Mercury News girls cross country of the year: Lizzie Lacy, Menlo School

Lizzie Lacy always liked sports. Basketball, soccer, lacrosse. But she didn't have a sport to play in the fall her freshman year at Menlo School. "A couple of my friends were doing cross country, so I tried it," Lacy said. Now, after a stunning breakthrough as a senior, cross country is the sport of her future. Lacy's best time as a junior at Crystal Springs was 18:34. She ran 17:00 as a senior. Her best time at Toro Park in Salinas as a junior was 19:47. She was clocked in 17:21 as a senior. "I did a lot of work over the summer," Lacy said. "I started a lot earlier than before. Getting that base was a vital part of my improvement." Lacy's emergence in the sport began as a junior at the state meet when she placed sixth in Division IV. But this year she took off, winning the Division IV race at the Central Coast Section finals with a time that was 37 seconds faster than any other girl runner. At the state meet at Woodward Park in Fresno, she placed third in 18:00, a 30-second improvement over the previous year. So it was not a difficult choice at all to name Lacy as the Mercury News girls cross country runner of the year. Now that Lacy is planning on running cross country in college, she will take part in track and field for the first time this spring. Lacrosse was her spring sport her first three years of high school. "She's only going to get faster," Menlo coach Jorge Chen said. "Her story doesn't end here."

Mercury News boys cross country runner of year: Chris Foster, Los Gatos

Chris Foster had no complaints about how he finished his high school cross country career. Bound for Humboldt State in the fall, the Los Gatos senior won another Central Coast Section championship and finished fifth in the Division II state race, running his fastest time (15:17) on the 3.1-mile course in Fresno. "I felt like all my races, I couldn't have done better," Foster said. "They all went better than I planned them to, and I couldn't be happier with the whole season." Foster won the Division II race at the CCS finals in 15:19 -- the fastest time in any division -- and earlier had the top time among Northern California runners at the prestigious Stanford and Mt. SAC invitationals. For this, he is once again the Mercury News boys cross country runner of the year. "The guy's a workhorse," Los Gatos coach Matt Snee said. "The season overall was very successful for him. It was a long one. He started training pretty early. We adjusted a little bit from last year to try to prolong his season for CCS and state performances. He did everything he needed to do." Foster said hard work and experience paid off this season. Raised in a running family -- his dad, Grant, is a former CCS champion -- Foster relied on numerous strategies to excel on race day. He also contributed to his team. "His ability to work well with others to progress the team -- not just himself -- is really impressive," Snee said.

All-Mercury News teams:

2014 All M-N Boys Teams 2014 All M-N Girls Teams First Team First Team Chris Foster 12 Los Gatos Lizzie Lacy 12 Menlo School Steven Sum 12 Saratoga Gillian Meeks 11 Gunn Jose Pina 12 Lincoln Caroline Gee 9 Cupertino Lucas Matison 12 Palo Alto Grace Ling 12 Lynbrook Hassen Hassen 12 Willow Glen Elena Kamas 9 Homestead Alex Sasser 12 Bellarmine Niki Iyer 10 Harker Justin Robison 11 Lynbrook Lindsay Allen 10 Homestead Honorable Mention Honorable Mention Ben Zaeske 11 Los Altos Jenny Xu 12 Monta Vista Rohan Choudhury 12 Monta Vista Lauren Jacob 11 Los Altos Ricardo Romero 12 Overfelt Juliana Mount 12 Notre Dame-SJ Johain Ounadjela 12 Carlmont Hannah Allen 12 Homestead Daniel Hill 12 Sac Heart Prep Carina Gwennap 12 Mountain View Owen Lee 12 Carlmont Riley Mason 11 Leland Fenn Hoppe 12 Willow Glen Cecily Johnson 12 Los Gatos Xander Olivero 11 St.Francis Nicole Colonna 12 Pinewood Tucker Meijer 12 Bellarmine Julia Lemak 11 Mitty Miles Meijer 12 Bellarmine JJ Escalera 11 Fremont Revanth Nagurla 12 Lynbrook Ann Marie Howell 10 Santa Teresa Anwar Alghaithy 12 Westmoor Emily Skahill 10 St.Francis Ben Osipow 12 St.Ignatius Gia Kim 11 St.Francis Ben Haderle 12 Los Gatos Serena Myjer 9 Mountain View Michael Bereket 12 Carlmont Allison Le 12 Mitty Jacob Garrissere 12 Santa Teresa Julia Bounds 10 St.Francis Kevin Lehr 11 St.Ignatius Emily Aiken 12 Gunn Runner of the Year - Chris Foster Runner of the Year - Lizzie Lacy The M-N team includes all San Mateo and Santa Clara County runners plus the runners from the 3 schools in the WCAL that are located in San Francisco.