SAN DIEGO — Rebekah Topham will go just about anywhere for a good race.
On Saturday, the Griswold junior found herself in California among the nation's best cross country runners and acquitted herself quite well.
Topham finished 16th among the 40 competitors in the 35th annual Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals at Morley Field in Balboa Park.
Topham said her goal entering the race was to be in the top half, or top 20, and she accomplished that. She said the best part of the weekend was “just all the good runners. It was a good experience, because there were so many good runners here.''
The winners in the 5K races under ideal 65-degree conditions were Tessa Barrett of Waverly, Pa., and Grant Fisher of Grand Blanc, Mich. Topham was timed in 18 minutes flat. Linn-Mar sophomore Stephanie Jenks finished ninth in 17:43.
Topham said she started back in the pack, as is her custom. She began picking off runners later in the race before struggling a bit at the end as the racers encountered a steep incline.
“It was a huge hill,'' she said. “A killer.''
Topham qualified for nationals by finishing third in the Midwest Regionals at Kenosha, Wis., on Nov. 30.