Abbey Leonardi and Emily Durgin qualify for a national cross

Posted by: MBR on Sun Nov 29th, 2009 7:53 am
Maine girls earn a tripAbbey Leonardi and Emily Durgin qualify for a national cross country meet.By GLENN JORDAN, Staff WriterKINGS PARK, N.Y. On a day when winds whipped up whitecaps on adjacent Long Island Sound, two sophomore runners from Maine anticipated a desperate kick into a ferocious headwind at the finish of the Foot Locker Northeast cross country championships.The headwind was there. The challengers were not.Abbey Leonardi of Kennebunk finished second and Emily Durgin of Cheverus was seventh Saturday to earn two of the 10 berths in the nationals early next month in San Diego.Not since 1994 the year they were born had a Maine high school girl qualified for the nationals."I thought it would be a lot tougher," said Leonardi.Leonardi never dropped from the top five and completed the 5,000 meters in 18 minutes, 31.9 seconds -- more than a second ahead of Chelsea Ley of Clarksboro, N.J., who finished third."I was surprised," said Durgin, the New England champion who finished in 18:38.7. "I thought there were going to be, like, 20 girls sprinting at the end.Click for full story ... 4&ac=PHspt