WESTERLY — Sebastian Reisch ran 8 miles early Wednesday as part of his 45-mile-per-week training regimen for the upcoming Westerly High boys cross country season.
Eight wasn't quite enough. He had enough energy to squeeze out another mile later in the evening in Misquamicut, and the incoming senior won the 25th Nick Bottone Mile with a time of 4.58.
"So I ran 9 miles of training today," Reisch said. "I wasn't expecting to win after running so much earlier in the day. My goal was to stay in the race, but halfway through, I saw an opportunity to take the lead. It feels good to win."
Nick Bottone Jr., a former mile record holder at Westerly in the 1970s, knows how coveted a road race victory can be for a runner. Bottone conceived this race to honor his father, Nick Bottone Sr., a fine athlete himself who passed away when the younger Nick was a teenager.
"I was a quality runner who dedicated myself to win a road race in honor of my father," Bottone said. "Road racing back then was extremely competitive, and I never won a road race."
Bottone told the field of 90 before the race that a local running coach, former Stonington coach Tom McCoy, suggested he honor his father's memory by staging a mile race — usually a rare distance on the road racing circuit. The first Nick Bottone Track Mile was run in 1994 and staged at either Westerly High's or Stonington High's track until 2017.
Last year, Bottone and McCoy decided to hold the mile on the streets around the Pleasant View Inn as a way to conclude the annual Tom McCoy summer fun run series in Misquamicut.
This year's Bottone course started on Uzzi Avenue, took a quick left on Atlantic, continued after a left on Crandall Street, left on Shirley Drive, another left back to Uzzi and finished with a right on Elmwood Avenue. The square, flat course offered a bit slower time than one could run on a track, but Reisch was pleased to break five minutes.
Nick Fitch, a University of Rhode Island track runner out of Norwich, won last year's race in 4:35 on a different course around Misquamicut.
"I wasn't that concerned with the time, but I was hoping to win," said Reisch, who won one of the McCoy 5K fun runs this summer. "I've been training hard in anticipation of a strong senior year. I hope to make the top 15 in the state and top five in my class this year."
Reisch edged Parker Kuklinski, 26, a former URI soccer player from Cranston, who was second in 5:05.
"I train by running the mile," Kuklinski said. "There aren't many mile runs around, and I have to thank my wife for entering me in this."
While Reisch looks to finish his Westerly running career on top, Kaya West hopes to make a positive first impression. West, 14, and a Westerly Middle School state running champ last year, was the first female to finish the mile, in 5:38. Riley Powers (5:41) was the second female and Erin vonHousen (5:55) of Pawcatuck was third.
"I've been training hard, about 35 miles a week this summer," West said. "I'm hoping for a strong freshman season."