The Little Things . . .

a Going the Distance newsletter

Late November 2019 || issue #85
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Sean Kay – State XC Champ

On November 16 at the All-State xc meet in Gardner, Sean Kay (Melrose/Arlington Catholic) posted the fastest time of the day (16:03) to win the Division 2 race and become the top xc runner in the state. Sean is the 2nd runner in Fernando Braz’s personal coaching program to win the xc state title in the past 4 years. AJ Ernst (Marblehead) won in 2015.

At the All-State meet Finn Russell (Ipswich) ran 18:10, Mike Madden (Lynnfield) 19:16, and Jonah Orroth (Ipswich) 20:15.

Caroline Johnson (Marblehead) ran 20:48 and Grace Sousa (Georgetown) 22:49.

We asked Sean's Dad to share his thoughts on his son's xc season.

Sean has a really strong desire to compete well - which means he enjoys an experience most when he knows that it requires an investment that will build towards a chance to go head to head with top competitors. Then on game day, it really comes down to "who has prepared the most?" I've watched Seany run races since he was 7, and he has thrived being the youngest kid at a race, or hearing from race "experts" that he is not the favorite leading up to a championship race - the challenge really motivates him! Not just on game day, since God gives us the number of talents we need in life....he is motivated to outwork everyone he can on practice days, on workout days, on speed days - in season and out of season.

That in my mind is one of the greatest benefits that has led to his success - he works hard all year long. One of the most advantageous elements to his routine has been working with Coach Fernando Braz and Going the Distance programs. It has allowed him to re-double efforts and work year round towards running excellence. Winning Division V two years in a row, and winning the All State Championship on Saturday was the culmination of years of hard work and the result of great coaching. Running the fastest time at All States in 2019 is an amazing achievement of his goal of 3 years, and when Coach Braz told me "Your son is a State Champ", he got the biggest bear hug of the day!

I've known Fernando since my days on the North Shore Striders, and all 10 of our children and my wife Halyna have some involvement still with the Striders - running has been a great sport for our family! When Seany runs for Yale University next Fall, he will join his older brother and sister
in running collegiately (Alexandra Kay, 2021 runs for Mount St Mary's University in Maryland (Div 1) and Aidan Kay, 2023 runs for Franciscan University in Ohio (Div 3). They have all worked with Coach Fernando in some capacity, and even young Marianna, 2030, finished 2nd in the MA Middle School XC Championships for 5th / 6th grade this November) after running with GTD this summer. We hope to be involved with Going the Distance for years to come! [Sean Kay, Seany's Dad]

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They're out in the apple orchard. Coach Braz points to the hill. They know what to do.

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Part of GTD conditioning for xc is simulating the xc racing experience. These are not races. They are controlled race-edge drills. And the runners get the gift of training with peers from many schools. In this scene: Grace Sousa (Georgetown), Molly Kiley (Andover), Caroline Johnson (Marblehead), with Shannon Bresnahan ready to catch them.

XC Divisional Meet

The Divisional Championship races were held on November 9th at Wrentham.

For the girls in the Div 1 race, freshmen Molly Kiley (19:43) and Sarah DiVasta (20:22) were the top GTD runners. In Div 2, Kelsey Seamens (20:10) ran a strong race, followed by Rachel Brennan (20:51), Sophia Beland, and Aidan Bowler.

Caroline Johnson's 19:53 was good for 10th in the Div 3 race, Olivia King ran 21:38 in Div 5 and Grace Sousa's 20:49 was 5th in Div 6.

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In the Div 1 boys race, Peabody sophomore Adam Abdulghani's 16:51 led a very competitive Peabody team -- Antonio Craverio (1702), freshman Logan Tracia (17:13), Jacob Farhat (17:42), Cam Rich (18:02), Noah Roan (18:06), and Noah Christopher (18:11). Revere's Victor Pelatere ran 18:16.

Sean Kay won the Div 5 race in 15:49.

Jack DeMarco (Ipswich) was 10th in Div 6 in 17:24. Finn Russell was next in 17:34. 8th grader Kyle Kwiatech (St. Mary's, Lynn) ran 17:58, Mike Madden (Lynnfield) 17:59, and Dmitri Angell 18:00. Next came Jonah Orroth, Chris Blake, Kevin Wythe, Charlie O'Hare, and Foster Martinuk.

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Last day of the GTD xc camp, August 16. As Coach Sue Kiley finished the core session, the enthusiasm kept increasing. What was it? More core? More hip mobility at the hurdles with Coach Peter Cirafice? Whatever. They had a great summer. And were ready for the xc season.

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Coach Braz and his staff can carry cones to the field and lay them out, and explain what the runners need to do to gain a competitive edge. But each runner needs to do the work. Congratulations to all the GTD athletes who took the Edge Challenge.

XC League Meets

Sean Kay Wins Catholic Central League Championship

On October 24 at Franklin Park, Sean (Arlington Catholic) won the xc league championship in 16:51. Kevin Wythe (Bishop Fenwick) was 6th in 18:45, Chris Blake (Austin Prep) 7th in 18:48, and Kyle Kwiatek (8th grade, St Mary’s in Lynn) 11th in 18:56.

Four Bishop Fenwick runners followed -- Wyatt Burr 20:09, Charlie O'Hare 22:20, Ethan Tran 22:56, Foster Martinuk 23:29.

Natalia Kay (10th grade, Arlington Catholic) was 28th in 24:57.

Molly Kiley 6th in MVC Meet

At the Merrimack Valley Conference XC Championship Meet on October 24, Molly Kiley was 6th 19:46. A former soccer player who began running this summer, Molly is a freshman at Andover HS. A group of Central Catholic seniors followed – Kelsey Seamans 10th in 20:11, Lily Angluin 21:30, Sophia Beland 21:45, and Aidan Bowler 24:17.

After battling back from injury all summer and fall, Andover junior Kayla Dibenedetto ran her first race of the season, finishing in 22:33.


On left, Sarah Divasta (Peabody) testing herself with Shannon Bresnahan. On right, Olivia King (Swampscott) digs past Angelina Mazzone (Beverly) and Emily Ernst (Marblehead/EssexTech)

Caroline Johnson 3rd at NEC XC Meet

At the Northeastern Conference XC Championship at Gloucester’s Stage Fort Park on October 26, the determined Caroline Johnson (Marblehead) was 3rd in 19:01.

She was soon followed by Rachel Brennan (Lynn Classical), 6th in 19:24, and Peabody freshman Sarah DiVasta, 7th in 19:27. Swampscott’s Olivia King was next, 17th in 20:33. Then came the rest of the Peabody team – Emily MacDonald 18th in 20:41,Cassia Picardy 21st in 20:59, Leah O'Neill 22nd in 21:04, and Carly Calnan 32nd in 22:31.

For the boys, Peabody’s Anthonio Craveiro (4th) and Logan Tracia (5th) both ran 16:16, with Adam Abdulghani 8th in 16:21. The next two Peabody runners were Jacob Farhat 16th in 16:52 and Noah Christopher 18th in 17:03. Chip Cronin (Swampscott) was 30th in 17:53 and Jamie Godwin (Swampscott) 31st in 17:54. Trevor Smith (Peabody) was 32nd in 17:58, Michael Ferragamo 35th in 18:05, Noah Roan (Peabody) 36th in 18:07, and Dylan Brawley (Swampscott) 41st in 18:30.

In the JV race, Peabody’s Cameron Rich was 5th in 17:25, and Matthew Davidson 7th n 17:43. They were followed by Jean Edward Moise 18:03, Lucas Castro 18:10, Joshua Trelegan 18:12, Jake Kolsrud 18:40, Jake Malionek 20:44, Noah Depres 22:51, Marcus Bettencourt 23:04, Ryan Bua 23:31, Caiden George 23:59, and Benjamin McKieran 24:08.

Mass Vocational Schools State XC Championship

At Wrentham on October 30, Essex Tech’s Kaitlyn Wade was 9th in the 5k in 24:46 and Emily Ernst 10th in 25:08.

Cape Ann Meet

At the Cape Ann Championship in Wrentham on October 26, Finn Russell (Ipswich) was 19th in 17:30. Dmitri Angell (Ipswich) ran 17:58, Mike Madden (Lynnfield) 18:13, Colin Harrison (Manchester Essex) 18:16, and Jonah Orroth (Ipswich) 18:20. In the JV race, Ryan Orroth ran 23:16.

Grace Sousa (Georgetown) was 17th in 21:00.

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GTDers at NEC meet -- Maria Limbanovnos (Lynn English), Emily MacDonald (Peabody), Sarah DiVasta (Peabody), Caroline Johnson (Marblehead), Rachel Brennan (Lynn Classical). Photo courtesy of Caroline.


If we've missed you in the high school xc league, divisional, and state results, please let us know. Send an email to Dave.


GTD Summer Programs -- XC and All-Sports

Registration for the 2020 GTD cross-country and all-sports conditioning programs will be available on March 1. Onsite sessions for the programs will begin on Monday, July 6.
More information on the cross-country program.
More information on the all-sports program.
Questions? Contact Dave


Personal Coaching

Coach Braz provides personal coaching for runners at all levels who want to improve their performance or want a guided maintenance program.

Registration Form

The program is designed for runners who have a specific racing goal, or a series of races to prepare for, or want to build or maintain their running fitness.

Program details
Sign-up Steps


Previous Issues of The Little Things

Please go to this link for previous issues of The Little Things.


Going the Distance is a coaching service for runners at all levels.
If you know someone who might benefit from the Going the Distance program,
tell them about us, and forward The Little Things to them.
Visit our website -- Going the Distance
Head Coach -- Fernando Braz
Webmaster and Director -- Dave Smith
For more information, contact Dave at dave@goingthedistancefb.com

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