2011 CHS Graduate Finishes Ahead of Boston Marathon Carnage

Megan Sweeney, left, with her friends from Boston College before they ran the Boston Marathon. Sweeney finished more than an hour ahead of the explosions that ended the race, killing three. Her friends were safe as well.

If you want to track racers, the Boston Marathon gives you ample opportunity to do so.

But Megan Sweeney, a 2011 Coronado High School graduate, has a Massachusetts address now, and she said people were concerned Monday when her name wasn’t included by Patch in a list of Coronado runners participating in the race.

Of course, it became crucial for loved ones to find runners like Sweeney after two blasts rocked the race, killing three and injuring 176 others.

Sweeney, 20, who ran track and field and cross country at CHS, finished her first Boston Marathon in 2 hours, 55 minutes, more than an hour ahead of the explosions.

“Probably the first four or five people who called me were from the team,” the Boston College sophomore said. “They knew I was running and just didn’t know what to think.”

Like many across the country with loved ones in the race, Sweeney and her friends – 300 students from her campus were in the race – jumped online to try and track them.

They used the marathon’s tool, which lists runners using a number of factors, from name and hometown to bib number and race times, then set up a Google doc for them to check in.

Everyone was accounted for in the end, she said.

Sweeney did not linger at the finish line, nor return to the hotel, a block from one of the blasts, where her mother and sister were staying.

Instead she returned to Boston College, at mile 21 of the race, where she met her mother, Kathy, and sister, Erin, a Duke University senior.

They learned of the explosions when the mother of another friend called her daughter and said she was running from the finish line to get away from the danger.

“We were just like, no, there’s no way,” she said.

Now that the news has sunk in, Sweeney is trying to help. Boston College is holding masses to honor those who were lost and injured, and there’s a fundraiser set for Friday.

Thousands of students and supporters have signed up to be part of a walk that’s meant to cover the last five miles of the Boston Marathon route. If investigators are still on site, however, she realizes they might have to make alternate plans.

The walk, organizers wrote on Facebook, is “for anyone who was injured, and For anyone who lost their life…we will walk. We will walk to show that we decide when our marathon ends.”

Sweeney hopes it’s a comforting symbol “to all those that weren’t able to finish.”

T-shirts also will be sold to raise money for the American Red Cross.

Locally, Coronado has lowered its flags to half staff, a sign of mourning called for by President Barack Obama. 

The Navy has become involved, sending an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit from Rhode Island to assist Boston authorities. 

Officials also called for all commanders to account for active and reserve Navy personnel and their families in multiple Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire counties.

They are asked to check in online at the Navy Family Accountabiity and Assessment System if they need aid.