Falmouth has always been a town with road running in its blood. Here is the home of the Falmouth Road Race, the Cape Cod Marathon, the Seagull Six and several other regular road races that draw big crowds on an annual basis. The high school teams here have won state and individual championships, and always seem to have more than their share of talented young runners making names for themselves.
A group of five youngsters is getting a head start on their rise to prominence. With Falmouth running guru Ken Gartner as their coach, five Morse Pond School students teamed up to take on the Cape Cod Marathon relay race on Sunday. Gio Borgese, Charlie Dowick, Alex Fratantoni, Caleb Gartner and Ainsley Ramsey each took a portion of the course and went up against the grown-ups.
This was hardly a sideshow or a novelty act. The 5th and 6th graders, all of whom participate in a variety of youth sports in town, trained with coach Gartner over the last couple of months and had set a goal of running a combined time of three hours, 50 minutes.
They shattered that goal. With Borgese, 11, taking the first 5K out of the gate, Dowick handling the second six miles, Fratantoni picking up the longest leg (a little over six miles), Caleb Gartner handling the most difficult portion of the course through the hills and then Ramsey taking it home, the team finished with a time of 3:26:50, more than 23 minutes ahead of pace.
The five Morse Pond students not only looked great, but they also smoked most of the field.
Only 22 of the 186 teams in the field ran faster times. They were 10th overall of the 110 mixed open teams in the field.
“They did just phenomenal,” coach Gartner said. “The legs were a little long for kids of that age, but they all looked great out there.”
Dowick, the youngest of the fivesome at 10 years old, said that it was a “fun thing to do.” Fratantoni added that he thought the legs “were pretty easy. We could have gone longer.”
The children said that they hope to remain together to run in the race again in 2014. Their T-shirts read “Falmouth’s Future” across the fronts, and it appears that that future is bright indeed. Caleb Gartner joked that his dad’s shirt should have said “Falmouth’s Past.”
It might be tough for him to train for next year’s race. Coach Gartner said he’s grounded.