November 29, 2012 at 6:53 PM
WESTFIELD, NJ—Seven of the 10 members of the Westfield Area Y Flyers Cross Country team who competed at the United States Association of Track and Field (USATF) Regional Championships near Rochester, NY, on Nov. 18, qualified for the National Cross Country Championships to take place in Albuquerque, NM, on Dec. 8. They are: Thomas Chen, Brian Viscido, Zachery Zacieracha, Thomas Whitehead, Will McGlynn, Zachery Spergel and Benjamin Tretter.
The young athletes competed against runners from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Three Rivers and the Niagara Area. All 10 Flyers competing had a career best-race time that day, including Louis Constable, Melissa Endy and Michael Zacieracha.
“We’re very excited,” said Westfield Area Y Physical Director Greg Hatzisavvas. Six of the seven who qualified will fly out to Nationals. They will compete in the 9- and 10-year-old, 11- and 12-year-old and 13- and 14-year-old divisions against 200 to 300 other athletes their ages.
“Since then, they’ve been continuing to train really hard to finish well at Nationals,” said Hatzisavvas.
This is the largest number of qualifiers to Cross Country Nationals in the team’s history. Over the past three years, 33 Flyers have advanced to Nationals.
Annual participation in the Westfield Area Y Flyers Track Club has grown over the years to 600 athletes. The program is open to boys and girls seven to 15 years old. Participants learn running and track and field event techniques and skills from USATF-certified coaches. For more information about the Flyers program, contact Hatzisavvas at 908-233-2700 x251.
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit, committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. It offers financial assistance for those who qualify. For more information about Westfield Area Y programs, visit westfieldynj.org.