Just one week removed from winning the Division 1 state individual cross-country title in Gardner, Natick’s Grace Connolly was tasked with an even bigger race — the Foot Locker Northeast Championship at Van Cortland Park in the Bronx, N.Y.
The sophomore crossed the finish line Saturday in 18 minutes 1.9 seconds — good for fourth overall and a trip to the Foot Locker National Championship in San Diego on Dec. 10. The top 10 runners in the boys’ and girls’ seeded races advanced to nationals.
Connolly, who finished 23rd last year as a freshman, said having raced the 5K course once already helped alleviate some of her worries.
“I was so nervous, the most nervous I’ve been all year for a race,” Connolly said. “But I felt really confident coming into it because I knew the course from last year.”
Alyssa Aldridge, a junior from Linwood, N.J., won the race in 17:40.3, followed by Jacqueline Gaughan, a junior from Exeter, N.H., in 17:55.2, and Maria Coffin, a senior from Annapolis, Md., in 17:59.8.
Concord-Carlisle senior Margot Ehrenthal finished 18th (18:49.6). The senior finished second in last week’s Division 1 All-State race.
On the boys’ side, Noah Affolder (15:28.2), a senior from Carlisle, Pa., beat his sophomore brother Samuel (15:36.6) across the line.
Tristan Shelgren of St. John’s Prep finished 14th at 16:04.2. He finished second in last week’s All-State Division 1 race.
Newton North junior Andrew Mah finished 20th (16:13.2) followed by Newburyport senior Jack Carleo, the Division 2 state champion, in 23rd (16:16.2).
Nantucket 42, Martha’s Vineyard 0 — The Whalers stepped off the boat to Martha’s Vineyard with a 13-year Island Cup drought hanging over their heads. Nantucket coach Brian Ryder explained to his players, one way or another, they would vividly remember this game for the rest of their lives.
“It’s an island pride thing,” said Ryder, following his team’s 42-0 victory over Martha’s Vineyard.
Quarterback Jack Holdgate and fullback Alex Small led the Whalers, with each junior rushing into the end zone twice. Holdgate scored the only touchdown Nantucket needed in the first quarter on a 4-yard power sweep.
Defensively, the Whalers were ruthless, keeping Martha’s Vineyard on its side of the field until the fourth quarter.Globe correspondent Sammy J. Hurwitz contributed to this report.