One of the final pieces of the national puzzle was placed today, as defending Foot Locker National champion Claudia Lane finally made her debut. The Malibu junior posted a blazing 16:32 at the Lake Casitas Twilight Invitational, which is 37 seconds faster than she ran in 2016 - in her fourth race of the season! Clearly Lane is in fantastic shape, and we can't wait to see what she can do on some of the state's most legendary courses over the rest of this season. For perspective, Lane set a new course and meet record, eclipsing the marks previously held by Sarah Baxter.
Malibu coach Mark Larsen indicated two primary reasons for the late start to the season: simple caution, and a desire to race deeper into the winter season. Claudia is interested in competing on the international cross country circuit, which has major races in January and February (for reference, the IAAF World Championships is at the end of March). To protect her health against a longer season, Larsen and Lane decided to delay the start of her racing season.