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Courtney Ackerman missed out on a few good nights of sleep and wasn't in her best health at Saturday's Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals in San Diego.
Even still, the New Trier senior was among the top runners in the country.
The Illinois-bound Ackerman finished 17th in the 38-runner field with a time of 18:01.5 at Morley Field. She had the highest place from Illinois, beating out Lake Park senior Kaylee Flanagan, who took 34th in 18:34.8.
"I didn't do as well as I was hoping," said Ackerman, who was joined by her parents and grandparents.
Ackerman believes she caught a cold from her twin sister Jessica last week during her time in Portland for the Nike Cross Nationals. Upon arriving in San Diego on Thursday, Courtney Ackerman, who placed sixth at Nike, carried a cough along with her running shoes.
"It wasn't exactly the race I wanted to run," she said. "I was not quite myself."
Sophomore Anna Roher of Mishawaka, Ind., won the title in 17:24.8. In fact, the Midwest region produced six of the top-10 girls.
"It's been great," Ackerman said. "They do it up right here, and it's always cool to represent Illinois in a national meet."
Saturday's race was Ackerman's last of a long season, which started Aug. 8 for high schools in Illinois. She's looking forward to an extended break to rest before she gets ready for the indoor track season.
"I will take at least two weeks off," she said. "I will then start biking or swimming over winter break to stay in shape. It's always a rough transition at the end of December."