The competition has been steadily building up with some quality competition for next month’s Ocean State Invitational.
Early Thursday morning, it got even better.
Last year’s Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) team champions, Saratoga Springs of New York, has committed to the 16th annual event, which is sponsored by Marathon Sports and HOKA, and will be held Sept 22-23 at Goddard State Memorial Park. The Blue Streaks, a perennial national powerhouse, are among eight teams so far that will be competing in the featured Championship race. This is not the first time that the NY-based squad has competed at the Ocean State Invite. In 2017, Kelsey Chmiel, who would later star at North Carolina State, led Saratoga Springs to the team title by taking individual honors with a meet record of 17 minutes, 35 seconds. That mark would go down the following year when fellow New Yorker, Katelyn Tuohy of North Rockland, blazed the fast 5K in 16:06.87. The Blue Streaks returned to Goddard Park in 2019, and dominated the field with a 1-2-4-5-7 finish while scoring just 16 points.
Saratoga Springs lost just two runners from last year’s squad and returns No. 1 runner and Providence College commit Emily Bush, who was 30th at NXN. Other schools that are so far entered in the girls’ Championship race are Southington (CT), Oliver Ames (MA), Cumberland. St. Raphael Academy, Lexington (MA), and Marshfield (MA). The boys’ race features Norwich Free Academy (CT), Lexington (MA), Oliver Ames (MA), East Lyme (CT), Southington (CT), Barrington, Natick (MA), Algonquin (MA) and West Hartford (CT). The word is that Westford Academy and star runner Paul Bergeron, are also expected to compete. Bergeron, an 8:51 two-miler, was second in the Championship race last year.
Stay Tuned! Coming soon, Ocean State Running will have its first podcast. What better way to start our initial podcast than by talking about one of the top cross-country meets in the region. HOKA and Marathon Sports, along with OSI meet directors Charlie and Siobhan Breagy, have added some new amenities to this year’s meet, including an Athletes’ Village for our Championship teams, Capped at 15 teams, schools that make the cut will receive a complimentary gift and some downtime with other teams. No worries if you’re not in the Championship race as there will be some fun new additions provided by Marathon Sports and HOKA for teams entered in the Varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshmen races . And, of course, there’s also the coveted Merch – T-shirts, hoodies and more.
Registration for the two-day meet, which includes middle school races on Friday, Sept. 22 and high school races on Saturday, Sept. 23, can be done by clicking HERE or logging onto the meet website at oceanstatexc.com. Don’t forget, coming soon we will have a podcast to talk about all the great happenings at the Ocean State Invitational.