A trio of New Milford High School student athletes accustomed to the challenges of state and regional cross country competition took their act recently to a wider realm.
For Ryan and John, it was a second experience at national racing, having run in 2011 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
It marked Emily's first effort at the Junior Olympics.
John distinguished himself with a 15th-place performance in a 101-runner Young Men's field to earn All-American recognition.
He clocked 17:10.8 over a five-kilometer course at the high-altitude International Balloon Fiesta Park, set against the scenic backdrop of the Sandia Mountains.
Ryan checked in 65th in the same race in 18:38.6.
Emily competed in the girls' Intermediate division, claiming 92nd among 132 runners in 23:12.
To qualify for the nationals, the New Milford teens had excelled in November in both state and regional-level races in Litchfield and Long Island, N.Y.
The Junior Olympics brought a close to the Green Wave cross country careers of John and Ryan, who co-captained coach Chris Bacich's NMHS squad to the state open championship in November.
For Emily, the commitment and progress shown at the Junior Olympic events could serve her well as she prepares for the spring track season and her senior campaign next fall with coach Giles Vaughan's distaff Green Wave.