Special to The Explorer
Ironwood Ridge High School cross country runner Steve Magnuson, an individual state titlist on the Nighthawks' state champion squad, has made his mark at regional and national competition.
Magnuson placed 12th overall, in a time of 15:38, at the 2009 Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals, held in San Diego on Dec. 12. That race brings together top regional winners from across the country to determine the nation's fastest high school cross-country runners. Lukas Verzbicas, a sophomore from Orland Hills, Ill., won in 15:08, 15 seconds ahead of the field.
The week before, Magnuson placed seventh in a fast field at the Foot Locker West Regional championships in Walnut, Calif.
Magnuson covered the 5-kilometer distance in 15:40. His time was the second fastest in Arizona; Brian Shrader, the Flagstaff Sinagua runner who edged Magnuson in head-to-head racing this season, won the regional in 15:25. Magnuson tied with Billy Orman of Tuba City High School.
Flagstaff's Schrader was fifth in the national competition.