National High School Cross-Country Championships : San Diego Area Girl Wins Title

There will be no more Mondays for Kira Jorgensen--at least for a while.

As she neared the finish line of the Kinney Cross-Country national championship, that's all Jorgensen could think of.

"The season's over, that's all I can say," Jorgensen said.

Jorgensen, a junior from Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista, Calif., ended her season Saturday as the top girls' cross-country runner in the nation, covering the 3.1-mile course at Balboa Park's Morley Field in 17:08.7.

Jorgensen, who also had the best qualifying time at 17:20, finished eight seconds ahead of her nearest competitor, Susan Bliss of of St. Charles, Mo., (17:16.7). Megan Thompson of Florissant, Mo., was third in 17:27.6.

Robert Kennedy, despite falling once, won the boys' race in 14:59.0. Kennedy, of Westerville, Ohio, pulled well ahead after the first mile and was never challenged. John Sence of Milford, Ohio, was second in 15:08.9, and Harley Hanson finished third in 15:12.7

And now the dreaded Mondays of training will be set aside for Jorgensen, until the track season begins this spring.

"You go home and you don't want to do anything else but die, that's basically what Mondays mean," Jorgensen said. "Monday workouts are really the hardest."

But they certainly paid off. It was Jorgensen's tenacity on the course's one major hill that determined the race. The hill, which sits a mile into the course, tends to catch runners by surprise as they run along the relatively flat course leading to it.

Jorgensen, who finished fourth here last year, had more experience on the course than any other runner. She had raced on it twice this year, in the San Diego Section championship and the Kinney preliminaries.

"I figured if I was going to push it anywhere (on the course) it had to be on the hills," she said.

In the boys' race, there was a dramatic moment when Kennedy fell descending the hill on the second and last loop of the course. At the time, he had a 40-yard lead over Sence. Kennedy rolled twice, then quickly sprung back to his feet, losing only 10 yards from his lead.


Francis O'Neill of San Pasqual High School in Escondido finished 24th in the boys' race with a time of 15:51.4. O'Neill, who finished third in the San Diego Section finals, was the West's alternate after finishing ninth in the Kinney Regionals. Tuesday, O'Neill learned that he would replace Ian Alsen of Granada Hills High. Alsen dropped out of the Kinney to run in the Los Angeles City Section finals Saturday. . . .In the team standings, the Midwest was the champion. In the girls' race, the Midwest finished with 27 points, the West 44, the Northeast 61 and the South 112. In the boys' race, the Midwest, which had the top three finishers, had 21 points, the West 46, the Northeast 84 and the South 97.

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