Marlee Starliper placed fifth place in a hard-fought race at Nike Cross Nationals at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland Oregon.
Katelyn Tuohy of New York won in 17:18, holiding off a charging Taylor Ewert of Ohio and Sydney Thorvaldson of Wyoming for the victory. Starliper, who was making her NXN debut, was fifth in 17:35 right behind her future NC State teammate, Claire Walters of New York.
It was a rainy day in Portland, but Starliper came away with the best-ever finish by a Pennsylvania girls at NXN. Her time of 17:35 is the second fastest by a PA girl at NXN behind only Aislinn Devlin, who ran 17:22 for ninth place in 2015.
|1||Katelyn Tuohy||12||North Rockland||17:18.40||0|
|3||Sydney Thorvaldson||11||Rawlins High School||17:19.40||0|
|4||Claire Walters||12||Fayetteville-Manlius (FM)||17:28.40||2|
|6||Carlie Dorostkar||12||Canyon Crest Academy (SD)||17:36.40||0|
|8||Charlotte Bednar||10||The Lawrenceville School||17:40.50||0|
|9||Kate Peters||9||Lincoln HS||17:43.70||3|
"It was probably the toughest race I have ever run considering the conditions and unfortunately having a side stitch," Starliper said on Twitter after the race. "While I was hoping for a better result, I'm still happy because I gave it my all despite not feeling the best and definitely finished on empty. The race hurt but it was still fun!"
The XC season is not over for Starliper. The Northern senior still has one race left to go in the season. Next Saturday, Starliper will toe the line at Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego, California, where she will once again be among the favorites.
West Chester Henderson's Jenna Mulhern was the only other Pennsylvania runner in the field. The sophomore moved up one place from her freshman year at NXN. Mulhern placed 43rd in 18:35. A year ago, she was 44th on a much dryer day on the same course in Portland.