MPTC XC earns three All-American nods

  • Thursday, January 2, 2014

MPTC runners (from left) Heath Soho, A.J. Gawryluk and Tyson Smith each placed in the top-25 of their events and earned All-American honors at December's USATF National Junior Olympic cross-country championships in San Antonio, Texas. PHOTO PROVIDED

Mount Pleasant Track Club shined on center stage at last month's 2013 USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic cross-country championships in San Antonio, Texas.

Heath Soho, Tyson Smith, and A.J. Gawryluk each finished in the top 25 of their events to earn All-American honors, while Ginger Arnold and Mark Richter finished in the top 35.

Soho, 8, finished 19th (8:05) and Smith, 8, took 24th (8:07) in the 3K 8-and-under boys division to lead the MPTC team to a fifth-place finish in the event.

Gawryluk, 17, finished 22nd (16:41) in the 5K 17-18 boys division. Arnold, 8, took 30th in the 2K 8-and-under girls division and Richter, 10, placed 33rd in the 3K 9-10 boys division. Arnold and Richter both trailed the top 25 by 10 seconds or fewer. As many as 450 athletes competed in each event.

“I'm very pleased with how everyone competed,” MPTC coach Tami Dennis said. “That's really big deal for a local recreation team to have a showing like that. We're really proud.”

More than 3,500 athletes from across the country competed in the national meet. MPTC fielded one of the event's largest teams with 44 athletes making the trip out of the 65 who qualified at the regional meet in Atlanta, Ga.

MPTC has steadily carved its spot in the national scene, winning 10 straight state championships with multiple All-American nods since its inception a decade ago. The team is open to any local athlete, while most of its completion comes from all-star teams from big cities.

“That's the thing I love about our team,” Dennis said. “People are always coming up and asking 'Where are ya'll from?' We're not a huge community recreation team, yet we compete with teams that are from big metropolitan areas that have qualifications to make the team. We take whoever wants to join and try to help them to become the best.”

With the cross-country season now over, about half the team will join the rest of the track team and begin preparing for track season, which begins in April. Those who don't run track will stay in shape on their own, awaiting August preconditioning workouts for the 2014 cross-county season.

Dennis says that as MPTC continues to grow and develop, each season the expectations rise. The athletes each write down and work toward their individual goals but the team always maintains its national aspirations.

“We always want to do something more,” Dennis said. “When we had our first All-American years ago, that was a really big deal but now we go to nationals expecting to come home with at least one All-American. Our goals are much higher than when we started but that's one of the most rewarding parts of it all; seeing the kids accomplishing the goals they set.”

// MPTC results: 8-and-under girls (2K):

Ginger Arnold (30th) 8:46

Ella McElveen (69th) 9:16

Tess Friedman (127th) 9:56

Allison Kammer (148th) 10:11

8-and-under-boys (2K):

Heath Soho (19th) 8:05

Tyson Smith (24th) 8:07

Luke Walmet (107th) 8:56

Clyde Mauldin (154th) 9:33

Alan Muthard (158th) 9:37

Lucas De Arellano (199th) 11:01

Team place: 5th

9-10 girls (3K):

Piper Barnhart (164th) 13:26

Ellie Pence (175th) 13:34

9-10 boys (3K):

Mark Richter (33rd) 11:28

Guy Johnson (137th) 12:24

Hadley Shaw (153rd) 12:30

Marshall Hodges (171st) 12:36

Sriram Srinivas (223rd) 13:10

Luka Albarran (259th) 13:40

Team place: 13th

11-12 Girls (3K):

Kate Kuisel (88th) 11:45

Lily Heinold (187th) 12:23

Caroline Mathison (204th) 12:29

Chloe Berda (229th) 12:37

Quinna Muthard (282nd) 12:58

Caitlin Casey (301st) 13:09

Drayton Nelson (321st) 13:20

Kelly Sanders (327th) 13:26

Team Place: 22nd

11-12 boys (3K):

Aidan Richter (46th) 10:51

Ben McElveen (61st) 10:58

Luke Pauldine (202nd) 11:43

Lyle Johnson (219th) 11:47

Andrew De Arellano (229th) 11:52

Evan Daniels (355th) 13:23

Team place: 16th

13-14 girls (4K):

Carly Hall (303rd) 17:44

Rachel Walmet (342nd) 18:33

13-14 boys (4K):

Patrick Spychalski (75th) 14:02

Colin Baker (150th) 14:26

Bradley Sanders (175th) 14:34

Collin Casey (287th) 15:16

Greydan Green (304th) 15:23

David Hand (330th) 15:34

Kyle Doss (389th) 16:05

Team place: 27th

15-16 boys (5K):

Keegan Green (139th) 18:29

17-18 boys (5K):

A.J. Gawryluk (22nd) 16:41

Trace Hall (83rd) 18:08

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