Held at Morley Field in Balboa Park in San Diego, Leath ran against 36 qualifying cross country runners from across the nation, each from their own respective section of the country. Ashlyn ran a 19:12.5 5K pace with the winning time coming in at a 16:49.2 pace.
Ashlyn placed 35th out of 36 qualifying runners, and spoke about her difficulties on the track the day after she competed.
“The course was tough for sure, the footing was kind of not the greatest. It was tough but I feel like that’s kind of what cross country athletes prepare for, it was tough but expected.”
Leath then went on, praising the other runners from the competition for their efforts and realized that every athlete motivated one another in a sense.
“It was incredible to be a part of. Everyone was just really supportive of each other no matter where you were on the course. Afterwards, just getting all together and knowing that we’re all there for the same experience. It was exciting to have competitors that all have the same goals in mind and we all just kind of used that to motivate each other.”
Ashlyn then went on to speak about her experience both at the race and in her freetime surrounding the weekend.
“It was a great experience, kind of the whole weekend was an experience. We got there on Thursday, and it really just gave us the whole experience of being a top tier athlete. At the race it was very exciting and you could tell it was a high level of competition.”
Ashlyn had finished sixth in her qualifying race on December 3rd at Mt. San Antonio College, having to qualify within the top ten runners in her region to be able to make the Nationals competition. Her time for this 5k was at an 18:29 pace. .
She looks forward to competing again and mentions that she couldn’t wait to use this race as motivation for her next competition.
“It will definitely motivate me in my training and teach me to just keep myself calm and relaxed and use my nerves in a more positive way.”
Final results from the 2022 Champs Sports National Championship can be found at https://finishedresults.trackscoreboard.com/meets/11172/events/7061