was buried in snow with more falling all the time. The team was strong both times, but the finishing order of the boys was significantly different."

In addition to the national championship win for the youth boys, Heat also placed third in the under-12 boys division. Peter Schlachte led the way with his 16th-place finish, earning All-American honors. Helping put the team on the podium were Michael Dunne, Kahale Warring, Ben Zaeske and Daniel Tang.

Heat had another seven individuals earn All-American status, a new team record and one of the best overall team performances at the national championship meet.

Julia Bounds was second in the Bantam (under-10) Girls division. In the Bantam Boys division, Heat had three All Americans: Tim Falls (7th), Alex Sokol (16th) and Sam Reynolds (23rd). Sophie Hartley continued her string of All-American finishes by placing 12th in the Youth Girls division.

In the Intermediate Girls division (ages 15 -16) Natalie Dimits earned All-American honors with her 19th-place finish. In the Intermediate Boys division, Parker Deuel led the way with a 14th-place finish. This was his eighth All-American award, making him one of the most decorated runners in team history.

"We had an amazing season," said coach Kevin McCarthy. "The entire team worked tremendously hard all season. There were lots of long, hilly runs in 100-degree heat in August, and hard intervals on cold, rainy days in November. It is very gratifying to see all that hard work pay off. This team proved they are the best in the country."

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