Freshman Heidi Johnson competed in the Stanford High School Cross Country Invitational on Sept. 26, despite a 130-mile drive, knee pain and high temperatures.

The 5k race (about 3.1 miles) was located on a golf course at Stanford University in Palo Alto.

Johnson competed in the last race of the invitational, during the hottest part of the day, finishing near the end of her division.

“I didn’t run as fast as I would have liked,” Johnson said, “but my time was decent considering my knee had been bothering me the week (leading) up to the race and it was a pretty fast group (of runners.)”

Johnson said the heat played a factor in the speed of the runners. Not only were the runners’ times slower than usual, but several people collapsed throughout the day and some were taken by ambulance to the hospital for treatment.

Temperatures were in the high 80s, but there was no shade on the course, according to Johnson.

Johnson was the only SCDS athlete to compete because of the inconvenient location and the other runners’ busy schedules. It took the whole day for Johnson to make the two-hour drive there, race, and drive back, she said.

Johnson’s knee pain has affected her from the beginning of the season.

In middle school, Johnson was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter disease. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, this is a condition that causes inflammation of the patellar ligament and mild to severe knee pain.

Because of her condition, Johnson hasn’t been able to train as much as other runners she competes against because she has been focusing on icing and monitoring her knees after her JV volleyball practices and games. Although Johnson doesn’t know the exact cause of the recent increase in knee pain over the last week, she said she believes it may be from volleyball and diving onto her knees.

The team’s next meet is at Forest Hill High School in Forest Hill, Calif., on Oct. 3.

—By Alexa Mathisen

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