In the last eight years, only three girls have ever won a state cross-country title. Former La Salle standout Molly Keating won three straight crowns between 2009-11. She was followed by Barrington grad Emma McMillian, won thrice from 2012-14.
This fall, South Kingstown senior Ellie Lawler has a chance to join this illustrious group. Lawler is the current meet record-holder with her winning time of 17:29.28 from 2015, a sophomore year in which she finished as a runner-up at the New England Championships and earned All American with a 14th place finish at the Foot Locker Nationals.
Lawler had a strong junior season, but never broke 18 minutes. With a talented bunch behind her, such as Westerly's Randi Burr, La Salle's Emily Kane and Portsmouth's Nikki Merrill to name a few, it appears a sub 18 will be needed for a the three-peat.
Lawler had a solid track season (indoor and outdoor) her junior year, highlighted by a runner-up placement in the 3K during indoor state meet. But the up-and-down trails of cross-country has been her niche and once again she'll be listed as a the favorite for individual glory in early November.