Darien Runner Finishes 11th At National Cross Country Race

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Darien's Alex Ostberg, right, and Staples' Hannah DeBalsi get ready for the Foot Locker cross country championships in San Diego. Photo Credit: Contributed by Petter Ostberg

DARIEN, Conn. – Darien High School junior Alex Ostberg finished 11th Saturday at the Foot Locker cross country national championships in San Diego.

Ostberg finished the 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) course in 15:31. Grant Fisher won the race in 15:07.  The race featured the top 40 runners in the nation.

Ostberg proved he belonged from the start. He ran with the lead pack until the two mile mark, when the leaders started to pull away. Ostberg hung on to finish in the top 15 and earn All-American honors in his first race on the national stage.

“I surprised myself a little bit,’’ Ostberg said. “I didn’t think I’d be in contention for as long as I was. All the big name guys were there, it was great to be next to these great runners. I did lose a couple places over the last mile. I think the guys who ran the last year knew where they had to put in their move.”

Ostberg said the final mile was especially grueling as he tried to hang on to a top 15 finish. “At that point, I just wanted to get the race over as soon as possible,’’ he said. “I was so tired. The only thing I was thinking about was just getting to that finish line. I was just trying to hang in there.”

Fairfield Prep senior Christian Alvarado finished 20th. In the girls race, Hannah DeBalsi, a sophomore at Staples in Westport, finished second.

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