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Medfield’s Kallie Nixon earns track All-American honors

Sarah (left) and Kallie Nixon are hoping the rest of their Medfield family joins them at the next Falmouth Road Race.

Medfield’s Nixon is track All-American

Medfield High grad Kallie Nixon and her three teammates on the middle-distance relay squad at Bates College earned All-America honors last weekend at the NCAA Division 3 indoor track & field championships.

A sophomore, Nixon ran the 1,200-meter lead-off leg for the Bobcats, who placed eighth overall at the meet in Grinnell, Iowa.

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She is following in the fleet footsteps of her mother, Sarah, who has qualified for the Boston Marathon 17 years in a row.

Nixon was Maine’s collegiate champion at 1,000 meters this winter, and placed third in the event at the New England Division 3 meet; she also was a member of the distance medley relay and the 4x800 squads at Bates that set program records.

“I had never been to a national meet before, so there was some nervousness,’’ said Nixon. “But it was exciting and really cool just to be there. Our main goal was to set a school record,’’ which her relay unit accomplished the week before nationals, “and we definitely got better as the season went on.’’

Nixon did not start running until her sophomore year at Medfield High, where she established a girls’ school record in the 800 meters (2:18). She was senior captain of the cross-country and outdoor track teams, and qualified for the state meet.

The past two summers, she ran the Falmouth Road Race with her mother, and plans to run it again this year.

“When I was in middle school, my mom urged me to run, but at the time I felt running was her thing. I thought lacrosse would be my sport,’’ said Nixon.

“But I joined the high school cross-country team thinking it would get me in shape for lacrosse. As it turned out, I ended up liking running more, and that was great to share with my mom. It has also made me appreciate the hard work she’s put in to run longer distances than me.

“I’d like to run a marathon with her someday.’’

The feeling is mutual.

“It’s interesting because when Mom tried out for the lacrosse team at Trinity College, her coach was impressed with her speed and suggested she go out for track,’’ said Nixon, “but she wasn’t interested at the time.’’

When Sarah Nixon was playing field hockey and lacrosse for her high school in Shaker Heights, Ohio, the training activity she disliked the most was the mile run. But after being challenged by a friend to give long-distance running a shot, she has excelled - as a competitor, fund-raiser, and mentor.

“I took my first long-distance run in aerobic training shoes,’’ recalled the elder Nixon, who was so encouraged by that 11-mile unaccompanied jaunt from Medfield to Dover in 1995 that she went to the Medfield Public Library to read up on marathoning.

Overall, she has run 31 marathons, and was the 20th female (and first American) at the 2001 Paris Marathon, finishing in 2 hours, 53 minutes, 30 seconds; winner of the first two BAA Half Marathons, in 2001 and 2002; first woman across the line (2:53) in the 2002 Cape Cod Marathon; and holds the women’s course record (2:04.22) for the Martha’s Vineyard 20-miler, accomplished 12 years ago.

Nixon, a board member for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge, has run all of her Boston Marathons on behalf of the cancer research facility in Boston, and raised more than $126,000 for its Claudia Adams Barr program.

Nixon is also the creator and director of Fit Girls, a running and reading program she developed for preadolescent girls. It combines training for a local 5K road race with reading and community outreach. Nixon has helped start more than 80 Fit Girls programs throughout the country.

“Running and reading are two of my greatest passions. I’ve worked as both a children’s bookseller and librarian for the last 10 years,’’ said Nixon, who works at Elephant’s Trunk Bookshop in Lexington. “I coached my first Fit Girls program in Medfield when Kallie was in fifth grade and she was part of the team.’’

Beyond Patriots Day, Sarah Nixon is working to make the Falmouth Road Race a true family affair.

“My husband, Brian, also joined us this past summer,’’ she said. Now she’s hoping that their 18-year-old son, Beau, a freshman at Trinity College, and 14-year-old daughter, Hannah, an eighth-grader at Medfield Middle School, will also agree to run this year.

Millis football team gets $3,000 boost

The Millis High School football program and coach Dale Olmsted have been awarded $3,000 by the Silvio Cella Family Foundation, named in memory of the former Revere High School football coach and athletic director.

Millis was one of four schools statewide selected by the foundation to receive a grant this year.

The money is intended to help improve playing conditions, increase player safety and participation, build teamwork, pride, and confidence, and help players prepare for their future, according to an announcement by the foundation.

Here and there

Defender Evan White of Sudbury, a senior at Saint Michael’s College, was named to the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Division 2 preseason all-region team. White led the St. Michael’s squad last spring with 56 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers. Through two games this season, he had a team-best 16 ground balls . . . Nichols College junior lacrosse attacker Macaulay Gillis of Northborough was named Commonwealth Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Week after totaling 15 points in three games . . . The fifth-ranked Bentley women’s basketball team (30-3) flew to San Antonio yesterday for their second straight appearance in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Division 2 tournament. The Falcons will play Wayne State (32-2) of Nebraska in a national quarterfinal Tuesday at noon.

Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com.
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