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By Steve Bigham



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By Steve Bigham

Newtown runner Brian McGovern is nearing the stratosphere of high school cross-country competition. Just a junior, he became the first male Connecticut runner in 11 years to qualify for the national championships.

Brian, who attends Fairfield Prep in Fairfield, finished sixth overall at last Saturday’s Foot Locker Northeast Regional Cross Country Championships at Van Cortland Park in the Bronx. He finished the 3.1-mile course in 15:49. His incredible performance qualified him for the national competition to be held December 11 at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The meet will be aired on ESPN some time in December.

JT Burke of Xavier High in Middletown was the last Connecticut runner to qualify for nationals back in 1988.

McGovern further solidified himself as one of the state’s all-time best high school runners by winning the New England Championships two weeks earlier. He became the first Connecticut runner to capture this event since Staples’ Tom Scheeran ran to glory in 1988. Scheeran and Burke, both great competitors, often ran against each other during their high school days. McGovern is the first runner to match their achievements.

McGovern competed in last year’s Northeast Regionals finishing 51st overall.

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