All-American Holladay runner helps team to national titleJan 27, 2022 12:36PM ● By Catherine Garrett
Holladay’s Adria Favero finished fifth at the USATF National Junior Olympics in December to help her 11-12-year-old girls team to a national championship. (Photos courtesy Kristen Favero)
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
Unstoppable. That was the theme for the Race Cats Elite team from Draper that took 39 runners to the USATF National Junior Olympics in Paris, Kentucky recently. And, amid freezing temperatures, tornado warnings, hailstorms, 40 mph wind, the Utah contingent proved just that.
Holladay’s Adria Favero earned All-American honors as part of the 11-12-year-old girls team that brought home a national championship Dec. 11. She came in first at the national meet for her team.
“We got pulled off the start line and our race was delayed 30 minutes, but we tried to get warm and give it all we had once we could go,” Adria said. “When we got back to the hotel, we found out we had won. We were really excited, and I got a really cool hat for being All-American.”
Adria’s mom, Kristen, noted that Adria had a “rough start” getting stuck between other runners at the beginning of the race. “We were happy that she did so well and didn’t let a bad start ruin her race,” Kristen said. “I was really proud of her for not giving up and working so hard to move up and finish well.”
Also on the championship team were Maya Bybee, Hadley Flach, Tatum Flach and Teagan Harris—who also earned All-American status—along with Lily Jameson and Tyana Lake.
“This did not come easy to them. These girls travel from all over the state of Utah to practice with our team in Draper,” Race Cats head coach Michele Brinkerhoff said. “They practice three to four days a week together and travel from Park City, Salt Lake, Sandy, Taylorsville and Utah County. Some of them even choose to homeschool just so they can run on this team.”
The 11-12 boys team took third place with the 8-and-under boys coming in fifth and the 13-14 girls team placing seventh. Kenneth Briggs, Cole Jameson, Bethany Mittelstaedt and David Webb also finished their events as All-Americans.
“Every single athlete finished the race, even though some had severe trauma and anxiety from the natural disasters. We are so proud of them. They travel from all over to compete and train together, sacrificing so much to be part of something special. And they are so special and deserve to be recognized for it,” Brinkerhoff said.
Adria, the daughter of Lane and Kristen Favero of Holladay, watched a race with her mom about five years ago and wanted to try running. It didn’t take her long after joining the Millcreek track team to discover that “running is really fun,” and she now runs four to six miles a day.
This past summer, she won the state 3000-meter race and followed that up with a regional title in the event a month later.
“I’m not good at sports, but I can do this,” the seventh-grader at Olympus Jr. High said. “I especially like running hills because I can power up them and they make me do better.”
“Running has been a wonderful outlet for Adria,” said Kristen Favero. “She has made wonderful friends and training has taught her self-discipline and that she can do hard things and push through when things are really hard.”