Young Rye Runners Place in National Championship

Rye Neck nine-year-old Jonah Gorevic placed second in the nationals this year and Rye 12-year-old Natalie Weiner placed ninth.

Natalie Weiner and Jonah Gorevic came in first and second, respectively in the Rye Turkey Trot one mile race this year. But they certainly were not stopping there. The two competed in the AAU National Cross Country Championship in Rock Hill, South Carolina on Dec. 1 and both placed in the top ten.

Gorevic, a nine-year-old Rye Neck FE Bellows student became a national champion when he placed second in his race and Natalie Weiner, a 12-year-old Rye Middle School student, placed ninth in her race. 

Gorevic came in first in the sub-bantam with a time of 10:25.70 and he was second overall with the combined sub-bantam and bantam race. Also he was five seconds off the age group national record. This race is a 3K for this age group. Weiner placed ninth out of 82 runners in the sub-midget girls 3K race with a time of 11: 15:61.

Their coaches and parents are proud of their accomplishments and excited to cultivate their talents in the sport of running.

“As their coach, I would say that these children bring the perfect combination of attributes (incredible talent, focus beyond their years and wonderful teammates) – it is a blessing to have them on the team,” said White Plains Future Stars cross-country coach Carl Curran.

Read more about the White Plains Futures Stars here.

In addition to track, Gorevic plays soccer and Weiner plays tennis. Both train for track and race about three days a week with the WPFS.

Gorevic and Weiner have been friends and competitors for years and already motivate each other to work hard and do their best, their parents say.

“It has been great fun to watch the two of them push each other further during practices,” said Gorevic’s mom, Diana Tapper. “They have different strengths and I know Jonah has learned a lot from Natalie and the rest of the team and it has helped him improve greatly.”

Gorevic started running track September, 2011, but he has been fast his whole life, said Tapper.

“Jonah has always loved to run and run fast,” Tapper said. “When ‘The Incredibles’ movie came out, when Jonah was one year old, we started calling him "Dash" after the character who ran everywhere and had superhero speed.  This love of running, combined with his super competitive personality, has spurred him to continually push to improve his times.”  

Before running with the track team, Gorevic and Weiner competed in Rye’s annual Turkey Trot each year, always striving to beat their timed mile run. This year, they both wanted to run the 5k, but their parents and coaches would not allow it so close to competition time. As noted above, they came in first and second in the one-mile run.

Patch sent Jonah and Natalie some questions about their successes at the competition. See their answers below:

Q&A with Jonah Gorevic

Q: How did you feel being part of such a large national competition?

A: I felt really good. I was nervous at first but when I started running in the race, all that went away. I was excited to take part because it’s not every day you get to race against the fastest racers in the country.

Q: What were you thinking as you crossed the finish line?

A: There were a lot of things going through my mind.  Happiness that I came in second overall [9 and 10 year olds] but sad because I really wanted to come in first, but I was happy I didn’t come in last.  Later I was amazed when I found out that I came in first for all 9 year olds.

Q: What do you like about running?

A: I like that it’s an individual and team sport.  You’re on a team practicing but in the races it’s really individual.  But my team is so supportive and I know they would be no matter how I did.

Q: Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

A: I’d like to say thanks to my coaches for being great coaches and helping me get better all season.  I’d like to thank my teammates for being so supportive of me.  I look forward to the winter season.

When I was on the podium, I heard everyone cheering for me and my team chanted my name.  I had the smallest team there but the loudest cheer.  It was one of the happiest moments in my life.

Q & A with Natalie Weiner

Q: How did you feel being part of such a large national competition?

A: I was very excited to run in the Nationals because I got the chance to compete against the best runners in the country. 

Q: What were you thinking as you crossed the finish line?

A: When I was crossing the finish line I glanced at the clock and was amazed to see that I ran my personal best. I had set a goal for myself to be top 10 and was hoping i had made it.

Q: What do you like about running?

A: I like so many things about running. One thing I love is going to see my track friends and my coaches. They push me to work hard but at the end of the day, the hard work pays off. I have the best teammates and coaches.

People think running is an individual sport but if you could hear the way my teammates cheer each other on, you would know we are a team and really care for each other.


Read more about the White Plains Futures Stars, click here. 

To share news about your child’s accomplishments, click here


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