Thursday, October 6, 2011

Recruiting Front: Megan Lacy of Cherokee High (NJ)

Senior, 5-6

JUST THE FACTS: Lacy, regarded as one of the top runners in the state and a solid candidate for the NJSIAA Meet of Champions crown, backed up that status with a meet-best 18:19 in the Varsity A race at the 40th Shore Coaches Invitational on Saturday at Holmdel Park. Lacy's Holmdel best is a 17:55 while winning the state Group IV title a year ago, but she was unpushed in the Shore Coaches meet, winning by 21 seconds.

HER REACTION: "I think I'm on track to go faster at the end of the year. My time is a little slower than last year, but last year I went out with Megan Venables (of Highland Regional, who beat Lacy by running a 17:50 and is now a freshman at Villanova). This time I didn't have anyone to chase. It's hard to compare and I wasn't feeling 100 percent, but this meet will motivate me even more to get under 18 (minutes) next time. It would have been nice to go under 18 but I know it's not the end of the world. I know I can improve myself in the next month and a half.''

COLLEGE PLANS: Lacy is missing her team's trip to the Walt Disney World Cross-Country Classic this weekend in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to make an official visit to Princeton. She has already visited Harvard and plans to make visits to Yale, Stanford and Villanova.

NEXT RACE: The Burlington County Open, Oct. 14 at Mill Creek Park in Willingboro.

BEST CHARACTERISTIC: "I never give up. When I first started running I was always the fastest or the one who got the best times. I knew I would never give up. It ended up paying off really, really well.''

WORST CHARACTERISTIC: "I am a perfectionist. I always want to push things and sometimes it's hard for me to take a day off when my body needs a break.''

CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT: "That's either qualifying for nationals as the top girl from New Jersey (third overall in 18:08 at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional) or breaking 17 minutes in the 5K in track (16:50 at the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton). At cross-country nationals, I wanted to beat Megan (Venables, who finished fourth in 18:11). That was kind of a reward for the whole season.''

ROLE MODEL: "My mother, Margaret. She has always helped me and has always supported me. I've been running since I was eight and I would go to the Junior Olympics all over the country and she would take me. I would do great at local meets and then get to the Junior Olympics and I tended to choke there. She didn't give up on me even though I wasn't doing as well.''

GETTING STARTED: "I started running because I hated softball. I played softball when I was 7, and no one could hit the ball, including me, so we would be standing there doing nothing. I found it very boring, and my Mom suggested track. The 800 is the longest they let 8-year-olds run, so I did the 800 and anchored the 4x100 relay. I placed fourth at sectionals and second at regionals and went to nationals ranked second in the country. That's when I thought I could be good at this. Maybe I have a future.''


FAVORITE FOOD: "Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream."

RACE DAY DIET: "I eat a lot before races, probably more than most people. I'm not one of those people who can't eat before races. I have a sandwich or two of scrambled eggs on a bagel and an hour before the race I have a pre-race Powerbar."

FAVORITE MOVIE: "Sixteen Candles.''

FAVORITE TV SHOWS: "Modern Family,'' "Bones'' and "CSI.''

DESERTED ISLAND WITH A CELEBRITY: "Zac Efron. He seems like a really nice guy, and he's my little celebrity crush.''

IF I WAS PRESIDENT FOR A DAY: "I would definitely make running a prime-time sport instead of putting it on Universal Sports at midnight.''

DINNER FOR FOUR: ``My grandmother, Margaret Muzynski: She died before I was born and my Mom says I remind her of my grandmother; My aunt, Lauren Lacy: She passed when I was 8 -- it was actually days before my first national race; and Shalane Flanagan (the American record-holder in the indoor 3K and 5K and outdoor 10K): I see myself as a 10K runner and getting into marathons, and it would be interesting to get her advice.''

High School Top Performer - Week 3: Megan Lacy (girls cross-country), Cherokee
Thursday, October 06, 2011

Rich Bevensee/For The Star-Ledger The Star-Ledger/

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