Chloe Pigg, a 13-year-old eighth grader at Jacoby Creek School, captured the Youth Girls championship at the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Whispering Pines Golf Course in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Pigg crossed the finish line ahead of the other 260 finishers in the 4K run (2.48 miles) with a time of 14:06.79. A total of 273 girls had qualified for the event.
Her national championship comes two years after Pigg ran, despite not feeling well, and finished in 6th place out of 228 runners in the Midget 3K run at the nationals held in snowy weather at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno, Nev.
”It was kind of like icing on the cake,” Chloe's father, Mike Pigg, said about her national championship.
He also noted the optimum weather conditions on Saturday in Myrtle Beach, as opposed to Reno's inclement weather back in 2009.
”The weather was perfect, it was just like what Chloe's used to running in here in Humboldt County -- in the 50s and overcast,” said Mike Pigg.
Her winning time was 15.55 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Logan Morris, who edged third-place runner Sierra Manzer by 13 hundredths of a second. Pigg received a gold first-place medal while the top 25 finishers each received medals for their efforts.
Pigg ran the first mile at Myrtle Beach in 5:32, one
second ahead of Brooke Starn and Grace Dwyer.
”At the first mile she started taking control,” said Mike Pigg. “After that she was firing on all cylinders.”
Starn -- who came in 10th at Myrtle Beach with a time of 14:30.68 -- has chased Pigg at other major cross country events this fall.
On Nov. 27, Starn placed second to Pigg at the USATF Region 14 Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships held at Tulare Western High School. A week earlier on Nov. 20 Starn came in third to Pigg at the USATF Pacific Association Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships held at Willow Hills Cross Country Course in Folsom.
At the second mile marker at Myrtle Beach, Pigg's time of 11:18 put her 14 seconds ahead of Manzer, and 16 seconds ahead of both Starn and Morris.
After winning a national championship, what's next for Chloe?
”She'll take a break, regroup, and maybe back off a little from track in the spring,” said Mike Pigg. “She wants to run a five-minute mile but we want to watch against burnout,” said Mike Pigg. “She'll start practicing in late July for her freshman year of cross country at Arcata High.”