MAKING STRIDES: Princeton High boys’ cross country runner Alex Roth heads to the finish line last Friday at the Mercer County Cross Country Championships. Junior star Roth took third individually to help PHS finish a strong second, just three points (74-77) behind champion Robbinsville. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
In 2014, Alex Roth couldn’t run in the Mercer County Cross Country Championships due to injury.
Last Friday, Princeton High boys’ junior star Roth was thrilled to toe the starting line at this year’s county meet.
“It is a great environment,” said Roth. “It was super cool to run with all of these competitive teams and competitive guys. It was great experience.”
Roth proved to be one of the top competitors on the course at Thompson Park in Jamesburg, taking third individually to help PHS finish a strong second, just three points (74-77) behind champion Robbinsville.
Coming into the race, Roth was focused on going after WW/P-S senior star Tim Bason, who ended up taking first.
“I wasn’t really worrying about time; I was trying to get in the mix to get a top position,” said Roth, who covered the course in 15:59.61. “I basically went out and just tried to hang with Tim Bason and just tried to go with it after that in the second half.”
Roth hung with Bason for about half of the race before getting edged by 1.40 for second place by Zach Michon of Robbinsville down the final straightaway.
“I thought it was a good race; I felt confident,” said Roth. “The Robbinsville guy got me at the end but I felt like I ran the race I was looking for.”
While PHS entered the day looking for the team title, Roth saw the second-place finish as a positive.