Three local runners compete in nationals |

Three local runners compete in nationals

Three local runners had to battle not only the nation’s best cross country runners, but Mother Nature as well and the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships held on Saturday in Lawrence, Kans.

The top 20 regional finishers in each age group qualify for the National Championships. Alex Drozdoff, Gloria Sosa, and Blanca Sosa earned the right to represent the local Reno-Tahoe Athletics team at Nationals by placing seventh, 10th, and 16th respectively in their age group at the Region 14 Championship meet held in Fresno, Calif. Region 14 includes Northern California, Central California, and Northern Nevada.

The temperature at race time in Lawrence was 23 degrees with 10-20 mile per hour winds and there was about an inch of snow and ice on the ground. The approximately 3,000 runners participating also had to deal with freezing rain.

Blanca Sosa, a second grader at Seeliger Elementary School, competed in the 3K Bantam Division race, placing 207th in 17 minutes, 33 seconds. Drozdoff, a sixth grader at Carson Middle School, ran in the 3K Midget Division race, placing 154th in 13:14. Gloria Sosa competing in the 5K Young Women Division race and narrowly missed finishing in the top 25 to become an All-American. She took 31st in 20:59.

The extreme weather conditions did take its toll on the runners. All three local runners finished well off their national qualifying times. At the Regional Championships, Drozdoff ran the 3K in 12:07, Blanca ran the 3K in 13:46, and Gloria ran the 5K in 20:44.