Pomperaug sophomore Kate Wiser missed her flight out to San Diego Thursday, forced to wait at the airport for eight hours for the next opportunity to travel.
That was about the only thing that slowed her down in what proved to be an exclamation point on the fall season.
Wiser took seventh place out of 40 of the premier runners in the country Saturday in the Foot Locker National Championships, which took place at Balboa Park Saturday. The State Open and New England champion clocked in at 17:32.32, the second fastest time from the Northeast region.
“I was very excited,” said Wiser by phone. “A lot of preparation goes into it; it was a great result and I was happy. My goal was top 15.”
Wiser — who was accompanied to the race with her parents and brother — started near the back of the pack before steadily passing runners one after another throughout the course. The first national race couldn’t have gone better for the Southbury native, who earned All-American status with the finish.
“I was mentally prepared,” Wiser said. “The competition really helped keep me focused and pushed me.”
Wiser spent time with the field prior to the race, an invaluable experience in what figures to be the first of many races at the highest level.
“I think all the runners have similar mindsets so it was cool to be around people that think the same way,” Wiser said. “There were also the professional athletes there we got to talk to.”
Marianapolis Prep sophomore Sydney Masciarelli won the race in 17:00.