Bethany Graham raced to a 20th place finish in the girls' 5K race at the 41st annual Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals on Dec. 14 at Balboa Park in San Diego.

Graham, a senior at John Champe High School in Aldie, completed the race in 18 minutes, three seconds.

"While it wasn’t my best performance, I felt okay in today’s race. I went out a little too hard, and halfway through was feeling nervous," said Graham, who met her season-long aspiration of qualifying for the Foot Locker National Finals following her third-place finish in 17:03.9 at the South Regional on Nov. 30 in Charlotte.

Zofia Dudek (16:45) of Michigan and Josh Methner (15:08.8) of Illinois claimed first-place titles at the FLCCC.

"The competition was absolutely great and I really enjoyed running against some of the best runners," Graham continued. "The course was difficult, but was similar to some hilly ones that I ran this year. My goal was to race with [the top runners] and finish in the top 10."

Graham, who has won multiple varsity state titles in track and field, earned her first state cross-country crown in 2019. Graham (17:42) raced to the Class 6 girls' title Nov. 14 at Great Meadow in The Plains.

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