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Portsmouth’s Merrill 91st at
Nike Cross Nationals

December 4, 2017

BY STEVE TURGEON

Special to the RIIL
 

Portsmouth high school junior Nikki Merrill finished 91st in a star-studded field at the Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Oregon on Saturday.

Merrill, the Rhode Island state meet runner-up, covered the 5K course in 19:14.6. She was the only Rhode Island runner in the 199-person field.

New York sophomore Katelyn Tuohy took the individual girls’ crown, cruising to victory in 16:44.7. She broke the course record set by Katie Rainsberger in 2015 by 11 seconds. Tuohy left little doubt she was the best of the elite runners gathered for the 14th NXN, dropping the field with an opening 5:06 mile.
 

The Nike Cross Nationals draws some of the top boys and girls high school runners from across the country. Twenty-two club teams and 45 individuals qualify for the annual event through eight regional qualifying meets.
 

Merrill earned her trip to the nationals with a fifth-place finish at the Northeast Regional Championships last weekend at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, NY.
 

State Champion Ellie Lawler of South Kingstown will also compete in a national meet next weekend at the Foot Locker National Championships in San Diego, Calif.

Photo courtesy of George Ross Photography.
 

Lawler earns All-American honors at Foot Locker Nationals
 

December 12, 2017

BY STEVE TURGEON

Special to the RIIL


South Kingstown’s Ellie Lawler represented Rhode Island well at the Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego, California, earning All-American honors with her 15th place finish on Saturday.

The three-time RIIL State Cross Country Champion covered the 5K course at Balboa Park in 18:11.9. It was the second trip to nationals for the Syracuse-bound senior, who also earned All-American honors with a 14th place finish as a sophomore in 2015.

Lawler got off to a slow start, coming through the half mile in 29th place. But over the next mile and a half, she slowly moved her way up in the tightly-packed elite 40-person field. By the two-mile mark, Lawler had worked her way back into the All-American ranks.

Junior Claudia Lane of Malibu High School successfully defended her title, covering the course in 17:03.4, a second faster than her winning time the previous year.


Photo courtesy of George Ross Photography.