THETFORD, Vt. – Making its first appearance at the New England Championships in 11 years, and its third since 2000, the Smithfield High boys’ cross country team placed 17th out of 29 teams last Saturday afternoon at the 86th annual regional meet at Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vt.

Sophomore Jason Padula took 69th place out of 263 runners by covering the 3.1-mile course in a time of 17:43.61 to lead the Sentinels, who produced their best finish at this meet since 1985, when they placed 11th.

Another runner from Smithfield, David Parenteau, helped La Salle Academy take second place in the team standings with his strong effort. A junior, Parenteau was the Rams’ fourth runner across the finish line, as he placed 91st in 18:03.37.

Also turning in excellent performances for the Sentinels were senior Dante DiGregorio, who placed 108th in 18:17.17, and junior Elijah Saddlemire, who finished 118th in 18:20.09.

In the girls’ race, two Scituate runners helped La Salle take sixth place, as sophomore Mia Bettez took 73rd place out of 260 runners in a time of 21:30.23 and senior Lily Borin placed 77th in 21:36.84.

Also cracking the top 90 was Glocester resident and Mount Saint Charles sophomore Emmy Belvin, who finished 89th in 21:47.5.

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