After finishing third at the 3A Cross Country Finals, Nease senior Karen Xiang was back to business at the Foot Locker South Regional. The University of Pennsylvania commitment nabbed the tenth and final spot to San Diego in a new personal best time of 17:20.00. We caught up with her before the big race to find out her strategy, her excitement level, and much more!
This course is known for its steep hill which runners run twice. What kind of hill work or workouts have you been doing to prepare for the race?
Since there are literally no hills in Ponte Vedra, I run up this bridge near my house. It’s pretty steep, so I get a pretty good workout out of it. Also, during the season, we ran 400m grass intervals around the fields at school (which has some tiny up-hills.
What is your mindset coming in?
Be mentally tough and to just try my best!
What are your strategies for the course and the race?
Not to give up on the hill.
Have you thought yet about if you want push the pace or hold back?
I don’t want to go out too hard because I know I will have to run that steep hill twice.
Talk about the prestige of the meet and what it means to just make it this far?
It is such an incredible honor to be able to run at this meet.
What would it mean to be an All-American, place top ten, or even win the race?
I think it would be amazing to be an All-American!!!
What are you looking forward to the most about the whole experience?
Meeting elite athletes and other amazing runners in the nation, being able to race at a national meet, making new friends, staying in an awesome hotel, hanging out in Cali, eating amazing food; pretty much the whole experience
Did you ever think when you started running you'd be one of the top runners in the nation?
Last year, I remember looking through the Footlocker brochure that they handed out at regionals and just dreaming about how awesome it would be to make Footlocker Nationals. I would have NEVER imagined that I would qualify!