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Canton’s girls 6,400-meter relay wins national race

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A state championship was not enough to satisfy four standout runners from Canton High School’s girls outdoor track and field team.

Eight days after claiming the state Division II title in the 3,200-meter relay, Canton’s Rebecca DelRossi, Gemma DelRossi, Laura Pierce and Maria Ricalton won a national championship.

The quartet won the girls 6,400-meter relay at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, completing the race in 20 minutes, 19.84 seconds.

Canton was nearly 10 seconds ahead of the second-place team from Carmel, Ind., which finished in 20:28.96.

What made the championship more impressive is, according to a tweet from MileSplit NY, the Golden Bears were not in the fast heat of the race and were actually seeded last in the slow heat.

The closest team to Canton in the slow heat was Tolland, Conn., which finished eighth overall in 20:41.13.

On June 7, the quartet won the state Division II title in the Syracuse area, setting a Section 10 record of 9:08.51 to defeat second-place Bronxville (9:13.51) by nearly five seconds. Canton came close to winning the Federation title as well, leading Division I’s Corning until halfway through the final lap of the race. Corning finished in 9:04.51.

All four runners in the national and state championship relays have each excelled on the individual level as well, and all three of the seniors will compete in NCAA Division I next season.

Pierce, a senior from Lisbon High School who runs for Canton as part of a merger agreement, won a state Division II title in the 3,000 run as a junior and finished second in the event this season. She will compete next year for the University of Virginia.

Rebecca DelRossi, a senior, earned an individual medal at the state meet, finishing third in the Division II 800 run. She will run for Villanova next season. Gemma DelRossi, Rebecca’s twin, was a two-time state medalist in the 800, finishing fifth this season. She will compete for the University of Vermont in the fall.

Ricalton, the only junior in the group, will likely draw some NCAA Division I recruiting interest next season.

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