2012 SALEM NEWS GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY ALL-STAR TEAM
MOST VALUABLE RUNNER
Catarina Rocha has been the top female runner in the state for quite a while; now she can claim the title as best in the entire Northeast region of the country. She handily captured the Northeast Regional Qualifier for Foot Locker Nationals at Van Cortlandt Park in New York in a blistering time of 17:49, a full 19 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. She is competing in the Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals in San Diego for the third time today, hoping for a top 10 finish.
Rocha has shattered course records with fantastic times, reaching and exceeding every goal she set. At the All-State Meet she won in 18:06, a full 45 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. The previous week she won her third straight Eastern Mass Division 1 title, setting a course record at Wrentham (17:27). Rocha also won the MSTCA Frank Kelley Invitational, crushing the course record by 39 seconds (17:40) to lead her team to a first place finish, and was just as dominant at the Bay State Invitational, winning in 18:49. Rocha set another record in the league meet at Bradley Palmer, leading the Tanners to the NEC championship in 17:20, breaking the course record of 17:45 set by Olympian Shalane Flanagan of Marblehead in 1999.
The Tanner captain and NEC Most Valuable also owns her home course record and was undefeated in the NEC. She carries a 3.7 GPA and has colleges all over the country wooing her to run for them. A humble athlete, she says her parents Joe (who is also the Peabody High coach) and Gina are the biggest influence in her career because of their constant support.
Tanners’ No. 2 runner most of the year … Best performance at Frank Kelley Invitational with sixth place finish (19:08) … Was 7th at Bay State Invitational (20:07) … Took 10th at NEC championship in 20:44 and was a league all-star … Only loss all season to teammate Catarina Rocha … Carries 3.6 GPA.