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December 14, 2020
Budzynski, Lopez winners at National Junior Olympic Cross Country
NE Elite runners turn in strong age group performances
USATF Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships
, both representing
New England Elite
, ran to wins at the USATF Junior Olympic National Cross Country Championships over the weekend. This year's non-traditional format - no qualifying meets, events run in multiple waves, and being spread over 2 days of competition (11-12 and younger on Saturday, 13-14 and older on Sunday) - made for interesting challenges but saw quality competition in all age divisions.
Budzinski capped her season with a strong win in the Girls 9-10 3000 meter race, clocking 11:53.5 to the runner-up time of 12:02. This follows her wins the New England Youth Championships and Mayor's Cup age division (8th best time overall) earlier in the fall.
On the other end of the age groups, Lopez earned the Boys 15-16 5000 meter gold with a time of 15:39.4. It was the second fastest overall time of the day, as races and waves were combined for the 15-16 and 17-18 groups.
Lopez had run to the National title in the 13-14 division last year.
One place back overall and second in age 17-18 was teammate Ryan Young in 15:39.4.
That 2-3 punch led New England Elite to the boys 15-18 team title by 2 points with a total of 56. Their counterparts in the 15-18 Girls competition also made the podium, taking third with 72 points.
Full results at
New England competitors scored several additional top 10 placings:
Girls 15-16 5km
8.Finleigh Simonds NE Elite 19:03.9
Boys 8/Under 2km
4.Colin Smith Sentinel Striders 7:33.8
10.Cameron Pakler Sentinel Striders 8:03.2
Boys 13-14 4km
5.Jason Padula Sentinel Striders 13:36.4
Boys 17-18 5km
10.Matthew Griffin NE Elite 16:01.5
Teams - Girls 13-14
5.New England Elite, 99