Hohenberg had no plans to run distances in the spring and expected him to return to the left wing of the football team. But it has quietly gained momentum during the 2021 indoor track season. For spring, coach Jean Monz gave him an ambitious goal: 5 minute break in the mile of the track.
To Hohenberg’s own surprise, she crushed him. She clocked 5: 07.29 to win the D2 North race on her home track. Then in the All-State competition, Hohenberg found new equipment, finishing second in 4: 56.31.
“I didn’t really believe on time,” she said. “[Monz] and I was just really, really happy and proud.
Said Monz “” I thought she was capable of it, but until you do, you’re never really sure. She has followed the race plan we drew up for her so perfectly. Seeing her run this time, it was really exciting.
Colleges are noticing it. Hohenberg says that prior to the All States Meeting, she was largely recruited by Division 3 schools, but is currently attracting interest from a multitude of D1 programs in New England. With a serious college track career on the horizon, the senior decided to start putting rubber on the cross country tires.
“I kind of realized that I didn’t really want my freshman year of cross country to be my first year in college,” Hohenberg said. “There are a lot of adjustments going on in your freshman year of college, and I kind of wanted to try and get to grips with the sport in the fall.”
Although she is often considered a “track underclassman,” Hohenberg exuded leadership from her first team practice.
“People really admire him not only for his speed, but for his enthusiasm for the sport, and also for his friendship with everyone,” said junior. Analie Schact noted. “She doesn’t brag about any of her accomplishments; it is the opposite. She definitely doesn’t impose her goals on anyone and she keeps quiet about what she has accomplished.
In longer workouts, Hohenberg trains with a core running group that includes a boys’ cross country sophomore Carsen Valentina, who set Weston’s freshman mile record (4: 48.35) last spring, and his classmate James osborn.
“Normally we alternate who leads and who sets the pace for these,” said Valenta. “It’s about all of us, and I think especially that me and Julie, we help each other a lot.”
In his first cross-country competition on Wednesday, Hohenberg finished first overall (15:47) in a tri-meet with Newton South and host Lincoln-Sudbury on his 2.49 mile course. She was happy with the initial performance, but noted that it was unlike any races she had run before.
“It was something new to have a run of this length, because the first part of the loop, you hear everyone clapping, but then you go into the woods and it’s just quiet, then you come back from the woods and then everyone applauds again, ”she said.
His trainer was also satisfied; Monz is always impressed with the execution of Hohenberg’s manual.
“She’s exceptional for following a race plan, she really is,” he said. “I joke with the other coaches. I say, ‘We have to be very careful before we tell her anything because when we tell her, she’s going to do it. So we better make sure it’s fair.
Hit the trails
▪ During the annual Clipper Relays last Saturday at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, winner of the 2020 MSTCA Cup D1 Nathan Lopez led St. John’s Prep to the men’s title. The event is a 6 mile relay divided into three stages of approximately 2 miles.
Lopez reportedly covered the distance in 9:42 before handing over to junior Paul lovett, who kept the gap in place to set up Charlie tuttle on the anchor leg. Tuttle crossed the finish line with 30:23 on the clock, 15 seconds ahead of North Andover ‘A’, second.
“We had some good surprises,” St. John’s Prep coach John boyle noted. “We also had some worrying or worrying things, but we had some kids who ran really well.
On the girls’ side, Pentucket took first place in 36:37, with her trio of seniors Kaylie dalgar, junior Audrey Conover, and Senior Phoebe rubio finishing more than a minute ahead of Lexington ‘A’, second.
▪ At the MSTCA relays at Highland Park in Attleboro, Bishop Feehan’s sophomore trio Lauren Augustyn and seniors Anna boyd and Liz Borah combined to cover the 4.6 mile course in 28:26 for the Shamrocks. Weymouth (29:20) and Hopkinton (29:36) finished second and third respectively.
“We were happy with the way the groups played each other, we showed some depth,” said Feehan’s coach. Bob The Man, whose program will host this weekend’s Highland Park Invitational. “We hope Saturday will be a better indicator of where we are at.”
On the boys ‘side, BC High (24: 14.93) recorded a one-second win over Burlington behind the juniors’ legs Miles kirby and Will lock, and senior Gemsly Cajuste.
“It spills the juice of the competition”, coach of BC High Seth Kirby noted. “We’ll need that if we’re going to be successful in the MIAA games later. “
▪ The Highland Park Invitational in Attleboro – with freshman, JV and varsity races for boys and girls – is one of four invitational events scheduled for Saturday. The 14th Vineyard Invitational at Martha’s Vineyard High will feature mixed freshmen, JVs, and college races for boys and girls. In addition, the 25th Amherst Invitational will take place on the Hampshire College campus, with 5km races for freshmen, JVs and academics.
In addition, the Mass. State Track Coaches Association is hosting the Ted Dutkiewicz Invitational at East Longmeadow High, featuring college races for boys and girls, as well as 2.14 mile junior and freshman races.
For the MSTCA, coordinating a full meeting schedule from an operational standpoint means re-acclimating coaches to procedural tasks that did not take place in the year changed by COVID-19.
“There are a lot of things that I try to do at the last minute because they are part of the competitions that we did not implement last year,” said the director of the MSTCA. James fletcher noted. “But I always try to take a step back and say, ‘let’s not be frustrated’ because we are still putting out a high quality product.”
Correspondent Oliver Glass contributed to this story.