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Chamberlain checks in at XC Nationals

By: Nick Pecoraro
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PORTLAND, OREGON– If 2018 was any indication of what’s to come on the cross-country circuit for Del Oro’s Riley Chamberlain, the future is extremely bright.

Saturday, the Del Oro freshman competed in the NXN Nike Cross-Country National Championship meet at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Oregon.

Chamberlain, who won 11 of her 12 previous races over the course of the season, placed 62nd out of a record 204 female entries at Nationals with a time of 18 minutes, 14.1 seconds in the 5,000-meter run.

The CIF Division III State Champion was one of 31 state champions to compete, including Katelyn Tuohy, a junior from North Rockland High in Thiells, New York, who successfully defended last year’s national championship win by breaking her own course record with a time of 16:37.8.

Chamberlain had the sixth best time amongst California competitors and the 12th fastest time among 30 total freshmen.

Chamberlain had a freshman season for the ages, beginning with the Aug. 25 Oakmont Invitational, where she blew away the rest of the field and won by a full minute ahead of the runner-up.

Chamberlain became the Sierra Foothill League Champion and Most Valuable Player, the Sac-Joaquin Subsection and Section Champion, and capped off her amazing season with a CIF State Championship Nov. 24 in Fresno.

Chamberlain was the anchor for the Del Oro girls varsity team that won the Kim Duyst Invitational in Ceres Sept. 8, the Stanford Invitational Sept. 29, and was the runner-up at the Sac-Joaquin Section finals Nov. 17 in Folsom. Del Oro placed 13th at the CIF State Championships.

The only race Chamberlain didn’t win before the National competition was the Oct. 6 Clovis Cross-Country Invitational, where she was the runner-up by just three seconds to Tori Gaitan of Great Oak in Temecula, who placed 18th in Oregon Saturday.

In Chamberlain’s 11 wins this season, her average margin of victory was an astonishing 51 seconds.

Chamberlain plans to compete on the Del Oro track team in the spring.