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The Country School in Madison sent a collection of runners to compete at the Region 1 Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships that took place at Sunken Meadow State Park on Long Island on Nov. 24. The Country School’s runners put forth great performances across the board at the regional meet with several runners qualifying for the National Championships that will be held in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday, Dec. 14.
The Country School crowned its second Northeast regional cross country champion when 3rd-grade student Laila Goodman of Old Lyme finished in first place for the 2K course by running a time of 7 minutes and 59 seconds, while competing against girls from all six New England states and New York. Goodman’s time was the fastest in her age group. She now advances to race at the National Championships with her fellow Country School qualifiers.
The course at Sunken Meadow State Park earned its name as it was drenched in water, resulting in muddy trails, puddles, and slippery slopes. On a day of extraordinary achievement during adverse weather conditions, 3rd-grader Tillie Killam of Madison finished sixth overall in Region 1 by running her all-time fastest time of 8:59.
Liv Killam, a 1st-grade student from Madison, finished in 11th place in Region 1 by turning in a time of 9:24. Goodman, Tillie Killam, and Liv Killiam are part of the Litchfield Track Club, which finished second overall in the team competition, qualifying them to represent the Northeast at the national meet.
The final qualifier that made it through to nationals is the tenacious and fleet-footed 3rd-grader Lillian Clare of Madison. One of the youngest runners in her division, Clare took 17th place in a time of 12:45 for the 3K course, beating out runners who had placed ahead of her during the Connecticut qualifier two weeks earlier.