It was a battle of attrition for Tatum David and the competitors at NXN
For those of you who are from the Northwest part of the country, rain is something that goes hand in hand with late-season cross country. And for those of you who are not from the great northwest, buy a Farmer's Almanac for 2020. In other words, inclement weather is what makes this event special
Thankfully, the championship course was changed from the acrid Portland Meadows Race to the pristine Glendoveer Golf Course in 2014, to spare the athletes utter heartache.
One such athlete who was able to navigate awful conditions successfully was Olney (Richland County) freshman Tatum David. David was well prepared for terrible conditions based on a run through the previous weekend at the Footlocker Midwest Regional Championship in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
David got out well and under control in the opening mile (5:22) against a star-studded field which included two-time defending champion senior Katelyn Tuohy of North Rockland NY. Among the notables in the chase pack were Taylor Ewert (Sr., Beavercreek OH), Sydney Thorvaldson (Jr., Rawlings WY), Katelynne Hart (Sr., Glenbard West IL), and Claire Walters (Sr., Fayetteville-Manlius).
As for Tuohy, she was in a fight for her running life for the first time since she became the nation's dominant distance runner three seasons ago. Ewert and Thorvaldson chiseled her sizable lead down to a few centimeters as the finish line closed in. Completely out of gas, Tuohy held on for dear life for her unprecedented third title in 17:18.4. Ewert's lifetime best performance was a crisp runner-up 17:19.1 and Thorvaldson 17:19.4 for third place.
David closed out a great effort to take 17th in 18:01.5 (Hart ran 18:01.5 for 18th as a freshman). She was the first Illinois girl across the finish line to grab All-American honors. The graceful Hart had the roughest performance as a high schooler finishing 50th in 18:45. She did not offer any alibis or excuses for what happened. Just know that she will be ready to attack in her final race at the Footlocker National Championship on 12/14.
Naperville North closed out another great season taking 12th place ahead of Beavercreek OH scoring 323 points. The spread was 1:19, which is solid but Gamboa was expected to finish a little higher individually. Regardless, watch out for the Huskies in 2020. They return all seven starters plus several other top reserves.