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William Floyd freshman places 12th at U.S. cross country nationals in San Diego

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William Floyd freshman Zariel Macchia finished 12th in the Eastbay National Cross Country Championships in San Diego Saturday.

The Shirley resident earned All America honors and was the highest placing freshman in the prestigious race that showcased the very best high school cross country competitors from across the nation.

Oklahoma State-bound Natalie Cook of Texas won the race, finishing in 17:15. Macchia — wearing bib No. 12 — completed the 5,000-meter race in 17:43.3.

Macchia was all smiles during introductions of the runners during live stream coverage of the event, and she grinned even more broadly after holding off Arianne Olson of Holland, Michigan, by one-tenth of a second to finish in the top 12.

Macchia earned a spot in the Eastbay nationals by finishing second overall (and first in New York state) with a time of 17:42.7 in the female division 5K at the 2021 Eastbay Cross Country Regional Championships last month. The regional race featured the best runners from 11 northeast states and Washington, D.C.

Macchia is a lead contender for the New York State Runner of the Year award.

Below is video coverage of the national competition. The girls race starts at the 1:15 mark of the video and lasts until 1:35. Look for Macchia crossing the finish line at the 1:33:35 mark of the video.

Photo above: Zariel Macchia crosses the finish line to finish in 12th place and earn All America honors. Photorun.net for Eastbay Cross Country