Drexler siblings rule Chieftain Challenge

Drexler siblings rule Chieftain Challenge

Ponaganset High juniors Allie Drexler, left, and Seth Drexler show off their awards after capturing their respective races at last Saturday’s Chieftain Challenge 5K. Seth Drexler won the race in a course-record time of 17:36, and Allie Drexler repeated as the women’s champion in 21:54. (Breeze photo by Eric Benevides)
PHS junior shatters six-year-old course record by 48 seconds

NORTH SCITUATE – A week after competing against some of the world’s top high school duathletes at the ITU Multisport World Championship Festival in Pontevedra, Spain, Ponaganset High juniors Seth and Allie Drexler were “back home” last Saturday morning, running in the 9th annual Chieftain Challenge 5K.

And neither twin sibling showed any signs of wear and tear from their duathlon, as they captured their respective 3.1-mile races with ease.

Seth Drexler ran away with the overall championship, as he topped a field of 126 participants in a time of 17:38 that not only shattered Robert Corsi’s six-year-old race record by 48 seconds, but also established another mark when he ended up with the race’s most lopsided victory by topping the runner-up finisher, Jeremy Roe, by two minutes and 28 seconds.

Allie Drexler, meanwhile, repeated as the women’s champion by placing fourth overall in 21:54. Her time was 38 seconds off the clocking she recorded last spring, but she was still able to outdistance the second-place runner, Mikayla Printer, by three minutes and 12 seconds. That marked the third time in the race’s last four years that there was more than a three-minute difference between the first and second female finishers.

The challenging 3.1-mile race started at Ponaganset High School on Anan Wade Road, took a left onto the rolling hills of Snake Hill Road, and made a sharp right onto Chopmist Hill Road (Route 102) for a difficult quarter-mile climb before ending in the back of Ponaganset Middle School on Rustic Hill Road.

While the Drexler siblings, who are members of the Northern R.I. High School Triathlon Club, cruised through the course, so did a handful of students from Ponaganset Middle School, including Roe, a 7th-grader who placed second in this race for the second straight year. In 2017, he also finished sixth.

David Tammaro, Roe’s classmate, took third place in 20:56, and after 6th-grader Giorgio Bachini finished fifth in 21:59, another 7th-grader, Nicholas Olszewski, crossed the finish line in sixth in 22:30.

Taking seventh place, and winning the men’s 60-plus age division, was Cranston’s Jim Ferns, the cousin of Ponaganset High boys’ soccer coach Mike Ferns, in a time of 22:45.

Ponaganset High junior David Raposa (22:54) and sophomore Otto Baumann (23:13) were the next two finishers, and Greenville’s Doug Dyer, who won the men’s 40-59 age division title in 23:16, rounded out the top 10 runners.