Rose Shields/Staff Photographer Megan Lacy ran 5,000 meters in 16 minutes, 50.75 seconds Friday night at the Larry Ellis Invitational, a South Jersey record by 17 seconds and one of the 30 fastest times in United States scholastic track history.

PRINCETON - Megan Lacy ran 5,000 meters in 16 minutes, 50.75 seconds Friday night at the Larry Ellis Invitational, a South Jersey record by 17 seconds and one of the 30 fastest times in United States scholastic track history.

Lacy, a junior at Cherokee High School currently running independently, competed against college runners and graduates. She placed 13th overall out of 88 runners in three sections. She was the only high school runner in any of the three sections of the race.

Lacy's time is No. 2 in state history, behind only a 16:38.31 by Colts Neck's Ashley Higginson - a current Princeton runner - on the same track in 2007. No other New Jersey girl has ever broken 17:30 for 5,000 meters on the track.

The previous South Jersey record was 17:07.92, by Kingsway's Chelsea Ley, when she placed third at the 2009 nationals in Greensboro, N.C.

Lacy was a Foot Locker cross country finalist in the fall and the South Jersey Group 4 champion at 3,200 meters last spring.