Fairfield Prep senior Connor Rog loves running cross country and he keeps finding ways to extend his season.
On Saturday, while most runners were working off some of the extra holiday calories with a jog in the warm weather, Rog was racing on Long Island in one of the most competitive events on the high school cross country schedule. He raced at Sunken Meadow State Park in the Northeast Regional qualifying meet for the 33rd annual Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, to be held Dec. 10 at Balboa Park in San Diego.
Only the top 10 boys and girls from each of four regional meets earn an all-expenses paid trip to the national meet, where the competitors stay in the Hotel del Coronado and meet former Foot Locker competitors who went on to become Olympians and professional runners.
Rog made it into that select group, finishing ninth in 16:03, the same time as the final qualifier, Chris Allen of Norfolk, Mass. Edward Cheserek, a junior from St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, N.J., won the race in a course record 15:20, shattering the old mark set by Chad Noelle by 22 seconds.
Rog went undefeated in Connecticut competition this year, winning the state Class LL and Open titles, before finishing second in the New England championship in Rhode Island two weeks ago. As a result of Saturday's run on Long Island, he gets to run in one more cross country meet before he closes the books on a stellar high school harrier career.
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