P/sunny
57°
P/sunny
Hi 61° | Lo 42°

Cross-country

Mascenic’s Fafard takes 14th at New Englands

  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Mascenic's Tim Fafard placed 14th overall at the New England Cross-Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Nov. 9, 2013.

What a difference a year can make. At the 2012 New England Cross-Country Championships in Cumberland, Maine, Mascenic’s Tim Fafard finished 46th, a respectable result for a sophomore, but nowhere near that first-place or top-ten finish elite runners aspire to.

Fafard returned to the New England Championships on Saturday, and with another year’s worth of experience and training under his belt, he was able to make a significant improvement, finishing at 14th with a time of 15:51.2.

This year, the championships were held close to home at a course that Fafard is quite familiar with – Derryfield Park in Manchester, where Fafard beat every New Hampshire racer save Coe-Brown’s Jeremy Brassard en route to the DIII title back on Oct. 26. Fafard was able to use his knowledge of the course to map out a strategy that paid off for him.

“I was just pushing out toward the top twenty or thirty,” Fafard said, “so that once we hit the woods, I wouldn’t get stuck behind all the people who could go out but then die. So, sort of like what I did at states, I waited until the second, shorter hill and I turned it on right there. I passed quite a few people, I caught up to Jeremy, passed Jeremy there and then passed quite a few people going down the hill. Then I just held my pace, which actually wasn’t slow at all, it was pretty quick. For the last 200 meters, I put everything I had into it – which wasn’t a lot.”

Fafard actually ran most of the race somewhere between the 8th and 12th positions, but fell back to 14th near the end when he was confronted with the one weakness in his abilities.

“Everybody that was passing me was sprinting, and I can’t sprint,” Fafard said, “so I can’t stay up with them. After we turned around that tree and two kids passed me, I was like “Yeah, not top 10 today.”

Fafard, still only a junior, has improved mightily over this last year, and he’s seen his competition improve, too; in cross-country, runners can really only see how fast the pack they’re in is running, and Fafard was running with the fastest this year.

“Everyone that ran here, everyone that was in front of me -– they’re pretty good,” Fafard said. “I think this was a fast, fast New Englands this year.”

He wasn’t wrong. The race’s winner, Trevor Hopper of Ridgefield High School in Connecticut, set a course record with his time of 15:08.5; every other runner in the top five broke the course record as well. Fafard’s time was actually the 35th-best finish in course history as well.

Next up for Fafard is basketball season, in which he hopes to improve his sprinting strength while competing for the Vikings. By the time outdoor track rolls around, Fafard should be even more improved, and when it comes time for next year’s cross-country season, Fafard and the Vikings have top-five potential. The Vikings are the only top-10 cross-country team in the state that won’t be losing any of their standout runners; if Fafard’s improvement continues at the same pace, it would be shocking if he didn’t contend for the top spot at next year’s New England championships.

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.