Senior captain Katherine Lecce, of the St. Margaret’s School Cross Country Team, was excited to have her father visiting for parents’ weekend. But on Saturday morning, a big surprise came when a scholarship donation of $1,000 was offered at the start of the 2013 Rappahannock River Run/Walk event in Tappahannock.
Leece didn’t finish the race in first place, but because she was the first student from St. Margaret’s to cross the finish line she earned the scholarship.
“It was a surprise and I didn’t know,” Leece said. “I wasn’t sure if anyone was behind, so I just said to myself I had to run faster and don’t look back.”
Her father, Dan Leece, also ran in the event for his fourth straight year. This marks his daughter’s third year competing in organized long distance events and has surpassed her father in times of finish.
“I’m very enthusiastic about it. If I knew about it I would’ve told her to run faster to seal it in,” Dan Leece said laughing.
Director Lindsey Harmon of alumni relations said the scholarship was an anonymous donation that went to any St. Margaret’s student that would’ve finished first.
“Of course we’re very appreciative and this person values a St. Margaret’s education,” Harmon said.
The 15th annual event was again held at the campus of St. Margaret’s and hosted a total of 122 to help benefit St. Margaret’s for the alumni association coordinated by chairperson Claire Hompkins.
“I think it went great,” Hompkins said.
Brother and sister, Heather Hudgins, and Douglas Marshall, competed the event. Marshall is the reigning back-to-back top finisher in the event.
“It’s a good event, put on nicely, really enjoyable and nice atmosphere,” Marshall said.
A portion of the proceeds also went to the Haven, which is a local non-profit organization committed to preventing and eliminating all types of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Sandra Longest, community relations coordinator for the Haven, said this is one of the many acts that the students and staff members at St. Margaret’s have done to support the organization.
“We have a great working relationship,” Longest said adding that this donation contributes to 50 percent of the budget needed to support the organization.
“We’re getting less money from grants and the community because of the economy,” Longest added. “Anything like this is great.”
Participants were challenged with a 5K walk and run course covering 3.1 miles through the streets of Tappahannock.
Top 3 Overall:
17:08 – #210 Douglas Marshall
18:39 – #108 Try Blanks
19:53 – #182 Noah White
First SMS Runners to Pass the Finish Line:
Student: 22:26 – #196 Katherine Lecce ‘14
Alumnae: 22:30 – #206 Tara Garner ‘96
Parent: 23:21 – #163 Kelly Niedzwiecki
Winner per Category
Age 14 & Under: Tri Blanks (male), Abigail Hudgins (female)
15-19: Noah White (m), Katherine Lecce (f)
20-29: David McIntire (m), Haley Harmon (f)
30-39: Douglas Marshall (m), Heather Hudgins (f)
40-49: James Heinz (m), Dawn Byrd (f)
50 & Over: David Lecce (m), Caroline Avery (f)