PHILADELPHIA >> It the wasn’t the way she wanted to debut.
In her first race of the outdoor track and field season, Staples High junior distance runner Hannah DeBalsi finished in sixth place Thursday evening in the 3,000-meter race at the Penn Relays.
“It was disappointing,” DeBalsi said of the race.
The defending champion battled through a slow pace and tough windy conditions to finish in a time of nine minutes and 51.33 seconds.
DeBalsi said because of the slower pace to start the race, that didn’t pick up, she took took the lead after the first lap.
With about two laps remaining, more of the front pack caught up with her and overtook the lead. She said she couldn’t respond even if she wanted to as it turned into a kicker’s race.
Kate Murphy of Burke, Virginia won in 9:32.82.
Despite the less than ideal race, DeBalsi said it was a good event to start off the season with and she knows she has more to offer based off her workout times.
DeBalsi missed indoor nationals in late March, as she was battling bronchitis.
“I’m definitely in better shape than I ran today,” she said.
DeBalsi said she was unsure of her next big race, but mentioned the Loucks Games in White Plains, New York in early May as a possibility.
DeBalsi’s teammate Elizabeth Knoll placed seventh in the high jump, clearing 5-4.25 Thursday afternoon.