GREENSBORO, NC - Corning Hawks standout Jessica Lawson closed her high school career on a high note by winning a national championship at the New Balance Nationals.
Lawson, who added a state title in the 3,000 meters a week earlier at the NYSPHSAA state meet, won the 5,000 meter event against the best in the nation at North Carolina A&T University Friday.
The Stanford-bound senior ran the distance in a blistering 16:38.54, nearly 27 seconds ahead of the next closest competitor. A year ago, Lawson was third with a time of 16:52.
“Going in to it, my goal was to beat 16:30 which is the New York State record," said Lawson. "I was eight seconds slower than that, but to win a national title and to set a new personal record was something I was happy with."
Lawson also netted a third place finish in the 2-mile race (10:22.65) on Saturday.
“I felt pretty good through the first mile, but I felt the 5K in the second mile," said Lawson. "It was 10 seconds slower than my personal record, but I was really happy with it."
The gratifying thing for Lawson, however, was competing in the 4xMile relay along with her teammates Emily Niu, Cleo Baker and Claire Mason (20:36.60) for a third place finish and All-America honors on the last day of the meet on Sunday.
"It was such a great effort from everyone on the team," Lawson said. "Cleo Baker was our leadoff leg, she set a new personal record she got out controlled. "Claire Mason and Emily Niu also did really awesome. I was happy with the way it turned out."
With the end of the New Balance meet, Lawson ends her high school career with an extensive inventory of seven State Championships in cross country, as well as indoor and outdoor track combined. (six individual, one relay.)
"It was a great way to end my season and high school career," Lawson said.
Other finishers from Corning at the New Balance National meet were, Emma Mason, who garnered a 15th place finish in the 3,000 meter racewalk in 16:38.08 and the boys 4xMile took 11th place (17:56.87), which included Kevin Moshier, Dan Gahagan, Xavier Nicholson and Bryce Derrick.