Matson Finishes A Strong 14th at Footlocker Nationals
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After a 8th place finish in the Footlocker Northeast Regional two weeks ago Sofie Matson secured her ticket to San Diego to run in the 40th annual Footlocker Cross Country Nationals. Matson joined an elite list of seven other female distance runners from Maine who have qualified for the prestigious championship.
The race went out very fast with Matson coming through the first 800m in a time of 2:34.7 in 21st place running side by side with the New England champion Kate Wiser of Connecticut.
She continued to hold her speed moving up one spot to 20th at the first mile which she covered in 5:23.5.
"I was surprised but I recognized the people around me and just tried to focus on moving up." she said about the blazing pace." Matson told us via social media post race.
The second mile has a steep climb that totals 350m in distance so the fast early pace slowed a little as the runners tackled the hill. Matson continued to move up as she jumped up to 17th at the 1.5 mile mark. 11:23 was the split at two miles as she covered the tough second mile in six minutes.
The final mile repeats the tough hill covered in mile two, and includes a little hill right before the finish. Matson no stranger to hills having to run at Twin Brook at least once a year showed great strength moving up four more spots over the final mile to finish 14th.
The clock stopped just over 18 minutes at 18:01.4 for the sophomore. She was the third best 10th grader in the race, and will be the ninth fastest returning athlete in 2019.
"I am really excited. It means so much. It really exceeded all my expectations." Matson said of her 14th place effort.
Matson's time of 18:01.4 was 10 seconds faster than Abbey Leonardi's sophomore effort at Footlocker. Leonardi is regarded as the top xc runner in Maine history, a title that Matson will be chasing over the next two years.
Missed the race WATCH below