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Sarah Connelly finished in 30th place in the girls championship at the Nike Cross Nationals

Sarah Connelly of Mt. Sinai running towards the

Sarah Connelly of Mt. Sinai running towards the finish line of the Nike Cross Country Regional race with a time of 18:21.3 to place 7th. The race was held at Bowdoin Park, Wappinger Falls on Sat. Nov. 24, 2018. Credit: Errol Anderson

Sarah Connelly concluded the cross country season with success on the national stage.

The Mount Sinai runner finished in 30th place out of 202 competitors in the girls championship at the Nike Cross Nationals 5k in Portland, Oregon on Saturday afternoon in 17:45.1.

Connelly held 36th place at the 1-mile mark, and 33rd a mile later before finishing the race three spots higher.

“I have to admit I was nervous,” Connelly said. “The course was good. Everyone was so good and got out fast and I just tried to stick with whoever I could and pass them at the end. I’m thankful for my teammates, family, coaches, for all their support and the hard work they put into pushing me.”

“She ran a great race,” Mount Sinai coach Bill Dwyer said. “She followed the plan. She went out hard to get a good spot, maintained and was tough throughout the race.”

Connelly clinched the final qualifying spot for Portland in the New York race at the Nike Cross Regionals at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls on Nov. 24 by 0.2 seconds.

Dwyer said Connelly’s time was “a personal best by about 30 seconds” and that success at the national level was an expectation entering the season.

Connelly, however, exceeded the goals she set for herself prior to the fall.

“My goal was just to get to Regionals and win the state championship,” Connelly said. “Nothing close to Nationals.”

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