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Prep Talk Female Athlete of the Week: Megan McLaughlin, East Aurora cross-country

There's another McLaughlin to watch out for in East Aurora ... and she'll be around for the greater part of the next five years.

Eighth-grader Megan McLaughlin is following in the footsteps of her older siblings as she makes her mark on the school's powerhouse cross-country program.

She started the week by helping the Blue Devils finish their ECIC dual meet schedule undefeated for the 17th consecutive season and finished it on Saturday with a first-place individual and team finish in the small schools race at the Alden Bulldog Stampede. Megan's time of 18:41.64 was also faster than every girl in the large schools race, too.

Megan will no doubt make some more noise in the coming years, but for now she's our Prep Talk Female Athlete of the Week.

Year: Eighth grade.

Height: 5-foot-5.

Coach (and father) Walt McLaughlin on Megan: "Megan has been doing great this season picking up from where she left off a year ago. She is dedicated to doing her best and it really helps having a strong team to push her every day, especially her older sister Molly. The two of them work together and make each other better at practice and at meets. Megan's win at Alden was partly set up by Molly, who pushed the pace in the middle where they were able to gap the competition. Two teammates are tougher to beat then one. Megan is also chasing her oldest sister Marta's legacy and records. Marta really set the stage for what her sisters are accomplishing now. She showed them what is possible with hard work and how to become a team and individual champion."

How has your season gone so far?: Our season has been going well as we are preparing for our championship meets that are coming up in the next few weeks.

Highlight of athletic career so far: My highlights include breaking my older sister Marta's eighth-grade meet record at the McQuaid Invitational and winning the Wayne Invitational earlier this season.

Favorite thing about my sport: It's a team sport where I can train with my teammates and everyone counts on each other.

Favorite teammate: My older sister Molly as we work together during our races to push each other and make each other better.

Megan McLaughlin of East Aurora cross-country. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Toughest opponent: Elizabeth Lucason from Camden, N.Y. She is also in eighth grade and in Class B. Last year she was faster then me but now we are in the same speed range.

WNY athletes I looked up to: My family. Sister Marta who set the bar high, brother Matt who is 6-foot-5 and really fast, sister Molly who is a fast teammate and sister Maggie for her perseverance.

Pro/college athlete I admire now: Texas A&M freshman Sammy Watson, as she pushes the limits and had an amazing high school career at Section V's Rush-Henrietta.

Favorite school subject: Latin.

What’s ahead (athletics and/or academics): I'm looking forward to our ECIC, sectional, and state championships with my team.

Attention coaches

Coaches can nominate athletes of the week by sending an email to or by Saturday night.

Prep Talk Male Athlete of the Week: Bryce Schiltz, East Aurora boys soccer

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