THOMASTON - The 25th chapter of the Heery Summer Running Series is now a part of Thomaston history. The races have been won and the hardware has been distributed. “It’s funny,” said race director Mark Olsen afterwards. “The eighth week of the series was similar to earlier weeks yet different.” There were no surprises at the top, as Eric Desmarais was the overall winner while Abbie Johnston was the women’s champion.
After the two constants, there were many new faces as summer fitness melted into the fall cross country preparation, Olsen pointed out.
“After Abbie, the next five finishers were members of the Thomaston High School cross country team,” said Olsen. “Maegan Desmarais was the second girl to cross the finish line, steps in front of teammates Kiersten Sundell and Briana Grecco and not far behind them was Payton Mozelak, who was followed closely by Kiera Fainer.”
In the male bracket, the domination of the high school runners was not quite as complete; Desmarais was followed by high schoolers Jake Field and Connor Foss but the onslaught was broken up by father-son combo Caleb and Lee Johnston.
“Of note,” said Olsen, “Michael Paleria celebrated his birthday by running his first road race, and he turned in a quality effort finishing twelfth.”
The story of the week was not the day’s results, however, it was the cumulation of the summer, as Abbie and Caleb Johnston won their respective age groups most often, set personal records consistently and, in the end, stood above the competition, earning the siblings earned the prestigious Morenz Awards as the overall champions of the eight-week annual series.
The male bracket was won by young Micah Johnston; he was followed, in order, by Art Morenz, Mark Andrade, Eric Desmarais and Connor Foss.
The women’s bracket was won by Roxy Fainer, who was followed by Carol Morenz, Alexa Johnston, Gianna Johnston and Kiera Fainer.
AGE GROUP WINNERS
Gracie Johnston - mighty mitettes
Troy Balance - mighty mites
Kylee Ballance - center school girls
Elijah Crosby - middle school boys
Briana Grecco - high school girls
Jonah Crosby - high school boys
Kaelyn Foss - open women
Chris Lockhart - open men
Christina Molliconi - masters women
Chris Gaudette - masters men.
WEEK EIGHT TOP 25
1. Eric Desmarais - 13:04
2. Abbie Johnston - 14:09
3. Jake Field - 14:24
4. Connor Foss - 14:28
5. Caleb Johnston - 14:40
6. Lee Johnston - 14:41
7. Keegan Daigle - 15:09
8. Maegan Desmarais - 15:15
9. Chris Lockhart - 15:21
10. Briana Grecco - 15:26
10. Kiersten Sundell - 15:26
12. Michael Paleria - 15:37
13. Payton Mozelak - 16:44
14. Kiera Fainer - 16:58
15. Carol Morenz - 17:01
16. Kian Reyes - 17:26
17. Kayla Marble - 17:40
18. Elijah Crosby - 18:08
19. Alexa Johnston - 19:07
20. Ellie Marble - 19:28
21. Mark Andrade - 19:41
22. Kiersten Johnston - 20:07
23. Alyssa Founier - 20:36
24 - Art Morenz - 20:42
25. Micah Johnston - 20:52.
Week 7 is crystal ball week at the Heery Series; participants are given the opportunity to gain valuable bonus points by predicting their finish times before the event.
Athletes who come closest to their predictions, without going slower, get the most points and there are no watches allowed.
So who knows their pace best?
According to Olsen, apparently no one can predict any finer than the Fainers.
“Mom Roxy came closest to her prediction,” said Olsen, “coming across the finish line a mere second off the time that she was looking for, but it was a second too slow, so she got no bonus points at all, unfortunately.”
Who was next best?
Keira, Roxy’s daughter, finished three seconds faster than her prediction, giving her the biggest bonus awarded for the day.
Others with fine predictions and big bonuses for the day included the day’s first finisher Eric Desmarais, Kaelyn Foss, who turned in a big-time personal best time; Heery legend Carol Morenz and, much to the dismay of the competition, ultra-fast and ultra-consistent Abbie Johnston.
“Abbie has been stellar all summer and she used the bonus to vault into the series lead” with one week left, Olsen pointed out.
Females dominated the leaderboard for the week, as eight of the top twelve came from their bracket.
Abbie Johnson was followed by Kaelyn Foss in a tight battle, with Briana Grecco and Maegan Desmarais crossing the finish line together in a tie for sixth.
Rachel Guay ran her best time of the summer to finish fifth in the age bracket and ninth overall.
Eric Desmarais was the overall winner for the third time this summer.
Connor Foss and Chris Lockhart finished in an all-out sprint for second in the male bracket, with Foss prevailing to finish fourth overall.
Consistent Caleb Johnston and upstart Elijah Crosby rounded out the bracket for the boys.
Siblings Abbie and Caleb Johnston put themselves in good positions to be awarded the coveted Morenz trophies for the summer.
“Closest to Abbie in the chase pack are Roxy and Kiera Fainer, Carol Morenz, and more siblings, Alexa and Giana Johnston,” said Olsen.
Right behind Caleb were brother Micah, Art Morenz, Mark Andrade, Eric Desmarais and Chris Gaudette.
WEEK 7 TOP 10
1. Eric Desmarais - 13:48
2. Abbie Johnston - 13:50
3. Kaelyn Foss - 13:58
4. Connor Foss - 15:35
5. Chris Lockhart - 15:37
6. Briana Grecco - 16:00
6. Maegan Desmarais - 16:00
8. Caleb Johnston - 16:01
9. Rachel Guay - 16:13
10. Carol Morenz - 17:03
The series was again sponsored by the Thomaston Recreation Department. “I can’t thank them enough,” said Olsen. “they give us everything we need to make the weekly events safe and smooth-running.”