Typically, placing 38th out of 39 participants isn’t cause for much rejoicing – unless you’re taking into account that you’re competing against the very elite in the country.
There was a part of Trevor Crawley that was disappointed with how things turned out at Saturday’s Foot Locker National High School Cross Country Championships, held at Morley Field in Balboa Park, San Diego. The Cumberland High senior, who earned the distinction as just the sixth Rhode Island runner to qualify for the prestigious meet, placed 38th with a time of 16 minutes, 19 seconds. Unofficially, Crawley crossed the finish line in 16:10 before the results were recalculated later.
Saturday’s race at was captured by defending United States champion Edward Cheserek - a senior from St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J - who cruised to a 14:59 clocking. Sean McGorty of Chantilly High in Fairfax, Va., who enjoyed the upper hand for most of the race, finished second in 15:05 with Jake Leingang of Bismarck (N.D.) High placing third in 15:07.
Despite the final outcome, there is a bigger picture to consider. The fact that Crawley was able to make it to the final cross country meet of the season solidifies what a special campaign it was, one that consisted of a first-place finish at last month’s state meet followed by placing sixth overall at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional Championships.
“I was a little disappointed, but I’m just happy that I was able to make it and come out (to California),” said Crawley when reached Saturday night. “(Reaching nationals) is a goal I’ve had since pretty much freshman year.”
Running with temperatures in the 60s and under fair skies with no wind, Crawley described the 3.1-mile route “as not too difficult. There was one hill, which was pretty steep; you had to run that twice. Other than that, the course was all dry.”
A runner who prefers to get off to fast starts, Crawley stayed toward the back of the pack, “but I was still going out faster than normal.”
In the time leading up to Saturday’s cross country finale, Crawley said that he didn’t overly exert himself, selecting workouts that would “allow me to be as fresh as I could for this race.”
Crawley flew out to the West Coast on Thursday morning along with Cumberland volunteer coach Roland Roy. He plans to return to Rhode Island on Sunday.
“Meeting all the other kids from around the country, it was a blast,” he said about the non-racing experience.
The plan is for Crawley to compete in Wednesday’s indoor track duel meet against Lincoln and Central Falls at the Providence Career & Technical Academy before taking a little break from the competitive circuit.
“I’m running to get a qualifying time for the state meet and then I’ll take some time after that,” said Crawley.