Times Herald 6:56 p.m. EST December 6, 2014
Bonner finishes 42nd at Nike Nationals
PORTLAND, Oregon – Rachel Bonner finished her cross country season Saturday with another big-time performance.
The Port Huron junior finished 42nd at the Nike Cross Nationals at Glendoveer Golf Course with a time of 18 minutes, 32 seconds.
“I feel very happy,” Bonner said. “That’s like a perfect ending to my season to race with the best girls in the nation. I couldn’t be happier with how I finished with the conditions the way they were.”
Allie Ostrander of Alaska took home the national title, finishing with a time of 17:19, seven seconds ahead of Paige Hofstad of Texas, who was second.
Audrey Belf of Birmingham Seaholm was the top Midwest finisher, taking 14th with a time of 17:46.
There were 199 participants in the race, all of whom had to qualify through a regional race in November.
“Top 50 was kind of where I was aiming,” Bonner said. “It’s cool to kind of reach that goal. I didn’t know what to expect, because I haven’t raced in three weeks. But I was honored to be racing with these girls.
“All of us are just so elite that it was really hard at the beginning. We ran around the first turn, and it was about 300 (meters) in, and it’s a 90-degree turn, so I had to slow down there, and the footing wasn’t the best. But this is unlike any other race I ever ran because of the conditions, the competitors and the atmosphere.”
Bonner has been in Oregon since Thursday, and will return Sunday. Nike takes care of the accommodations and provides runners with running gear, although Bonner will have to purchase the gear if she wants to remain eligible with the MHSAA.
“It’s amazing,” Bonner said. “Nike takes such good care of us, they cater to our every need, make sure we have everything and are happy and healthy. They really did a good job of making us feel ready and helped us enjoy this experience.”