Monday, December 21, 2009
USA Track and Field's National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships
We rarely highlight the impressive talents of southern Oregon's running youth on this blog. Probably about time...
Lela quietly racks up some impressive performances here in our Rogue Valley. This year Lela won the 14 and under age division in the Southern Oregon Runners "Runner of the Year" Race Series. On her way to doing so she placed sixth for women in the Frostbite 5K, fourth for ladies in the Rogue River 5K and finished with a 1:15:31 at this year's Pear Blossom Ten Mile (good enough for 226th out of 1270 total finishers!) All impressive results for a twelve year old.
This past weekend Lela Stemple traveled to Reno, Nevada for the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships. Though she personally felt she could of run faster, she still thrilled by finishing 50th out of 228 runners in not so ideal conditions.
So without further ado, here's Lela Stemple, in her own words, as she discusses her race last weekend:
"As far as the race goes it was okay. There was about a foot of packed snow, they tried to clear it, but it was still very snowy. It was super cold. My arms were numb by the end of the race - even with the arm warmers. I started out with sunglasses which really helped me to see where I was going in the snow. But, when the huge flakes of snow started to come down during the race, they were a pain, so I threw them to Dad. I had a lot of fun and it was a great event, but my time and place weren't what I was originally hoping for. My overall time was 12:26 - a bit slower than my PR. I was super nervous, this being my first trip to something as big as Nationals. The winner came in at about 10:57. Next time..."