Mainland’s Aldridge joins elite company with 13th-place finish at Foot Locker Nationals!!!!!

Alyssa Aldridge put a giant exclamation point on the end of one of the greatest seasons ever by a South Jersey runner on Saturday when she placed 13th at the Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego.

The top 14-finish earned Aldridge All-America status against a field of the fastest girls in the country.

Aldridge, a junior at Mainland Regional High School in Atlantic County, ran 17:55 over the historic 5,000-meter Balboa Park course in downtown San Diego.

She ran 25 seconds faster than last year, when she placed 23rd.

Only two South Jersey girls have ever finished higher at Foot Locker nationals.

Olympian Erin Donahue finished 17th in 1998 and Kingsway’s Chelsea Ley was 18th in 2007 and 8th in 2008.

Let’s take a look at every New Jersey girl that’s run at Foot Locker nationals:

1979
3rd Ann Gladue 12 (Bayley Allard) 17:51

1981
5th Janet Smith 10 (J.P. Stevens) 17:11.7
12th Theresa Gschwind 12 (Summit) 17:31.5
22nd Meg Waldron 11 (Bernards) 18:20.2

1982
2nd Michelle Rowan 12 (Washington Twp.) 17:02.3
5th Janet Smith 11 (J.P. Stevens) 17:13.6

1983
1st Janet Smith 12 (J.P. Stevens) 16:43.7
12th Missy Duchini 10 (Wayne Valley) 17:57.6
24th Stacy Ann Bilotta 10 (North Hunterdon) 18:32.6

1984
28th Jen Van Horn 11 (Wayne Valley) 18:53.2

1985
10th Jodie Bilotta 10 (North Hunterdon) 17:25.6
19th Anne Letko 11 (North Hunterdon) 18:01.3

1986
17th Jodie Bilotta 11 (North Hunterdon) 18:06.8
18th Anne Letko 12 (North Hunterdon) 18:07.2

1987
5th Christi Constantin 11 (Kittatinny Regional) 17:34.9
22th Jodie Bilotta 12 (North Hunterdon) 18:27.7

1988
3 Christi Constantin 12 (Kittatinny Regional) 17:18.4
26 Kristen Hall 9 (West Morris Central) 18:44.5

1989
24th Monal Chokshi 9 (Bridgewater-Raritan) 19:01.6

1990
10th Monal Chokshi 10 (Bridgewater-Raritan) 18:08.0

1991
24th Monal Chokshi 11 (Bridgewater-Raritan) 19:00.8

1995
12th Autumn Fogg 12 (Hunterdon Central) 18:04.6

1996
31st Dana Stir 12 (Ramsey) 20:28.0

1998
7th Cate Guiney 12 (Middletwon South) 18:10.0
17th Erin Donohue 10 (Haddonfield) 18:36.9
31nd Catherine Feeney (Wayne Valley) 20:40.1
32nd Cheryl Bauer 12 (Morris Hills Mendham) 22:05.5

2001
27th Lindsay Van Austin 11 (Hawthorne Christian) 18:16.8

2002
2nd Kathleen Trotter 12 (Red Bank Regional) 17:43.9

2003
21st Jennifer Clausen 10 (Jackson) 18:27
30th Brittany Sedberry 10 (Ocean City) 19:23

2004
37th Brittany Sedberry 11 (Ocean City) 19:45

2005
6th Danielle Tauro 11 (Southern Regional) 17:41
37th Briana Jackucewicz (Colts Neck) 18:46

2006
22nd Ashley Higginson 12 (Colts Neck) 18:41

2007
18th Chelsea Ley 10 (Kingsway) 18:04
28th Kathleen McCafferty 12 (Oak Knoll) 18:36

2008
8th Chelsea Ley 11 (Kingsway) 17:49
16th Laura Vigilante (West Morris Mendham) 18:14
17th Melanie Thompson (Voorhees) 18:18
27th Katie Kellner (West Windsor-Plainsboro) 18:34

2009
7th Chelsea Ley 12 (Kingsway) 17:37
18th Marielle Hall 12 (Haddonfield) 18:05

2010
5th Megan Venables (Highland Regional) 17:35
24th Megan Lacy (Cherokee) 18:17
37th Caroline Kellner (West Windsor-Plainsboro) 18:39

2011
28th Holly Bischof (Bishop Eustace) 18:17
36th Caroline Kellner (West Windsor-Plainsboro) 18:32

2012
14th Megan Curran (Warren Hills) 17:55
18th Marisa Ruskan (Bound Brook) 18:03
27th MacKenzie (Barry Mendham) 18:20

2013
13th Briana Gess (Haddonfield) 17:51

2014
37th Eve Glassergreen (North Hunterdon) 19:07

2015
23th Alyssa Aldridge (Mainland Regional) 18:20
29th Briana Gess (Haddonfield) 18:20

2016
13th Alyssa Aldridge (Mainland Regional) 18:20

If we extrapolate only the South Jersey runners out of that list, we see that almost all of South Jersey’s damage at Foot Locker nationals has been in recent years. Take a look:

 

1982
2nd Michelle Rowan 12 (Washington Twp.) 17:02.3

1998
17th Erin Donohue 10 (Haddonfield) 18:36.9

2003
30th Brittany Sedberry 10 (Ocean City) 19:23

2004
37th Brittany Sedberry 11 (Ocean City) 19:45

2007
18th Chelsea Ley 10 (Kingsway) 18:04

2008
8th Chelsea Ley 11 (Kingsway) 17:49

2009
7th Chelsea Ley 12 (Kingsway) 17:37
18th Marielle Hall 12 (Haddonfield) 18:05

2010
5th Megan Venables (Highland Regional) 17:35
24th Megan Lacy (Cherokee) 18:17

2011
28th Holly Bischof (Bishop Eustace) 18:17

2013
13th Briana Gess (Haddonfield) 17:51

2015
23th Alyssa Aldridge (Mainland Regional) 18:20
29th Briana Gess (Haddonfield) 18:20

2016
13th Alyssa Aldridge (Mainland Regional) 18:20

From 1979 through 2002, a span of 24 years, two of 29 qualifiers came from South Jersey high schools. But since 2003, a 17-year span, some 13 of 27 have been South Jersey girls.

Aldridge becomes only the sixth girl in state history to finish in the top 23 in consecutive years. It’s quite a list, including some of the most hallowed names in New Jersey scholastic cross country history:

Janet Smith of J.P. Stevens (1981 through 1983), Jodie Bilotta of North Hunterdon (1985, 1986, 1987), Anne Letko of North Hunterdon (1985, 1986), Christi Constantin of Kittatinny Regional (1987, 1988) and Kingsway’s Ley (2007, 2008, 2009)

And don’t forget … Aldridge has one more year and one more chance at the Foot Locker series!

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