For Emily Lipari, 2008 was a banner year, as she solidified her claim as one of the nation's premier high school cross-country runners.
During that year, Emily, a junior at Roslyn High School, conquered the world of cross-country running in New York, winning titles on both the Nassau County and New York State levels. As the year ended, Emily traveled to San Diego, CA this past weekend where she competed in the Foot Locker Cross Country High School Championships.
On Jan. 30, Emily kicked off the new year in top form by competing in the world famous Millrose Games, held at Madison Square Garden.
Emily ran in the Adidas Girls' High School mile, competing with the top milers from around the country. The race was a success for Emily. She finished third with an excellent time of 4:57.7, one that was three seconds behind her personal best of 4:54.
The winner was Jillian Smith of Southern Regional High School, Manahawkin, NJ, who won with a time of 4:51.88. Finishing second was Cory McGee of Pass Christian High School, Pass Christian, MS. Ms. McGee came in at 4:54.59.
For her third place finish, Emily ran seven seconds ahead of Juliet Bottoroff of Tatnall High School, Wilmington, DE.
Emily wasn't the only Long Islander to excel in the mile run. Emily Menges of Garden City High School came in fifth with a time of 5:04:78. Ann Carey of St. John The Baptist in West Islip finished ninth, hitting the tape at 5:11.60.
The 102nd running of The Millrose Games was notable also for Bernard Lagat tying Eamonn Coughlin's mark for the world record in the mile run and for the pole vaulter Steven Hooker of Australia who cleared the bar at 19 feet, 8 1/2 inches. Hooker made three attempts at 20 feet, 2 1/2 inches, the world record held by Russia great Sergei Bubka, but he fell short on each attempt.
The competition in San Diego marked the second time that Emily ran in Cross Country High School tournament. In 2008, Emily came in 11th out of a field of 40 runners, finishing the race in a time of 17:55:53.
On Nov. 15, Emily captured the 5000 meters (5K) New York State Federation individual championship at a meet in Wappingers Falls. In that contest, Emily took control of the race from the start and finished with a winning time of 18:15.4.
Also in November, Emily won her second straight Nassau County cross-country title. She followed that win by taking the New York State Cross Country Championship, also for the second year in a row. In that contest, held in Sunken Meadow, Lipari had to make a late sprint, passing two runners down the stretch in the final 10 seconds of the race to take the win.
For all her recent success, Emily was selected as the Gatorade New York Runner of the Year for the second season. The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the race course. Emily will also be eligible for the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award.
Emily's best time in the 3,000 meters is 9:50.21, which, according to her coach Vera Trenchfield, is currently the fastest time in the U.S. for high school runners.