By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School senior Forrest Riley ended his high school cross country career by finishing 161st among the 196 runners at the Nike Nationals championship race Dec. 1 in Portland, Ore.
Riley had a time of 19:34 on the muddy 5,000-meter (3.1-mile) course.
“I didn’t do too well. It was pretty tough for the boys championship race,” Riley said.
Although rain didn’t fall during the race itself, it had fallen earlier in the day, as well as during previous days.
“Where there were little puddles the day before, there were like huge ponds,” Riley said. “Most of the energy you would expend was to try not to fall.”
That meant that the focus was staying upward instead of moving forward. The championship race was also the third of the day on the course.
“It was just like torn up,” Riley said.
Riley qualified for the Nike Nationals by finishing third among Division II runners and sixth overall at the CIF state meet Nov. 24 in Fresno with a time of 15:12 on the 5,000-meter Woodward Park course. The winning time at the Nike Nationals was 17:06.
“Regardless of how I did in the race, I couldn’t have asked for a better time up there, though,” Riley said. “It was just so much fun.”