Some 220 young runners from a total of seven area elementary schools took part in the Derry Elementary Cross-Country Fun Runs on the Pinkerton Academy cross-country course in Derry last Saturday morning, Oct. 28.
Fourth and fifth grade boy and girl runners from Derry’s Grinnell, Derry Village, East Derry, South Range, and Barka elementary schools ran in the event along with visiting squads from the Presentation of Mary Academy (Hudson) and Saint Catherine of Siena (Manchester) elementary schools.
“We had a great morning with great weather for our fourth and fifth grade fun runs,” said race director and Barka school physical education teacher Cindy McNally, who along with PE teachers from the other Derry schools helped teach their students about running and pace in physical education classes during the weeks leading up to the Saturday races.
“It’s always nice to run, finish, and be a medal winner, but the atmosphere for every single runner from start to finish was awesome, with cheers from all,” said McNally. “Parents, coaches, teachers, administrators, siblings, and friends were cheering on all the runners. These students have worked hard to train how to run a mile and really had a great sense of accomplishment.”
The top five finishers in the fourth grade girls’ race were Maddie Houghton of the Manchester school (6 minutes, 59 seconds), her teammate Anna Diaz (7:13), and Derry Village School youngsters Rebecca King (7:28), Isabella Dupuis (7:36), and Sarah Pzasa (7:43).
Members of the East Derry Elementary community had reasons to puff out their chests with pride after four of its young men took top spots in the fourth grade boys’ race.
That skilled quartet, in order, included Thompson Langalgne (6:53), Sean Hayes (6:55), Jeremey Campos (6:59), and Isaac Santos (7:03).
Parker Brown from the Barka school snagged fifth in 7:08.
And everybody in attendance wound up with reasons to cheer for one particular fourth grader in that race.
“We had a fourth grade boy from South Range, Timmy Dineen, who set a goal to make it once around the track in his wheelchair. He trained with the running club for five weeks and accomplished his goal in 13:00,” said Cindy McNally.
In the fifth grade girls’ run, Torrey Pedone of Saint Catherine took first (6:43), Brianna Murray of PMA was second (6:54), Kate Brennan of Derry Village snagged third (6:57), Meredith MacWilliam of the Manchester school bagged fourth (7:18), and Barka school harrier Caitlyn Lemay claimed fifth place (7:19).
And in the fifth grade boys’ event, Matthew Giardina of PMA proved unbeatable (6:15), Matthew Morrison from South Range was the runner-up (6:25), Noah Daigle and Robbie Swain from PMA were third and fourth respectively (in 6:47 and 6:53), and Jackson Chase from Derry Village notched fifth (7:02).