CANTON, October 26 – Canton’s Jennifer Rottkamp had a goal when she toed the start line at the third annual Collinsville Trick or Trot road race. She wanted to stay one step ahead of her son, J.R., a sophomore at Canton High.
The last two years, she had brought J.R. and his younger brother, Tyler, to the 3.1 mile race on the Farmington Valley River Trail hoping to spark a love of running in her two sons.
Jennifer had an inkling her victories over J.R. might be coming to end because J.R. ran on the Canton High cross country team this fall. On Saturday, J.R. beat his mom for the first time but Jennifer still went home with some championship hardware for winning the women’s race at the Collinsville Trick or Trot.
Elliott Via of Naugatuck won the overall race with a time of 19:19.2. There was 123 runners and walkers in the race that raised $4,000 money for the Canton Dollars for Scholars organization.
“It is pretty exciting,” race organizer Laurie McKenna said. “It’s the most we’ve ever raised (from this race). And everything goes toward the scholarships. A year ago, the organization distributed $33,000 in scholarships to 33 Canton High students furthering their education.
The Rottkamps’ actually ran two miles from their house to the race in Collinsville and were ready to go when the race began. Jennifer didn’t see Cassandra Hogkins, the second woman who finished the race. “I was still trying to beat (J.R.). I was trying to keep him in my sights,” she said.
J.R. wasn’t on the Canton’s varsity squad that competed in the CIAC Class S championships at Wickham Park. Instead of watching his schoolmates run, he choose to compete.
Via, 19, took off quickly at the start and was never really challenged in the race. “It was cold so I figured that people wouldn’t want to go fast at the start so I got out fast,” he said.
Via finished second in this race a year ago. He recently graduated from Naugatuck High School but enjoys coming to Collinsville to visit relatives in town. “It’s a great community and it’s a great environment to run,” he said.
2019 Collinsville Trick or Trot
Overall results – 1. Elliott Via, Naugatuck, 19:19.2 for 3.1 miles, 2. Andrew Silva 20:22, 3. Kyle McCarthy 21:00, 4. Ethan Neely, 5. Kurt Ogren 21:26, 6. Jeff Schroeder 21:52, 7. Scott Mayo, 8. J.R. Rottkamp, 9. Jennier Rottkamp, Canton, 22:30.9, 10. Jeffrey Scarcella
Top five women: 9. Jennifer Rottkamp, Canton, 22:30; 13. Cassandra Hogkins 23:22.1, 16. Morgan Babbitt, 17. Jennifer McCormick, 18. Kimmie Nadeau