It’s been a trying season for Stonehill College senior Ethan Penney of Haverhill, but it’s been a courageous one that has certainly caught the attention of head coach Karen Boen.
“Ethan is like the team hero,” said Boen. “He’s running, and running well, on guts now and I don’t think a lot of guys would.”
Penney, who is a tri-captain, started the season with a bang at the UMass Minuteman Invitational, coming in third overall with a personal-best 8K time of 24:26.42, pacing Stonehill to second in the meet and earning NE-10 Runner of the Week honors.
Unfortunately, Penney suffered a severe hamstring pull at that meet, sidelining him for three weeks of crucial training. He worked hard to come back for the NE-10 meet, finishing seventh, but he suffered a sprained ankle in the process.
“He could hardly run before the regional, so to do as well as he did is remarkable,” said Boen. “Ethan had a great summer of running and, if he hadn’t gotten hurt, he would have been our No. 1 guy all year.
“But to come back and contribute like he has is remarkable and just shows his character.”
Locals at nationals
Stonehill College’s Sean Hanlon and Ethan Penney will hardly be the only local runners competing at nationals this weekend.
In Division 1 at Louisville, former Masconomet standout Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth will be a contender for top honors after finishing second last year while North Andover’s Kirsten Kasper will be competing for Georgetown and UNH’s Keely Maguire of Georgetown will be running as an independent.
Groveland’s Eric McDonald will be representing UMass Lowell in Division 2 at Missouri Southern State while Haverhill’s Alicia Fannon will be running for Bates in Division 3, at Terre Haute, Ind., North Reading’s Georgina Norton will represent NYU and North Reading’s Mark Rolfs will be running for the University of Rochester. All the meets are slated for Saturday.
In Division 2, both the men’s and women’s teams will be in competition for Stonehill.