Alyssa Aldridge, a junior from Mainland, placed first in the Foot Locker Northeast Regional at Van Cortlandt Park in New York with a time of 17 minutes, 40.3 seconds to secure a spot in the nationals in San Diego. She finished 15 seconds before Jacqueline Gaughan from Exeter, N.H.
She finished short of her personal record, 17:07.58.
Aldridge was noticed in 2014 when she placed second as a freshman at the NJSIAA Cross-Country Meet of Champions with a time of 18:22.00, only 2 seconds behind the first place finisher.
As a sophomore, Aldridge placed first at the 2015 NJSIAA Meet of Champions with a time of 18:07.00, 18 seconds ahead of the next finisher. She became the first student in Mainland history to place first at the Cross-Country Meet of Champions.
Following that accomplishment, she placed sixth at the 2015 Foot Locker Northeast Regional with a time of 17:47.80, only 8 seconds behind the winner.
Just last week, she defended her title in the NJSIAA Cross-Country Meet of Champions with a 17:55.00, Haddonfield's Briana Gess finished second in 18:35.00.
Aldridge will race Dec. 10 at Balboa Park in San Diego against 39 other girls for a chance at the National Championship title.