Last year’s champion breezed through the Rochester Road Race 5K to another victory, and a youngster took another step toward securing her spot as one of the area’s best.
In the Men’s Division, Andy Sukeforth of Middleboro outran the entire field through the shady, relatively flat course by over a minute with a time of 16:00.25 and a 5:10 a mile pace, but his win was overshadowed by the Women’s Division winner, 11-year-old Meg Hughes of Rochester.
Hughes, whose name has been coming up a lot lately in road race circuit, won with a time of 19:35 and a 6:18 pace. Hughes said that she has won several children’s races, but this was her first win against adults among several top 5 finishes.
“There was a lady behind me who was trying to catch up with me,” said Hughes, “but I just gave it the gas.”
Hughes’ brother Harrison, 8, and sister, Kate, 13, also ran the race, with Kate finishing seventh in the Women’s Division and Harrison winning the 12-and-under Division. Several members of their family, including their grandparents and uncle, were on hand to see Meg win and her siblings finish strongly.
“Hopefully someday, we’ll have an Olympic runner here,” said Hughes’ uncle Skip Harris.
Sukeforth, who runs for Bridgewater State University, where he is a senior, won easily for the second year in a row. Even though he won handily, Sukeforth said that this wasn’t necessarily his best race.
“It was kind of warm, so I didn’t want to go too hard,” he said after the race.
Overall, the Eighth annual running of the race was a success, and the turnout was especially good. Race Director Scott Muller said that there were around 260 entries, which is notable considering that the race is on the same weekend as the more famous Falmouth Road Race.
“It went really well,” Muller said. “It’s an excellent day – a little less humid and it would have been perfect.”
Muller added that the race wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of several volunteers.
Tarley Sumner of Acushnet finished second in the Women’s Division with a time 19:48, with third-place finisher Patricia Carriero of New Bedford finishing with a time of 19:52.
Paul Lapre of Middleboro finished second in the Men’s field with a time of 17:01, with Daniel Croteau of Acushnet finishing third with a time of 17:29.
By Nick Walecka