Maggie Maier had never been as happy to finish in fourth-place as she was on Saturday.
The freshman’s effort at the CHSAA Varsity Intersectional Championships at Van Cortland Park earned her Sacred Heart girls cross country team a fourth-place finish and a trip to the New York State championships next Saturday.
Maier’s time of 15 minutes, 42 seconds was a personal best in the 2.5K. St. John the Baptist freshman Kerri McCormack finished just hundredths of a second behind.
“I’m just in shock that I helped lead the team to states,” Maier said.
“It’s an amazing accomplishment to qualify for the state tournament in our league,” Sacred Heart coach Morgan Molinari O’Connor said.
It required another elite performance on Maier’s impressive early resume. She won the Nassau-Suffolk league championship 5K, was also victorious at the 2,500-meter CHSAA Freshman and Sophomore Championship
“She just blows our minds how she does this as a freshman,” Molinari O’Connor said. “The mental aspect of her season impresses me more than the physical.”
Kellenberg, St. John the Baptist and St. Anthony’s girls teams also qualified for the state championships by finishing second, third and fifth, respectively.
St. Anthony’s, Chaminade and St. John the Baptist qualified for the boys championship as well, with respective finishes of second, fourth and fifth.
Junior Patrick Kain placed third (13:10) for St. John the Baptist.
Staten Island’s Notre Dame Academy won both the girls and boys competitions.
But Maier stole the show. “This is a dream season,” Maier said. “I didn’t expect this coming into my freshman year.”