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Sentinel Striders Capture National
In the 33 year history of the Sentinel Striders, the club had earned almost every award possible at the USATF Cross Country Junior Olympics. They had won 81 New England Championships, brought over 800 runners to National Championships, seen 82 of those runners earn All-American honors, and even had 3 individuals win National titles. But, while there had been 2 teams that finished runner-up and and 11 teams finish 3rd, no Striders team had ever won a National Championship. Until now.
On Saturday at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, TX, the Striders 11-12 Boys team topped a field of 33 teams to capture the National Championship by a score of 81-101 over runner-up Indiana All-Star Running Club.
North Kingstown’s Sam Toolin led the field of 391 finishers through the 1st mile before finishing 2nd in a personal best time of 9:52 over the 3,000 meter (1.8 miles) course. Toolin, who finished 3rd two years ago as a 10 year-old, earned All-American honors for the third straight year.
Also earning All-American honors was teammate Max DiMuccio, who finished 17th in 10:29. Jack Perreault and Michael DelSesto were close behind in 26th (10:38) and 30th (10:43). However, despite putting 4 runners in the top 30, the Striders still trailed by 11 points with just the 5th runners left to score.
The Striders completed their scoring with Ashton Burnett crossing the line in 51st place (10:53). After teammates Jack Wilbur (63rd) and Reilly Johnston (73rd) crossed the line, and still no 5th finisher from the Indiana club, the title was clinched.
Other finishers on the national championship team included Tom Kilduff, Nick Capalbo, Tyler Chambers, Zach Magoon, Stephen Walsh, Jack Iannotti, and Zach DiMuccio.
After winning 5 team championships at the Region 1 meet in New York last month, the Striders took 67 runners and 10 teams to this year’s National Meet. Over 3,200 runners from across the country came to Texas after qualifying through two weeks of association and regional meets in late November.
The Striders also had an All-American (top 25) in the 17-18 Girls race, as Smithfield junior Stephanie Mattson finished 18th in 20:27 over the 3.1 mile course.
The 15-16 Girls team placed 4th with 148 points, led by Rebecca Meinertz in 56th place. Isabella Cournoyer finished 73rd, followed closely by Caitlin Paredes (80th) and Cassidy Bissitt (84th).
In the 17-18 Boys race, the Striders placed 6th with 130 points. Cumberland senior Kevin Seaver was the top finisher, placing 33rd in 17:00. Michael Dampier (43rd) and Braden Mungeam (46th) also finished in the top 50.
The 15-16 Boys team was 7th out of 19 teams with 206 points. They were led by Adam Petti, who finished 27th in 16:55, and Abdullah Kaba in 60th. In the largest field of the day, the 13-14 Boys were 10th out of 39 teams. Brandon Hall was 54th out of 444 finishers, while Matt Vinacco placed 90th.
The 7-8 Girls team finished 6th, led by Valerie Capalbo (101st) and Talia Cost (104th). The 7-8 Boys placed 8th, and were led by David Parenteau in 74th and James McCarron in 84th.
In the 13-14 Girls race, the Striders placed 14th. Ellie Lawler was 27th in 15:10 over the 2.4 mile course, and Katy Brayman finished 60th out of 377 runners. Erin Johnston placed 73rd in the 11-12 Girls race, as the team finished in 20th place.
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