By: Lisa MacGeorge
Competing in the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships is a wonderful accomplishment for anyone. However, what is truly amazing is that Sara Blanco, a fifth-grader at the Samuel Adams School, just started running 3K races around six months ago.
Sara’s interest was sparked when a friend of hers mentioned that she was running with the Momentum Athletics Club and that her dad, Samir Hossaini, is the head coach. Ms. Blanco asked her mother about joining the running club. She states, “It took a lot of conversing, but she let me try it.”
Sara started out competing in small local races and kept working her way up to larger ones. On November 17, she competed in the USATF New England Associate Junior Olympic Championships in Rhode Island. Her time was 13:25.88 and she placed 24 out of 69 in the 9-10 girls group. This qualified her to run in the USATF Region 1 Junior Olympic Championship on Long Island. In New York, she placed 26:102 for her age group and finish in 13 minutes and 9 seconds which qualified her for the national championships. On December 14, she competed at the USATF National Junior Olympics. While Sara’s placement in Wisconsin did not allow her to move on internationally, she did place 154 out of 241 competitors in her age group. Her time was 13:55.29 with an average mile of 7 minutes and 29 seconds. Sara said she felt “excited but not nervous” when competing in the races. She says she plans to continue running because “it’s fun and gives me something to do if I’m bored.”