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The Topsfield Fair, running September 30 – October 10, 2016 is pleased to announce that Topsfield resident, Abbey D’Agostino, who made headlines for her determination and good sportsmanship at the 2016 Summer Olympics will serve as Grand Marshall of the 2016 Topsfield Fair Grand Parade.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, decorated middle and long distance runner, Abbey D’Agostino caught the world’s attention when she tripped over Nikki Hamblin who had fallen in front of her during a 5000m heat.  Instead of immediately continuing the race, she first helped Hamblin up, encouraging her not to quit.  D’Agostino herself, however, had torn her ACL and meniscus. Despite her obvious pain, she nevertheless finished the race. She advanced to the final because of the incident, but wasn’t able to compete because of her injuries.

D’Agostino was praised for her sportsmanship and “Olympic spirit” and was awarded the Rio 2016 Fair Play Award by the International Fair Play Committee.

“Last year Abbey participated in the Topsfield Fair 5K, held every September to raise money for our high school scholarship program,” said Jim O’Brien, General Manager, Topsfield Fair.  “It was incredible to watch her Olympic performance less than one year later and I was not surprised at all with the way she handled herself during the incident on the track.  She is a very impressive young lady and I couldn’t think of anyone better to serve as the Grand Marshall of the Topsfield Fair parade.”

D’Agostino, who graduated from Dartmouth in 2014, is the most decorated Ivy League athlete in track and field and cross country running. She is the first Dartmouth female distance runner to win an NCAA title.  She won a total of seven NCAA titles (1 – cross country; 4 – indoor track; 2 – outdoor track) in her career. In 2014 she became a professional runner for New Balance.

“Growing up in Topsfield, the Topsfield Fair has been part of my life for as long as I can remember,” said Abbey D’Agostino.  “Since I’ve returned from Olympics, the outpouring of love and support has been amazing.  I’m thrilled to serve as the Grand Marshall of this year’s parade and look forward to seeing many friends and neighbors along the parade route to thank them for their kindness.”

While the Topsfield Fair opens on Friday, September 30 at 1:00pm, the Grand Parade is the official kick-off of the 198th Topsfield Fair.  The parade begins at 9:00 a.m. at Topsfield Commons and makes its way into the main entrance of the fairgrounds where it is immediately followed by a brief program.