Hefnaway and DeBalsi compete in Regional Championship

Dylan Donahue, Staff Writer

On Nov. 30th, Erica Hefnaway ’15 and Hannah DeBalsi ‘16 competed in the New Balance Cross Country Regionals at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, New York.  The girls, who were consistently Staples’ top-two runners throughout the cross-country season, competed against runners from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.

Coming off a season of victories at the FCIAC, state, and New England championships, Debalsi was always a strong contender in the regional championship and she finished third behind Tessa Barrett of Pennsylvania and Anoush Shehadeh of New York.

Though she would have preferred to finish first or second, “I tried my best and was happy with my race overall. I also wasn’t fully rested going into the race. Knowing that, I was pretty happy coming in third, especially since I’ll be more rested and ready to go faster at nationals,” DeBalsi said.

Even though she won’t advance to the national finals with Debalsi as only the top ten runners qualify, Hefnaway hopes her increased experience with the sport and the course will help her be a contender for the nationals final next year.

“I gained a huge love for distance running this year and I just really enjoy it,” Hefnaway said, who finished 43rd.

Though the Staples community can’t be there to cheer on Debalsi for nationals in San Diego, California, watch out for both these athletes as they transition into the indoor track and field season.