Following a successful USATF cross country state meet that had three individual first place winners, the Aftershock Distance Club traveled to El Paso, Texas, for the USATF Regionals race.
With lofty goals and high expectations, the club qualified seven runners for nationals.
The top placer for the club was freshman Allyson Arellano. Arellano met her goal of finishing in the top 3 with a third-place finish, the highest an Aftershock runner has ever placed at regionals. Joining Allyson as a qualifier for nationals was Swayze Smith. Smith placed No. 25.
Fellow freshman Chris D'Angelo, while still placing in the top 15, did not run as he is accustomed to. D'Angelo placed No. 11, two seconds outside of the top 10.
When it was time for the older girls to race, they all impressed by finishing in the top 20. Sophomore Penny Fenn was the top-placer with a No. 5 finish, followed by Megan Goettl at No. 7. Allyson's sister, Karen, finished No. 8 and Brianna Epperson rounded the team out at No. 18.
While the team placed well, they were battling "horrible weather." Texas did not welcome the runners kindly. With temperatures in the mid-30s and wind gusting over 30 mph with rain, it was rough. But "several of the kids made great adjustments to the harsh weather and raced well," said Aftershock Head Coach Micah Swenson.
Now the team prepares for nationals on Dec. 13 in San Antonio.