Jess Lawson 13:53 Course Record, FM Looks NXN-Ready
Jessica Lawson 13:55! #ManhattanInvite @milesplit pic.twitter.com/qdfs5FVj8F
-- MileSplit NY (@MileSplitNY) October 10, 2015
No. 16 ranked Jessica Lawson of Corning, N.Y. ran an astounding 13:53.9 to break the all-time 4k (2.5 mile) course record at the Manhattan Invitational's loaded Eastern States race in historic Van Cortland Park.
"My goal going into the race was to break 14," she said, "but getting the record is incredible and I'm so honored to have it!"
Only three other schoolgirls in history have shattered the 14-minute mark at VCP, with Carly Seymour (Central Cambria, Pa./Duke University) holding the prior course record at 13:55.3. Even Mary Cain, who turned professional while in high school, only managed 14:03.9 here.
Junior Lawson, whose 14:18 to win the Varsity C race last year stood as the fastest time in 2014, won by more than 10 seconds over No. 21 Kaitlyn Neal of FM (2nd, 14:04), unranked Briana Gess of Haddonfield, N.J. (3rd, 14:10.4) and No. 11 Rachel McArthur of Patriot, Va. (4th, 14:10.6).
If it was any consolation, Neal's No. 3 ranked Fayetteville-Manlius Hornets looked stronger than ever in placing all five scorers in the 14 overall of the championship section. Eighth-grader Claire Walters ran No. 2 in placing 10th (14:37) as Palmer Madsen (11th, 14:45), Sophie Ryan (13th, 14:48) and Sam Levy (14th, 14:49) cruised to an impressive 50-point win with a 45-second spread and 14:36 average. The spread between Walters at No. 2 and Levy at No. 5 was just 11 seconds.
The Hornets won Manhattan last year with 48 points, albeit a slower 14:46 average time, before going on to win NXN.
No. 12 Pennsbury (PA) looks to move up in the rankings after a second-place finish (125 points), led by Olivia Sargent (8th, 14:31.2). Unranked North Rockland (NY) took third, thanks to a 5-6 finish by eighth-grader Katelyn Tuohy and junior Alex Harris, with 147 points - just four points ahead of No. 11 La Salle (RI).