Westley Smashes State 5,000m record, places 5th at Nationals


Alexa Westley continued to cement her legacy as one of the best distance runners in state history when she took down the NJ record in the 5000-meter run by running 16:34.66 to place fifth at the New Balance National Championships on Friday at Aggie Stadium on the campus of North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C.

The senior at Warren Hills broke the state record of 16:38.51 set by Ashley Higginson of Colts Neck at the Sam Howell Invitational at Princeton University in April of 2007. 

The 5K race won by Foot Locker National XC champ Sydney Masciarelli, a sophomore from Marianapolis Preparatory in Connecticut, in 16:16.20  

Westley, who hit 1K in 3:21.30 and 3K in 9:53.69, ran 1:15.31 for the final 400, her fastest lap of the race, to secure the state record and earn All-American status for the second straight year. Last year, Westley placed third in the 5K at NBN in 17:03.95.

Westley, who had her high school graduation on Thursday night and flew out to N.C. on Friday morning, may also run the mile at nationals on Sunday.  

Westley's state record 5K performance comes six days after she made history at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions by becoming just the fourth girl to ever win three straight 3,200m titles when she stopped the clock at 10:15.82, the sixth fastest time in state history.   

The Wisconsin-bound Westley joined Mary Banks of Raritan, Jodie Bilotta of North Hunterdon, and Monal Chokshi of Bridgewater East, as the only runners to three-peat in the girls 3,200 at the Meet of Champions.