San Diego, CA—Megan O’Reilly proved that her dominance this cross country season was no fluke, as the Mt. Spokane senior and state champion finished fourth at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals at Balboa Park in San Diego. The Foot Locker Nationals are considered a de facto national championship for high school cross-country runners.
O’Reilly was part of a pack of runners who chased after defending champion Aislinn Ryan of Bellvale, New York, who opened an early lead in the race. Ryan was overtaken about halfway through the 5-kilometer course by Jordan Hasay of Arroyo Grande, California, and Marie Lawrence of Reno, Nevada, with Hasay breaking away shortly afterward and moving ahead for the victory. O’Reilly was catching a faltering Ryan as the two neared the finish, but she came up two seconds short. O’Reilly’s fourth-place finish ties the previous best Foot Locker performance by a Spokane runner (Sarah Schwald).
A.J. Acosta of El Camino High School in Oceanside, California, won the boys Foot Locker race. Taylor Nepon of Mead, who qualified for the race at the Nike Team Nationals the previous weekend, finished 36th with a time of 16:14.
The Foot Locker Cross Country Championships is comprised of four regional 5K races, which took place across the country in the Midwest (Kenosha, Wis.), Northeast (Bronx, N.Y.) and South (Charlotte, N.C.) on Nov. 26, and the West (Walnut, Calif.) on Dec. 3, culminating in the National Finals.
Megan O'Reilly after the race with coach Sean Linder and mother Marie Cole.
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