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The Daily



12-15-03: Olding fifth at nationals


Not a bad resume for Sunni Olding as a cross country runner: Three state titles, four All-Ohio honors and twice being blessed with the title All-American.
The Minster senior wrapped up her high school cross country career with a fifth-place finish at the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships held Saturday in San Diego. Her finish, in a time of 17:42 bettered her finish of 10th last year, ensuring another finish as an All-American.
“My goal coming in was to be in the top five, so I guess I got that,” said Olding during a telephone interview after the race on Saturday. “Anything higher would’ve been great but I’m very happy with how I did. It’s a good way to finish my senior cross country season.”
Olding ran the course last season at Balboa Park and even though a year has passed, Olding did have a memory of what the course was like.
“I was very happy with how I ran. The course is tough. Back home my time would’ve been a lot faster,” explained Olding. “I’m a little sad that my cross country career in high school is over but there are bigger things coming. It definitely helped running here last season. The weather was perfect. You’re a little warm when you’re running but when you’re done you needed a long sleeve shirt.”
Olding met up with the rest of the Midwest Regional qualifiers in Chicago before taking off for Lindburgh Field in San Diego. During her stay, Olding got to meet national runners such as Bob Kennedy and Suzy Favor-Hamilton again.
“They put on an amazing presentation all weekend,” said Olding. “It’s the 25th anniversary of the meet. They have the only four men to break the four-minute mile in high school (Jim Ryun, Tim Danielson, Marty Liquori and Alan Webb) together for the first time and there was a question and answer session on Friday. It’s just been great.”
Olding also could celebrate a team win on Saturday as the Midwest representatives won the team title in a fashion that Olding is used to at Minster, by a 31-point magin over the West, 26-57. Midwest runner Katelyn Kaltenbach won the overall race title with a time of 17:23.2.
The Midwest boys made it a sweep with a win over the West, only this time by a closer 36-39 margin.
“That was a lot of fun to win the team title,” said Olding. “We won by a lot, so that made it more fun. We had a clean sweep (with the guys winning). I think that’s the first time that’s ever happened.”
Olding knows that she may face a couple of her teammates and the other races in college.
“It’s always fun to run against some of the best girls in the country,” said Olding. “It’s fun to stay in the back and run with the group. I’m not really used to that, but it’s always fun.”


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