It’s only Emmy O’Donnell’s first year of competitive running, and what a year it’s been.
In the fall, while running for Concord Middle School’s cross country team, the eighth grader won the state middle school championship, setting a course record at Devens.
On March 9, O’Donnell completed her first indoor track season with the Waltham Track Club by winning the mile at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in 5 minutes, 8 seconds. The meet took place at the recently opened New Balance Indoor Track facility in Brighton.
“It was really cool,” O’Donnell said. “I ran a qualifying time of 5:50. My goal was to win or place in the top three but I was hoping to win. I was seeded third.”
The mile at this meet had four heats. O’Donnell was in the last heat, which was the fastest.
“It was a really fast race,” she said. “I wanted to get some experience and I definitely did,”
O’Donnell is active in several sports such as basketball and ice hockey. Her main sport for several years has been soccer. She plays for the FC Stars Club team, one of the top programs in the country.
Her first experience with running was in the fourth grade.
“In the fourth grade I ran the mile in PE class,” O’Donnell said. “It felt good and it was really fun.”
When she decided to start running competitively in the eighth grade, she joined the Concord Middle School’s cross country team and found the Waltham Track Club for the indoor season.
“Mostly, my mom (Betsy) looked at some programs and talked to people around town,” O’Donnell said. “The mIddle school had cross country but didn’t have an indoor team so we found the Waltham Track Club.”
O’Donnell trains three times a week for a total of about 4 ½ hours.
“It is really hard,” she said. “If there are days you don’t feel as good, we do a little less. We run all sorts of distances.”
O’Donnell is looking forward to the outdoor track season with the middle school team. Next year, when she arrives at Concord-Carlisle High School, she plans on playing soccer as well as indoor and outdoor track. The school’s programs in those sports have been among the more successful programs through the years with histories of success in Dual County League and state-wide competitions.
“I follow the soccer team and I’m starting to follow cross country and track teams,” O’Donnell said. “They each have great coaches who are really nice. And I could have a great experience with them.”
Several C-C athletes also competed in the New Balance Indoor Nationals in the high school division.
The boys 4×800 meter relay team of Ray Pavlik, Charlie Kessler, Tate Becker and Henry Reichel turned in the second-fastest time in school history.
Charlotte DiRocco tied for 13th in the girls high jump.
Julienne Warner competed in the 60-meter dash.
Obi Akubude competed in the 60-meter hurdles and the 200 meters.
Pavlik, Grady Burling, Tate Becker and Reichle ran in the distance medley relay.
Harrison Dow ran in the 2-mile.