Cross Country Runner O'Connor Races In Nationals
It was quite an impressive fall for Newtown's Catherine O'Connor, who recently competed in the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic Cross Country Nationals, the highest level for youth cross country, in Madison, Wisc. in late December. O'Connor placed 30th among 317 finishers in the 11-12 age group of the 3K race in a time of 11:32.8.
O'Connor qualified by placing fifth in the regional competition, comprising seven states; she came in second in the Connecticut Junior Olympic race to qualify for regionals. The Newtown runner had a personal record time of 11:08 in the 3K regional race.
O'Connor has run with the Nutmeg Striders. The program did not have enough runners to field a team this past fall but Striders Coach Mike Scappaticci worked with individuals, including O'Connor, to help them train. The hard work certainly paid off with O'Connor's advancement to nationals.
"It was really exciting. I was really happy because last year I didn't go. I was excited to fly to a race because I have never done that before," O'Connor said.
"I like running because it's fun to do once you get into it. I like getting medals and going to races. A lot of people think that running is really boring and easy but it's a really fun sport because you get to travel the country doing races," she added.