Led by an All-America performance by Alexis Fuller, the Evergreen Storm team placed fifth on Saturday in the youth girls race at the U.S. Track and Field Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships at Whispering Pines Golf Course in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
A freshman at Union High School, Fuller finished 11th in the 4,000-meter race for girls ages 13-14. Fuller’s time was 14 minutes, 32.26 seconds.
Seven runners represented the Storm in the youth girls race at the national meet after the Vancouver-based club qualified for nationals through state and regional meets.
There were 261 runners and 23 teams competing in the youth girls race. The top 25 runners in each race earned All-American recognition.
The Storm’s team score was 171 points. The top team was Waltham, Mass., with 131 points. Evergreen finished ahead of the Whatcom team that beat the Storm at the state and regional meets.
The second finisher for the Storm was Alissa Pudlitzke. She narrowly missed earning All-American recognition, finishing 20 seconds and 24 places behind Fuller by crossing the finish line 35th in 14:52.16.
The other results for the Storm were: Cassie McKinney 60th place in 15:15.21, Maddie Woodson 83rd in 15:28.90, Meghan Finley 132nd in 16:00.99, Alexa Jones 173rd in 16:29.50, and Odaisa Gann 203rd in 16:56.30.
Evergreen Storm organizer Scott Slamp said all of the team’s runners had strong days, with Woodson and Finley each running their fastest times of the year by a significant margin.
“The girls all ran an incredible race,” Slamp said. “We were higher at every spot from last year. Even though this was an faster course, they all ran huge PRs and placed better than competitors they’ve already faced.”
In addition to the youth girls race, two members of the Evergreen Storm ran the race for girls ages 11-12. In that 3,000-meter race, Angelina Krawczyk placed 61st in 11:23.85 and Emily Wilson 81st in 11:34.41.