PUEBLO, Colo. -- Competing in her second straight NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships Thursday night, Eastern York High School graduate Elicia Anderson came up short in her bid to duplicate the success she had last year when she was an All-American, finishing 10th in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 37 minutes, 1.87 seconds.
Last year, Anderson finished fourth in the event with a time of 34:17.31 to garner All-American status. This year, with the event taking place in Colorado, the high altitude of the location had an effect on all the runners. Anderson ran only her third-best time of the season in the race and none of the runners in the 17-woman field posted a season-best time.
Anderson knew the setting of the NCAA Championships would take its toll and could tell early on, saying, "I definitely struggled a lot. It was a combination of wind and the altitude that caused the whole field to run slow. I could tell I was off my game and not as sharp when I was racing. It was really apparent in the last two miles. But, I made it to nationals and tried my hardest so I am not disappointed. I did all I could with what I had."
Despite battling a few nagging injuries for the past couple weeks that prohibited Anderson from training as effectively as she wanted to, she missed an All-American time by just 36 seconds. Eighth-place Alia Gray of Chico State finished with a time of 36:25.87. The top eight finishers in each event are crowned All-Americans.
"The hardest thing is knowing the 10K is my race and that I placed fourth last year," Anderson said. "I was coming on so strong when I ran it at the Mt. SAC Relays and in some great workouts but I have just been struggling with this foot injury."
The Wrightsville native will compete Saturday night in the final race of her college career, taking aim at one final All-American award and the fourth overall of her Marauder career, competing in the 5,000-meter run.
"It would be awesome to be an All-American one more time because I have worked so hard these past four years," Anderson said.