Greta Flanagan Makes All-State in Cross Country
Oyster Bay High School standout Greta Flanagan set a new milestone for the girls’ cross country team when she qualified for All-State and broke the school’s record in the process. Flanagan, a sophomore, placed 16th in the New York State Championship at Sunken Meadow State Park, Nov. 10, and set a new record that stands at 20:22.3.
“Her goal was to improve on last year’s finish, and make a run for All-State by placing in the top 20—no easy feat as elite runners from all over New York were vying for the same achievement,” said Coach Kevin Cotter. “But she did just that. On a cold and rainy morning, she got off to a very fast start and never gave up her position. As she sprinted through the hilly course, the familiarity of Sunken Meadow helped her prepare for Snake and Cardiac Hill.”
Sprinting towards the finish with determination and grit, Flanagan broke the school record at Sunken Meadow that was set by future hall-of-fame runner Nicole Giannetti in 2011. According to tullyrunners.com Flanagan joins Giannetti (14th in 2003) and hall-of-famer Kaitlin Collins (18th in 2006) as the only members who have ever broken into the top 20 at the state meet.
“We ran three races here, and practiced a couple of times here as well during the season so I knew what to expect during the race,” Flanagan said. “I knew I was somewhere between 15th and 20th because so many people were shouting the places of my competitors, and I didn’t know which one was calling out my place!”
The pinnacle feat capped a stellar season for the Baymen. The team finished with a perfect record of 13-0, earning a conference IV championship for the 2018 season. Greta, who earned All-County status by placing second in a field of 92 qualifiers, led the county race throughout most of the course at Bethpage State Park but was narrowly out-sprinted at the finish line by Valley Stream South’s DeAnna Martin.
Her time of 19:59.2 on the 5k course put her among the elite of all of Nassau County, according to Coach Cotter, as only a total of 7 runners broke the 20-minute barrier. She helped teammates Maggie McNamara, Amandine Bourne, Hannah Lopes, and Michela Rutigliano place second as a team, behind 13-time county champions North Shore.
On Nov. 3 at Bethpage State Park, Flanagan once again led her teammates to a first-place finish in the qualifying meet for the New York State Championships at Sunken Meadow.
“The future looks bright for Flanagan who still has two years to improve on this year’s finish,” Coach Cotter said.