Rhode Island Cross-Country Runners To Watch: Grace Connolly, La Salle Academy

Grace Connolly, La Salle Academy

The Ram senior missed the entire outdoor season due to injuries, but as coach Kelly Martin assured us recently - "She has returned to (training) full time and looks great!"

While that may be good news for La Salle, it's bad news for her competition. When Connolly is at her best, she has proven to be one of our top harriers on the cross-country trails. Since her freshman year when she competed for Barrington before transferring to the Rams, Connolly has finished fifth or better at the State Meet. At the 2016 meet, she was third overall with a time of 18:40.04. She recorded her PR for the 5K distance at the Great American X-C Festival on Oct. 1 where she ran 18:08.90 to finish 11th overall in the Race of Champions' event, a race that attracts the elite from throughout the east coast region (and beyond).

Connolly has the added benefit of training with a squad capable of winning it all, including fellow classmate and training partner Emily Kane, another top contender. While she has enjoyed success on the track oval with PRs of 10:01 for 3,000 meters and 4:44 for 1,500m, it appears the dirt trails are Connolly's forte, as evident by her success every November. A healthy Connolly once again should be considered when talking about top contenders at the state level.