The first annual Essex/Middlesex County Elementary School Cross Country Invitational was held recently at the Gannon Country Club in Lynn. Several local youngsters competed in the races for boys and girls grades 1-3 and an overall championship for boys and girls grades 1-5.
“We had 117 finishers,” said race organizer Joe Abelon, who is also the co-director for middle school cross country. “I contacted every elementary school, and every physical education director to let them know about it. Some schools have little running clubs.
“There is so much concern about obesity in our young kids, running is a great exercise. Kids run around the school yard anyway. We had two races per gender, the younger ones doing .65 miles and the older kids going two laps on the course we set up. They had a great time, and we got a lot of positive feedback.”
The course was set up on the 15th fairway, and a golf cart led the races. Lily McMahon of the Clark School in Swampscott won the girls grades 1-3 event in 5:13. Chloe Toda of the Carroll School in Peabody was 13th and Gabby Hendy from Elbridge Gerry in Marblehead was right behind her while Tara Powers (Carroll) was 17th.
Nate Marston of the Stanley School in Swampscott was second in the boys 1-3 event in 4:58 while Jansen Landen (Stanley) 6th, Liam Powell (Hadley in Swampscott) 7th, Quinn McCarren (Stanley) 13th, and James Marcey (Coffin in MH) was 16th.
Sarah McVey from Spofford Pond School in Boxford won the girls championship overall in 8:08 followed by Ceirra Merritt (Hannah, Beverly) 5th, Mia McKersie (Spofford Pond) 7th, Cassia Picardy (Carroll) 9th, Kayteign Crowell (Hannah) 11th , Jocelyn Dumouchel (Spofford Pond) 13th, Ellie Posanka (Spofford Pond) 15th, Katherine Faddis (Spofford Pond) 16th, Raquel Rave (Spofford Pond) 18th, and Sara Rave (Spofford Pond) 19th.
For the boys George Nikolakopoulos from St. Mary’s in Danvers was 2nd in 7:52), Patrick Hosman (West, Peabody) 4th, Peter Bertinato (Spofford Pond) 6th, Sam McCall (Spofford Pond) 11th, Baden Cox (Spofford Pond) 13th Jack McCall (Spofford Pond) 16th, Peter Jenkins (Spofford Pond ) 17th, and John Hagen (Hadley) 19th.
Spofford Pond won the girls team championship, and the school took second in the boys team championship.
“We plan on doing it again next year, and hopefully when word gets out about this event we’ll attract more kids. The kids were terrific, and there was a lot of school spirit,” said Abelon.