Squalicum cross country standout Patrick Gibson had an unfamiliar thought run through his head a day before the 34th Annual Foot Locker National Championships on Saturday, Dec. 8, at Morley Field in Balboa Park, San Diego.
"I was thinking yesterday, it's crazy running against all these people," Gibson said in a phone interview. "There is a legitimate chance of me getting last in this race. You just have to trust what you've done the last few months. I knew if you run smart, you're probably not going to get last."
Gibson wanted to finish top 15 during the championships, which is composed of the top 80 fastest high school boys' and girls' runners in the nation. He ran a 15-minute, 46-second race and settled for a 24th-place finish.
"I ran a little bit slower than I wanted to, but it was very fun," Gibson said. "I enjoyed myself. I was hoping for top 15, but I'm not upset."
Ed Cheserek of Newark, N.J., won the race with a time of 14:59, Sean McGorty of Fairfax, Va., finished second in 15:05 and Jake Leingang of Bismark, N.D., took third in a time of 15:07.
"The course was a lot more difficult than I expected," Gibson said. "I heard about it being relatively flat, but it was actually really hilly, and it was like rolling hills a little bit."
Gibson said he plans to take some time off before his next race. Then he wants to compete in some indoor races at the Dempsey Center on University of Washington's campus.
Gibson wanted to thank Peter Oviatt and the Whatcom Tesseract Running Club for allowing him to train after the high school season concluded.
In 2006, former Sehome and Stanford runner Jake Riley placed 14th at the Foot Locker Championships.