Pacing herself, sophomore places 27th at Sectionals to end cross-country season

(Photo by Jamie Johnson)
Sophomore Heidi Johnson runs the 5000-meter girls’ varsity race.

Sophomore Heidi Johnson placed 27th of 66 runners in the 5000-meter Div. V varsity girls’ race at the Sac-Joaquin Sectional meet, finishing in 25:16.5.

Johnson, who placed seventh as an individual this season, was the only cross-country runner who qualified for the meet at the Willow Hills Reservoir Course, Nov. 12.

Johnson said that this course and the Sub-sectionals’ (Nov. 5) course are especially difficult due to the high hills.

She also said the temperature affected her.

“It was only in the 70s, (but) running out in the sun, it felt much hotter, which really was a challenge later in the race,” she said.

Johnson said she started her race too fast at sectionals last year, which caused her to become breathless, and she struggled in the second half of the race.

“Luckily, I paced myself better this year and I was able to run a couple minutes faster than last year’s time,” she said.

Because Johnson’s time was very close to the time she predicted before the race (around 25 minutes), she said she was not disappointed.

“At the start of this season, I felt very out of shape, and I haven’t been able to fully recover from that feeling,” Johnson said.

Since only the top two teams and top five individual runners qualify for State Championships, this was Johnson’s – and the rest of the team’s – last race of the season.

By Héloïse Schep

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