Saturday was apparently a good day to be a Connecticut runner.
While the snow poured down throughout the state, three elite high school runners were in sunny conditions participating in the Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals in San Diego.
Headlined by Staples’ Hannah DeBalsi’s second-place finish in the girls’ race (17 minutes, 26 seconds), Darien’s Alex Ostberg and Fairfield Prep’s Christian Alvarado finished in the Top 20 in the boys’ race.
DeBalsi, a sophomore, slowly moved her way up throughout the 3.1-mile course at Morely Field at Balboa Park. DeBalsi challenged winner Tessa Barrett of Waverly, Pa., with about 800 meters left, but Barrett pulled away to win the race in 17:16.
“Right at the two-mile mark, I started to move up a lot and then the second time I went up the hill, I caught some girls,” DeBalsi said. “But I’m happy. My main goal was to make whoever beats me, hurt. And I think I made her (Barrett) work for it.”
DeBalsi is the first Connecticut girls runner since Liz Mueller of Waterford in 1991 to place as high as second. In 1991 Mueller was the national champion.