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Hastings Track Runners go to Nationals!

Hastings Track Runners go to Nationals!

During both spring and winter track, there are several national meets for high school runners to qualify for and compete in. The competitions vary depending on which company is holding the races. There are Nike Nationals, New Balance Nationals, Adidas Nationals and more.

Six Hastings High School track athletes qualified for a national championship meet this year. Caitlin Thomas, a junior, ran the 5k at New Balance Nationals at the New Balance Track in Boston. Hazel Kuniholm, a freshman, ran the one mile at Nike nationals at the New York City Armory. Lastly, Samantha Guilfoyle, a junior, Siri Rosenberg, a sophomore, Lola Norlander, a sophomore, and Charlotte Durietz Bourdain, a senior, ran the Sprint Medley Relay (SMR) at Nike Nationals.

The runners had to qualify for nationals by finishing their event under a certain time. The preparation for the meet was specialized for each runner depending on which event they were participating in. Lola said, “ We trained hard for two weeks straight for nationals. I ran the 400 leg of the SMR and so my workouts were a little bit longer than the girls running the 200 leg and a little bit shorter than the girl running the 800 leg. Coach Guilfoyle made sure to push us to train to the best of our abilities to make sure we were really ready for nationals.”

Additionally, Caitlin said: “The specialized training was mainly just the same as the rest of the season with slightly more endurance work and higher mileage”.

The runners expressed how nationals differed from one of their typical meets.

“There were just so many people, and it was a lot more chaotic. Normally we can find seating relatively easily, but it was hard to find somewhere to sit at this meet,” explained Siri.

Nationals are typically much larger than dual meets or invitationals because people from all over the country could be running, whereas in the other meets they typically only include the specific class or league the school belongs to.

Charlotte explained how nationals “was definitely different because everyone was much more excited to be there than usual.” She also mentioned how “it was the day of the school Olympics, so [they] weren’t tired from a typical day of school like [they] sometimes are.”

Furthermore, Caitlin explained how, at nationals, runners are competing “unattached,” meaning that they are not running for the school; rather, they run independently.

“This means you don’t wear your school uniform and don’t score points for the high school team. On top of this, the meet is much bigger and takes up a lot more time,” said Caitlin.

Lola added on, saying; “The nationals meet was super different from a regular meet, which I wasn’t too surprised by. We had to check in right away and there were people from all over the country which made the meet more nerve-racking. We had bibs with our full name on it which I thought was pretty cool, plus I got a customized nationals backpack!”

With regards to the meet overall, Charlotte said: “We didn’t place very high but to be honest I’m just happy to have been able to run at nationals so I’m very happy with how we did.”

Caitlin said, “I ran a 17:38 and had a top 15 finish so I’m really happy. I’m honestly just super grateful to the team and coaches and my parents for giving me the opportunity.”

All of the Hastings High School runners agree nationals was a great experience, and they are ready for next year. Lola said, “As a team, we did good! We definitely didn’t get first place (the other girls were so fast!) but that just means we can get faster to win nationals next year!” Caitlin said, “This was my first 5k on a track so I think with a little more work I could hopefully improve my performance”.

Congratulations to all of the National runners!


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