Sept. 12, 2013
QUEENS, N.Y. (Sept. 12, 2013) – St. John’s cross country and track & field alumna Jane Vongvorachoti continues to make quite a name for herself on the U.S. road racing circuit following her career with the Red Storm, setting a new women’s course record and finishing as the top female athlete at the Autism Speaks 4 Miles of Hope held in Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 4.
The event, staged by the New York Road Runners, saw more than 5,000 runners pack the streets of New York City to compete and support Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization.
Vongvorachoti, who transferred from Columbia University in 2004 and competed on the Red Storm’s cross country and track & field teams for one season in 2005-06, covered the 4-mile race in 22:20, a new women’s course record and 19 seconds ahead of her closest competitor. Out of the 5,000-plus entrants in the race, Vongvorachoti finished 93rd, averaging 5:35 per mile.
“We are very proud of Jane and all that she has accomplished,” said Red Storm track & field and cross country coach Jim Hurt. “It’s great to see her running so well after graduating from St. John’s and we look forward to her future successes.”
The 29-year-old teacher at Brooklyn Friends School runs for the Central Park Track Club and has significant experience racing long distances, placing 32nd at the 2013 USA Half-Marathon Championship in Duluth, Minn. in June with a time of 1:17.15.1. Vongvorachoti, who averaged 5:54 per mile in Duluth and placed 27th out of 46 in her age group, says the next challenge she hopes to excel in is the full marathon.
“I had a break and now I’m coming back, working on getting faster and stronger before I have to concentrate on full efforts at the marathon,” Vonvorachoti told the NYRR website on Saturday. “I was going to run this as a tempo but I felt great and saw myself in the front and said, ‘Maybe I have a chance to win this.’ I took back the lead at mile three and didn’t look back.”
Vonvorachoti, who also suited up for the Red Storm’s women’s soccer team while at St. John’s, said participating in the Autism Speaks 4 Miles of Hope was about more than just competition.
“As a teacher, I want to see children succeed, especially those with disabilities,” she said. “I have worked with individuals with autism as well and I know we can help make a different through events like these.”
To stay up to date on all St. John’s track & field and cross country news, follow on Twitter @StJohnsXCTF and by using the hashtag #stjohnsxctf. To be added to the St. John’s women’s cross country fans e-mail list send a message to Edouard.firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: “St. John’s women’s XC e-mail.”