Midlothian girls pulled off the big shocker in winning the Eastern States Championship race at Manhattan Invitational against the nation\'s best teams including US #1 and defending Nike Team Nationals champions Hilton of New York. WIth 148 points, Coach Stan Morgan\'s Lady Trojans finished ahead of not only Hilton but SE #1 Eleanor Roosevelt of Maryland (2nd, 172 pts), NE #3 Saratoga Springs of New York (3rd, 190 pts), and Hilton (4th, 203 pts). It was also a great day for the Southeast region with three of the top five finising teams against some of the best team\'s in the nation and Northeast region with Midlothian, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Tatnall of Delaware (5th, 229) giving the region great legitimacy for an at-large berth for Nike Team Nationals.
Top finisher for the Midlothian girls was once again freshmen Kathleen Lautzenheiser as she covered the 2.5 mile course in a time of 14:50.9 for a 14th place finish. Lautzenheiser was joined in the top 20 by her twin sister, Leia Lautzenheiser in 18th at 14:58.2 and lone Midlothian senior M.C. Miller in 19th at 15:01.5. The three runners certainly stepped up and silenced the doubters that Midlothian lacked the front running to compete with the nation\'s top programs as well regional foes Eleanor Roosevelt of Maryland and Episcopal of Florida. Midlothian had three runners in before Episcopal\'s first finisher in Maggie Traylor (33rd, 15:17.5) and matched up well with Eleanor Roosevelt\'s solid front three in Marika Walker (10th, 14:44.5), Teshika Rivers (20th, 15:03.7), and Dominique Lockhart (31st, 15:16.8).
Midlothian\'s strength was expected to come in their number four and five spots and as was the case with junior Sammy Dow (41st, 15:27.2) and sophomore Paige Johnston (53rd, 15:38.8) finishing ahead of any other team\'s fourth and fifth runners with the exception of Eleanor Roosevelt\'s Jennifer Redman (37th, 15:21.9) stepping up with a big race as the team\'s fourth.
Midlothian head coach Stan Morgan was talking to Saratoga Springs head coach Art Kranick at the meet and telling him how he had always aspired to have a program like Kranick\'s at Saratoga. Kranick quickly turned to Morgan and said, \"Stan, you already have a great program!\" With Midlothian likely to be elevated to a number one ranking in the Southeast ranking and as well as make a considerable leap from their current #18 national ranking in Marc Bloom\'s Harrier Super 25 in the next edition, he certainly has a program to be proud of.
Meanwhile, the SE #6 Jamestown boys competed in the varsity C boys division and faired well with a fourth place finishing team performance. While the Southeast girls proved that they can run with the nation\'s best at Manhattan, the Southeast boys certainly have their work still cut out for them as shown with Jamestown\'s finish behind three unranked Northeast teams. The Eagles with 144 points were led by top 20 individual runs from Andrew Mearns (11th, 13:10.9) and Andrew Colley (16th, 13:17.9). Osbourn Park finished seventh in the same division with 231 points as their top finisher was Tyler Simmons in 22nd place with a time of 13:29.7.