A Day of National Championship Races

Kayla Young closed out her high school cross country career, and the high school season, at Foot Locker Nationals on Saturday.

In San Diego and in Hoover, Alabama, cross country national championships were contested on Saturday. And, Colorado was in both locales.

In San Diego, Kayla Young was the Colorado representation at Foot Locker Nationals. Young found herself back deep in the field early but managed to move up some later to finish 24th in 18:04. That represented an improvement of nine places over her finish of last year.

Colorado was much busier out in Alabama, though it was also a younger set of Coloradoans reprensenting at the USATF Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships. 

Colorado even came home from Hoover with a national title, but it probably wasn't the person you would have most expected. 

Earning a national title was 10-year-old Bethany Michalak of Kokopelli. Michalak covered the 3000 meters of the 9-10 girls race in 11:53, almost three seconds ahead of second place.

Otherwise, it was sparse pickings for top ten kind of places for the Colorado delegation.

Alayna Woodall saw her very long string of race titles broken by...  wait for it...  Grace Ping. Ping covered the 4000 meters in 13:20, 26 seconds ahead of Woodall. It seems everyone wants Ping in their races these days and they are making accommodations for that to happen.

Woodall's Parker Panthers teammate, Brooke Wilson, managed a 5th in the 11-12 girls 3000 meters. Wilson stopped the clock in 11:28.

Since the 15-16 and 17-18 races were merged, it probably didn't feel exactly like a top-ten finish for Victoria Hall, but Hall did manage a 7th in the 15-16 event with a 19:44. Jordan Banta--you may recognize the surname--added a 10th in the 8 & Under Girls 2K.

It was a similar list of Colorado boys earning top-ten finishes. Working from youngest to oldest, Xzavier Campos earned a sixth in the 8 & Under 2K,  Shawn Woodall, Joseph Garofalo, and Matthew Edwards went 7-8-9 in the 9-10 Boys 3K, and Erik LeRoux took a 10th in the 13-14 Boys 4K. 

Foot Locker Results

USATF Junior Olympic Results