Tipp City's Sam Wharton wins the nationals in Oregon!!!

Posted Wednesday, December 05, 2012 by Mike Hout
This is what we have to compete against.  Just to show how tough the distance running is around these parts, Sam Wharton goes out to Portland, Oregon and wins the Nike Nationals!  There was a nice write up about him in the Dayton Daily News along with a picture.

The competition featured 195 of the best runners in the nation.  All qualified through regional meets around the country.  Sam now becomes one of the few runners from Ohio to win the Nike event run at the Portland Meadows race course.  Heavy rain turned the 5,000 meter course into a mud hole.  Wharton's winning time was 17 minutes, 6.5 seconds, while Estevan De La Rosa of Arcadia, California was second in 17:09. 

Those finishes were two minutes off the winning times in 2011.

"After about 300 meters, when you hit the mud, you knew it was going to be a rough ride," Wharton said.  "There wasn't much grass.  The course was half mud and half goose (waste).  Everyone was slipping, and guys were losing their shoes."

"It wasn't the kind of course you could move up in the pack.  So I got up among the leaders early and stayed there.  Their course favored my running style because I'm not a speed runner.  I got the lead with about 800 meters to go and hoped I could keep my footing until the finish line."

The Nike is one of two big national postseason cross country races.  The other is the Footlocker Nationals this Saturday in San Diego.  Wharton will be one of 40 runners in the field who qualified through regional races.