Lantz and Hogan Finish in the Top 15 at Foot Locker Regionals

NEW YORK -  Olivia Lantz finished up her rookie cross country season with an exclamation mark and now she's already looking ahead to next fall on the trails. Lantz finally went up against the rock-solid competition she's yearned for all season and the junior harrier proved once again she backs down from no one. The Div. 2 State champion in her first autumn on the trails, Lantz bulled her way down Broadway over the final 800 meters to finish a strong 12th in 18 minutes, 14.7 seconds on the 3.1-mile layout at yesterday's Foot Locker Northeast Regional Cross Country Championships at frigid Van Cortlandt Park. Lantz, who will be looking to improved on her 4:58 personal best in the mile this winter, was just eight seconds out of 10th place and a trip to the national finals, Dec. 14 at Balboa Park in San Diego, CA. 

Lantz worked her way up to ninth place halfway around the hilly course until the cold tightened he

"It's an experience I'll remember forever. I never had this type of competition before," said Lantz, her cheeks beet red courtesy of 25-degree temperatures. "It was kind of a first-time thing. I just wish it wasn't my last race of the season. I was hoping to qualify for the nationals, but I couldn't quite get there. I'm new to this type of field and there are a lot of veterans here. I didn't come in with super high hopes because I knew it was going to be a tough field."

Philip Andover's Anoush Shehadeth was second overall in 17:37.3 after placing fourth last year. Lantz was followed by Emily Kaegi of Williamstown, who was 35th in 19:12.8 and Bedford's Erin Dietz's 19:13.5, 36th-place finish. Danvers' Catalina Dominick crossed the finish line in 19:20.3 for 40th.

Burlington's Paul Hogan was out quick the first mile (4:51), but he was never able to find his rhythmn in the chill. Hogan still flirted with the top 10 before placing 15th in 16:06.6 in the boys' race. Mickey Burke of Henrietta, NY captured the title in 15:18.8, the 11th fastest time ever run on the course. Hogan, who will run for the UMass-Lowell River Hawks next year, wound up with a personal best in the fabled park.

"The cold weather kind of zapped my strength," said Hogan. "It wasn't my best race. I tried to work through it and I was still able to get a PR. The cold weather kind of got to me.Mohamed Hussein was the top Massachusetts finisher in the deep race. The Mount Hermon senior was just ahead of Hogan in 14th with a 16:04.1. Jamison Koeman of Whitinsville was 19th in 16:14.8 and Wrentham's Owen Gonser took 33rd with his 16:25.4. Chestnut Hill's Joe Mullen clocked a 16:27.6 for 36th overall in the 128-runner field.