Connolly, Griffin to defend Tommy Cochary High School Mile titles
Top area HSers expected at 9th edition; $2500 grant to each champion's school; part of the 46th New Balance Falmouth Road Race weekend
From Falmouth Road Race
FALMOUTH, Mass. - Twenty-one high school athletes from throughout Massachusetts will compete in the Tommy Cochary High School Mile on Saturday, August 18, held in conjunction with the New Balance Falmouth Road Race the next day, race organizers have announced.
Highlighting the races, which are part of the Saturday Track Festival, will be the return of defending champions Grace Connolly of Natick (Natick HS) and Mike Griffin of Wrentham (King Philip Regional HS).
Connolly, who ran the fastest Mile in the state this spring (4:49.34) as runner-up in the 2018 New Balance Nationals Outdoor Mile, shattered the Tommy Cochary meet record last year with her victory in 4:56.33 before going on to win her 15-19 age group in the 7-mile New Balance Falmouth Road Race the next day. She is the reigning state champion at the distance, and the 2017 state champion in the 2 Mile.
Griffin, who surprised the field here last year as a freshman with his 4:26.08 win, recently placed fourth in the New England Championships at 1600 meters and fifth at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor in the Emerging Elite Mile. He is ranked #6 in the state for 2018 outdoors, with a 4:17.76 Mile.
The track festival will begin at 4:00pm at the James Kalperis Track at Falmouth High School with the SBLI Family Fun Run, followed by the Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile and then the Tommy Cochary High School Mile. Admission is free.
The high school Mile, which began in 2010, was renamed seven years ago in honor of Tommy Cochary, a young Falmouth runner who was killed in a drunk-driving accident in 1990. The road race was a huge part of the family’s life, and athletes are chosen to compete not only because they are among the best high school Milers in Massachusetts but also because they embody Tommy’s spirit of an active life and fun-loving attitude, and
because they have shown evidence of making smart choices in their lives.
Among those challenging Connolly in the girls’ Mile will be twin sisters Kaitlyn & Sarah Roffman of Littleton (Littleton HS), both of whom return from 2017. Sarah Roffman, whose 5:02.41 time for the Mile ranks #3 in the state this season, finished fourth last year.
Also in the lineup will be Ashley Foley of Beverly (Beverly HS); Sarah Freeman of Merrimac (Central Catholic HS); Meg Hughes of Rochester (Old Rochester Regional HS); Caroline Johannes of Hingham (Hingham HS); Sarah Reichheld of Concord (Concord-Carlisle HS); Emily Vivanco of Lancaster (Nashoba Regional HS) and Gabriella Walsh of Carlisle (Middlesex School).
For the boys, Tyler Brogan of Franklin (Franklin HS); Lucas Aramburu of Boston (Brookline HS); Noah Whiting of Newton (Newton South HS); and Adam Sylvia of Rochester (Old Rochester Regional HS) are also returning. Last year, they finished fourth, fifth, sixth and ninth, respectively. Brogan finished fourth at the 2018 state championships in 4:17.34, ranking him #5 in the state.
Coming in ranked #4 is Rishabh Prakash of Burlington (Burlington HS) with a time of 4:16.64, which earned him third in the state finals.
Also competing will be Alex Ehrenthal of Concord (Concord-Carlisle HS); Tommy Gaffey Jr. of Scituate (Thayer Academy); Michael Hagen of Franklin (Franklin HS); John Mariano of Quincy (Xaverian Brothers HS) and Zane Reservitz of North Easton (Oliver Ames HS).
Winners of both the boys’ and girls’ Mile races will have a grant of $2500 awarded to their school in their name to be used in a way that implements change in athletics or wellness, such as new equipment, team uniforms or after-school wellness activities.
All of the Tommy Cochary Milers are involved in extra-curricular activities and public-service projects outside of athletics, including overseas missions, church projects, club leadership and volunteer work.
Among them are the Roffman sisters, who volunteer at the Celiac Support Group at Children’s Hospital and mentor a recently diagnosed child; Reichheld, who in 2015 started a charity group with three friends called “Giving Gals” that has raised $10,000 for various causes; Freeman, who joined a mission trip to the Dominican Republic to help bring running water to a remote village; Gaffey, who is president of SALSA (Students Advocating Life Without Substance Abuse) Club and Aramburu, who is a founding member of the Students Against Institutional Racism committee at Brookline High School.
For more information on the Tommy Cochary High School Mile, the SBLI Family Fun Run, the Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile or the 46th running of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race, go to: www.falmouthroadrace.com