Ruth White trains during her junior cross country season at Orono High School.

Ruth White of Orono High School finished the Champs National Cross Country Championship in 17th with a time of 17:55.5 on Saturday at Balboa Park in San Diego, California. 

White finished in fourth place at the Champs Northeast Regional Championship in 17:51. 

The Orono junior was in 30th place at the one-mile marker of the course, but quickly worked her way up to 20th at the mile-and-a-half marker. 

The winner, Karrie Baloga, finished in 16:49.2m, the eighth-fastest time in the history of the course. Runner-up was Ellie Shea (16:55.1) and third was Paityn Noe (17:01.5).

Normally setting the pace, White has had to chase down runners in the last two races. 

“It’s been really fun,” White said of running in a pack. “It’s good to experience that. I know going to college that’s what it’ll be like. Maybe in the middle or in the back and it’s fun to have people to push you. It’s fun to not have to set the pace.” 

White said she didn’t have nerves heading into the race.

“I wasn’t super nervous because the pressure is kind of off to perform a certain way,” White said. “It was not as high stakes to qualify or anything, it was for the experience.”

The experience was great, she said. 

White enjoyed meeting other runners in the boys and girls races and professional runners like Emma Coburn. 

“I don’t think I could pick a favorite moment,” White said. “Everything has been so incredible. They’ve been nice and treated us to nice service and gear. Meeting all the other runners that have the same mindset as me, it’s been really incredible and eye-opening to see all these girls even better than me.”

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Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson is a native of Auburn, Maine, and graduate of Husson University and Edward Little High School. He enjoys sports, going on runs and video games.