'22 XC RUNNER OF THE WEEK POLL
Poway junior Tessa Buswell came from behind late to win the Division I title at the CIF-State Meet, a performance widely recognized by statewide voters earning her MileSplitCA Girls Cross Country Runner of the Week. (DeAnna Turner photo)
Tessa, a junior, turned on the afterburners over the final 100 meters to win the Division I title at the CIF-State Championships, crossing the line in 17:25.00 at the 5K Woodward Park course in Fresno. Buswell ran 5:24.3 over the final mile to make up two position places in her race. She placed fourth in the merge and earned a bid to compete at Team Nationals in Portland.
Tessa received 54 percent of the vote in a statewide poll. Grace Hutchison, a senior at Buchanan (CS), was second in the voting receiving 35 percent of votes.
This week, following championship races across the country and Champs West Regionals in CA, we are expanding our candidate list one final week to put eight outstanding cross country performers on the line for you to choose the overall CA XC Runner of the Week.
Be sure to vote in the MileSplit Picks window below the candidate list. Voting closes each week on Friday at 9 p.m.
This week's candidates (listed alphabetically by last name)
Chiara Dailey (La Jolla/SD) - Chiara was the fastest freshman on the course at the CHAMPS West Reginal, qualifying third overall by running 18:11 on the 5,000-meter course at Mt. SAC as one of 10 girls advancing to next week's national championship race in San Diego.
Sadie Engelhardt (Ventura/SS) - Sadie, a sophomore, ran away with the girls championship race at the CHAMPS West Regional, running 17:43 on the 5000-meter Mt. SAC course to win by 22 seconds and lead 10 qualifiers into next week's national championship race in San Diego, where she is the only returning athlete on the West Region team.
Payton Godsey (Oaks Christian/CS) - Payton, a junior, won the Gold-Division race at the Garmin RunningLane Championships, running 17:28.30 to win the national title by 5.90 seconds in a field of 265 on the 5,000-meter course at John Hunt Park in Huntsville, Alabama.
Grace Hutchison (Buchanan/CS) - Grace, a senior, led the way as Buchanan placed third in a national championship meet for the third time in two seasons by running 17:551.60 to place 29th (ninth among scoring runners) at Team Nationals on the 5,000-meter layout at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland.
Katie Kopec (Whitney/SJ) - Katie, a senior, was the fastest senior on the course at the CHAMPS West Regional, qualifying fourth overall by running 18:22 on the 5,000-meter course at Mt. SAC as one of the 10 girls advanicng to next week's national championship race in San Diego.
Ashlyn Leath (Clovis North/CS) - Ashlyn, a senior, made up 13 spots over the final two-thirds of the race to place sixth overall by running 18:29 on the 5,-000-meter course at Mt. SAC as one of 10 girls advancing to next week's national championship race in San Diego.
Gioana Lopizzo (La Costa Canyon/SS) - Gioana was the fastest junior on the course at the CHAMPS West Regional, qualifying second overall by running 18:05 on the 5,000-meter course at Mt. SAC as one of 10 girls advancing to next week's national championship race in San Diego.
Hanne Thomsen (Montgomery/NC) - Hanne was the fastest sophomore girl on the course in a field of 195 and the No. 1 girl from CA as she ran 17:35.20 to place 16th overall as an individual competing at Team Nationals on the 5,000-meter layout at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland.
Photos by DeAnna Turner and Daniel Hernandez