They're In!!!

A day that had a team and two individuals earn trips to their respective national meets on the west coast, just got even better.

La Salle Academy girls' head coach Kelly Martin learned on Saturday night that her team will also be making the cross-country trek. Martin was informed that her Rams secured one of the four at-large bids for the Nike Cross-Country Nationals (NXN), to be held this coming Saturday in Portland, Oregon.

The Rams finished third overall at the NXN Northeast Regionals, falling just a placement short of an automatic berth to the nationals. La Salle was favored going into the race and had strong races from junior Eliza Rego (11th) and senior Sheridan Wilbur (12th). But one of its top runners all season, junior Karina Tavares, slipped on the snow-covered course and banged her head. Tavares, who placed second at the state meet, gutted her way to the finish and placed 108th overall. No doubt the Nike representatives were taking that into consideration as well as the Rams' previous success this fall, which includes wins at the state and New England meets and runner-up finishes at the Great American X-C Festival and the Reebok Manhattan Invitational.

The Lady Rams will be joined by the boys' team, which captured the school's first-ever title at Nike with a dominating victory over second-place Christian Brothers Academy. South Kingstown freshman Ellie Lawler, who was fourth overall in the girls' race, will also be heading to Oregon and Barrington junior Emma McMillan, a third-place finisher at the Foot Locker NE Regionals on Saturday, qualified for their national meet in San Diego on Dec. 13.