By John Anderson

Spectators at yesterday’s middle school cross country meet observed a few things that were unusual. The Lemansky track fence was adorned with posters honoring the Auburn Police Department, runners wore blue ribbons on their uniforms, and the number “74” was also on the fence. “74” was the badge number of Officer Ron Tarentino who was killed in the line of duty 5 months ago.

As a show of support for the APD, middle school runners, coaches and parents delivered dinner to the station that will likely last throughout the week. From lasagna to fruit salad; from sodas to chips; and from brownies to cookies students filled the tables in the presentation room, and the officers on hand were thrilled. Many had been out at a chilly firearms training at their Rochdale St. range, and they planned to return at dusk. A home-cooked hot meal could not have been better timed.

Coach Shari Goudreau thanked the officers for their service and dedication, and School Resource Officer Brian Kennedy expressed his gratitude on behalf of the department. Goudreau told Auburn Mass Daily, “I think today was a great lesson regarding the importance of community service for our 6th, 7th and 8th graders. We are so happy they appreciated and enjoyed this gesture…it’s the least we can do considering what they have gone through the past 5 months.”

The Coach added, “Our student athletes and their families were thoughtful and very generous. The kids worked extremely hard on the posters, card and tribute ribbons, which were worn on their uniforms. I think the amount of food that was brought over to the station is an example of the love, respect and gratitude so many Auburn families feel toward our Police Officers.”

As far as the meet goes, Millbury opted to have their top runners stay back and train for the SWCL Championship Races (being held on the 26th) with their high school team. The majority of their Middle School runners have been running for both the HS and MS this season. They had a total of 5 runners show up today, which was disappointing, but this gave Auburn’s runners a chance to prep for Wednesday as well. The Rockets won both meets by a score of 15-50.

The top 5 boys were Zach LaPointe, Joshua Anderson, Drew Lemansky, Cullen Parent and Bryan Cavanaugh. The top 5 girls were Callie Messina, Rachel Ullstrom, Lily C’Miel, Olivia Valentine and Jasmyn Gates.

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