Anderson takes fourth at Foot Locker nationals |

Anderson takes fourth at Foot Locker nationals

Summit Daily file photo/Brad OdekirkSummit High senior Whitney Anderson's sensational season ended with a fourth-place finish at the Foot Locker National Championship in San Diego. The race pitted the top 40 high school runners in America, and will be broadcast on ESPN Dec. 20.

SAN DIEGO – Summit High School senior Whitney Anderson took fourth place Saturday at the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championship race in San Diego, capping a remarkable season that also included a Colorado state championship.Anderson’s time of 17 minutes, 49 seconds was just two seconds slower than the third-place finisher, Ramsey Kavan of South Dakota. Kavan won the Foot Locker Midwest Regional two weeks ago, beating Anderson by four seconds in the mud of Wisconsin.New York’s Aislinn Ryan won the girls national title in 17:31, holding off last year’s runner-up and one of Saturday’s prerace favorites, Marie Lawrence of Nevada (17:39). Ohio’s Brittany Tinsley finished less than a second behind Anderson to round out the top five.

In a phone interview Anderson said she didn’t think she ran quite as well as she could’ve, but, “I am very happy with fourth place. I was so thrilled to pass the finish.”The race was held on a challenging course at San Diego’s Balboa Park. Runners had to fight through the same daunting hill twice over the 5K distance, separating the field and sending the contenders to the front of the pack.Anderson started out conservatively, but began passing runners in the 40-girl field at around the 1-mile mark.”I was a little bit anxious at first and hesitant about passing girls too early,” she said. Still, once her jaunt to the front was under way, she found herself striding past some of the sport’s biggest names.

“This was the first time I’d raced against a lot of these girls, but I’ve read about them a lot,” she said. “I knew who I was passing. It was pretty cool to do that.”Two other Colorado girls joined Anderson in the top 15. Heritage’s Maddie McKeever took ninth in 18:14, and defending national champion Katelyn Kaltenbach of Smoky Hill finished 15th in 18:28.The Colorado contingent helped the Midwest Region take the girls team title over the other three regions represented.

Arizona’s Ken Cormier won the boys national title in 15:22, while D’Evelyn’s John McGuire gave Colorado’s Jeffco League the fourth-place finisher in both races. He finished five seconds back of Cormier. Denver West’s Mohamad Ige took 13th in 15:44.The race will be broadcast on ESPN Monday, Dec. 20.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at

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