PARKERSBURG - St. Marys senior Maggie Drazba continues to pound the pavement and come next Saturday the Blue Devil standout distance runner will be in California to compete in the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals in San Diego.
Drazba, a three-time state cross country individual champion for the Blue Devils, qualified to compete in the national event at Morley Field in Balboa Park by finishing in the top 10 of the FLCCC a week ago Saturday in the South Regional, which was held at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte, N.C.
Prior to that third place effort on the 5K course in North Carolina where Drazba finished in a time of 17 minutes and 10 seconds, her personal best came at the state championships when she clocked in with a winning effort of 17:17.
Photo courtesy of Foot Locker
Maggie Drazba of St. Marys crossed the finish line in third place last Saturday at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships South Regional.
"I didn't really expect to be in the top 10. I just wanted to go there, race and run a personal best," Drazba said.
A year ago, Drazba ran in the same event and set a then personal best of 17 minutes and 40 seconds, but that was only good enough for 13th place and didn't qualify her for the national event.
"Top 10 again would be great," Drazba said of perhaps getting a nice finish in California. "I guess that's what I'm shooting for, just to do the best I can."
Drazba will be flying out of Pittsburgh on Thursday with another West Virginia student-athlete - University's Amelia Paladino, who finished 10th in the South Regional. Drazba said her parents, father Charlie and mother Kathleen, are coming out on a different flight to watch her participate.
"I've just been training like normal pretty much and I'm starting to cut back and taper off toward the end of the season," Drazba added.
After next weekend's race, the Blue Devil said she likely will look toward competing in the USA Cross Country Championships come February in St. Louis.
Drazba just wants to do the best she can while in California and has heard the course "is kind of hilly and it's a nice course. I'm really excited for it."
Currently still undecided about her collegiate prospects, Drazba has made official visits to Syracuse, Georgetown and Iowa State. She can still make two more visits and noted "I might. I'm not sure yet," and is throughouly enjoying the "experiences of running in a high school championship race."