Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Three high school runners from Maine placed among the top half of their respective fields at the Foot Locker cross country championships Saturday in San Diego’s Balboa Park.
Josef Holt-Andrews, a Telstar High senior from Bethel, finished 10th in the boys’ race after charging out among a lead pack of four through 2 miles of the 3.1-mile course.
Ellsworth senior Dan Curts was 19th in a race won by Grant Fisher, a junior from Grand Blanc, Mich., in 15 minutes, 6 seconds.
Greely High senior Kirstin Sandreuter of North Yarmouth placed 20th of 40 runners in the girls’ race, won by Tessa Barrett of Waverly, Pa., in 17:16.
Sandreuter, who secured the 10th and final qualifying ticket to San Diego in the Northeast Regionals two weeks ago in New York, was sixth among Northeast runners Saturday in a time of 18:08.
The girls’ runner-up was also from the Northeast: Hannah DeBalsi of Staples High in Westport, Conn., in 17:26.
“I felt pretty good,” said Sandreuter. “I was really hoping for All-American (top 15) but I was happy to be in the top half of the field.
“It was a challenging course, especially with the weather being a lot different than what we were used to. It was close to 70 (when they ran in the morning).”
The top 10 runners from each of the four qualifying regions advanced to the national championships.
Holt-Andrews qualified fifth from the Northeast but finished second among that region’s runners Saturday with a time of 15:29.
Curts, the sixth Northeast qualifier, was the region’s fourth finisher Saturday in 15:43.
Holt-Andrews was near the front of a tight pack through the first 2 miles.
“It was pretty close through 2 miles. Then they started picking up the pace and I couldn’t quite hold on,” said Holt-Andrews.
“I didn’t really have a certain strategy. I just wanted to see how the race played out. But I definitely knew I wanted to get out with the leaders.”
Holt-Andrews took pride in earning All-America status.
“It feels nice after getting fifth at the regional meet,” he said. “Even if I didn’t win the thing, I at least beat a couple of guys who beat me two weeks ago.”
Fisher and runner-up John Dressel of Colbert, Wash., traded off the lead several times in the final half-mile before Fisher pulled away and won by 3 seconds.