The state championships for individual classes (L for large, I for intermediate, and M/S for medium/small combined) were held over the weekend.
In the Class L girls’ 400, a sophomore from Bishop Guertin (Nashua) named Cecilia Barowski ran 56.20 to knock Rachel Umberger’s nine-year-old mark of 56.22 off the books. Rachel, like me, went to Concord High School, and during her glory days I was coaching in the area and thus got to see her race often. She was a phenomenal talent, maybe a once-in-a-lifetime distance runner who benefited from the erudite coaching of the legendary Barb Higgins. Rachel was cut down by injuries at Duke and had to quit the sport before she was old enough to legally drink, and it’s a damned shame no one knows how fast she could have ultimately run. She toyed with her in-state “competition” and was the 2002 outdoor national champion in her money race, the 800, running 2:09.67. In 2000, she was part of a cross-country team that wound up ranked ninth in the nation by Harrier Magazine, and was the individual state champion.
Anyway, one of the two-headed distance monster of St. Thomas here in Dover, Kaitlyn D’Orazio, broke her own Class I record in the 800 with a 2:12.18. Her teammate, Rachel Schneider, broke the class record for the 1600 with a 4:55.72, winning by an absurd 16 seconds. Both will race at the Meet of Champions at UNH this Saturday, and I will be there.