Super Hero 5K boosts LLS

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Superheroes turned out by the dozens Saturday morning at Johnston War Memorial Park.

They included Jesse Principe, 14, an eighth-grader at John F. Deering Middle School in West Warwick, and Sarah Quaratella, 26, who were the first male and female to cross the finish line in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s first-ever Super Hero 5K, which raised more than $5,000 with more revenue reportedly on its way.

Others included the members of Team Heather from Waterbury, Connecticut, just one of many groups that traveled to join the event. The team participated in honor of Heather Oleson, 46, who was in a Boston hospital undergoing treatment.

Also among the day’s superheroes were Rick Lindholm, a Warwick resident who is chairman of the LLS Rhode Island chapter’s Board of Directors, and Carla Mulhearn, the organization’s Rhode Island area executive director, who cheered on 153 runners and walkers who took on the 3.1-mile course.

In the middle of it all were college students like Dakota Grenier, whose family has a unique story.

Her grandfather Bob Grenier was one of the state’s all-time best fast-pitch softball players, and her father, Rob Grenier, was an accomplished athlete who later enjoyed success ads a football coach. Her mother, Rona Grenier, was a champion cheerleader at West Warwick High, which is also Dakota’s alma mater.

Ironically, her nephew Jesse Principe won Saturday’s 5K and covered the War Memorial Park course in 19 minutes and 26 seconds. He finished almost three minutes ahead of runner-up Zachary Quaratella (22:19). Doug Dyer (23:20), Ava Bauzyk (24:15) and Daniel Monaco (24:29) rounded out the top-five finishers.

Meanwhile, Dakota Grenier – who will graduate from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in nursing later next month – also had a huge hand in the event’s success. She’s co-president of the LLS Rhode Island Junior Board of Directors that put on Saturday’s unique Super Hero 5K.

As noted, Sarah Quaratella was the first female finisher with a time of 20 minutes, 53 seconds. Marianne Currie (27:39), Kristin Brochu (28:14), Maria Barry (28:28) and Alli Katterheirich (28:51) were the other top-five women’s finishers. 

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