Photos by Adrian Hood Sr.
At this past weekend's WCAC Championships, it was a very special moment for Good Counsel senior Megan Crilly as she competed in one of her final high school track meets on her home track. Crilly claimed two individual titles in the 3200 (11:43.48) and 1600 (5:28.72) meter races. She anchored her 4x800 to a season best time of 9:36. Crilly then closed out her final WCAC Championships running a lifetime personal best of 2:18.14 for runner-up in the 800 meter run in her fourth and final race of the meet.
However, there is more to Crilly's story than simply a senior going out on top in her final meet on her home track. There is much more to feel good about this story. She has conquered a lot more than just victories and new personal best times on the track this spring. Crilly has conquered life.
As a junior at the end of her cross country season roughly a year and a half ago following struggling to finish in the WCAC Cross Country Championship meet, Crilly learned some gut-wrenching news that a healthy and active 16 year old high school distance runner never expects to ever hear from their doctor. No. Not a stress fracture or an iron deficiency that usually is normal heartbreaking news to setback a teenage runner.
The most dreadful of C words. Cancer.
Crilly was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
Aggressively tackling the disease with treatment over the winter of her junior year, Crilly ended up running and racing again a few months later by last spring miraculously and cancer-free.
Crilly started to return to her top form prior from her sophomore year when she won the WCAC cross country individual title by the time fall rolled around to run under 20 minutes for the first time for 5K. She eventually finished out her final high school cross country season with a 19:28 PR at NXN Southeast.
Fast forward to this past weekend at Good Counsel for the 2016 WCAC Championships, Crilly's incredible quadrouple was just a small feat compared to the biggest test she passed over a year ago.
Read more on Megan Crilly's story:
- Run Washington: Back and Better Than Ever
- Catholic Standard: After cancer recovery, Good Counsel runner relishes team and personal triumphs