McLean High senior finishes cross country career at national race

For Tyce Rowley, the final race of her outstanding cross-country career was an unfortunate one.

The McLean Highlanders Sr. participated in the Champs Sports Girls National High School Finals in San Diego on December 10th. Still recovering from a recent flu bout. This included at one stage he had a 103-degree fever and a lingering cough on race day. That’s why Laurie said it wasn’t all out and her performance was proof of that.

She finished 25th in the 5,000m race at Balboa Park with a time of 18:18.2, well short of the winning mark of 16:49.2. Laurie was her first behind her friend and Herndon High School senior Gillian Her Bushy in 18:14.6. Busey also finished one rank above Lowry in previous district, regional, state and Southern regional competitions this fall.

Lowry’s time at the nationals was a minute slower than his sixth-place finish at the qualifying Southern Regional Championships in Charlotte, North Carolina.


“The fever went down, but I had no energy, so after a while I died during the race,” Rowley said. “I couldn’t take a deep breath. My body wasn’t at the same level it was before the flu.”

Rolly said the course was difficult. There are some hills and various other twists and turns. Her goal was a top 15 finish to earn the national standard.

“I was sick in bed the Tuesday before the race, so I didn’t even know if I was going to run,” Lowry said. “I was very happy and happy just to be here.”

Lowry ran the same course at last year’s Nationals, finishing 34th in 18:41.3.

A top 10 finish at the Southern Regional Conference earned Lowry a spot at the national competition. She placed ninth in the 2021 regional competition.

This season’s nationals capped off the fall cross-country season with Raleigh finishing second in district, regional and state competitions. Rolly won the state title in her sophomore year, and she finished second in her junior year as well.

She is now preparing for McLean’s indoor winter athletics season, with the first competition not happening until January. Then there is the outdoor spring season, followed by a college running career at Duke University.

Marshall High School’s Hayley Spaden finished 41st in the regional girls’ association in 20:58.

Potomac School’s Charlie Oltmans was 49th in 15:53.3 and teammate Sasha Minsky was 85th (16:26) at the boys’ South Regional High School Championships. Marshall’s Sean Sanders was 16:33 and he was 95th. The winning time is 14:40.

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