12-year-old Kaytlynn Welsch tops the women's field
After an amazing year of running in 2012, Kaytlynn Welsch is off to another great start in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series in 2013.
Welsch, who garnered national attention for her precocious running success last year, was the top overall female at the XTERRA Eco Lonestar Trail Run last weekend. Welsch, 12, was the youngest runner in the field, and she placed third overall - topped only by two elite men.
"The course was muddy," she said. "I like the mud, but my shoe came off in the mud on the second lap. The weather was cold and the wind was strong on some of the more open parts of the course."
(Kaytlynn Welsch pictured, courtesy Welsch family)
Jason Razo of Arlington, Texas, was the overall winner, completing the 15-kilometer course in 1 hour, 58 seconds. Greg Rankin from Parker, Texas, was second overall in 1:04:30. Razo is 28 and Rankin is 46.
Welsch, who is in the seventh grade at Alvin Junior High School in Alvin, Texas, chased the two leaders the entire course. She finished in 1:06:19, which was well ahead of the next female - 30-year-old Tracie Akerhielm of Denton, Texas, finished in 1:08:49.
Around 100 runners participated in the event, which was held at Cedar Hill State Park in Cedar Hill, Texas, on Sunday, March 10. The XTERRA Eco Lonestar Trail Run was the first of seven races in the 2013 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series.
Kaytlynn and her 10-year-old sister, Heather, made national headlines a year ago when they placed first and third, respectively, at another race in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series. Kaytlynn went on to win her age group at both the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship and 2012 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship (with Heather placing second to Kaytlynn at both events).
Their success - and passion for running - was featured on NBC's Rock Center With Brian Williams in February.
Rodney Welsch, the father of the girls, said: "A runner came up to me and said he saw their story on TV and came out to race. Hopefully they are helping the sport to grow here in Texas."
Heather did not race last weekend because of an injured toe. Both girls plan to race in at least five of the upcoming races in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series.
The next race in the Texas Series will be the XTERRA Camp Eagle Trail Run at Rocksprings, Texas, on March 23. To register for the race, or learn more about the Texas Series, please visit www.xterratrailrun.com.
About the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series
The XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. In the 2012-13 season, there will be seven races available for runners, with the courses ranging in length from 5 kilometers to 21 kilometers. The top runners in every age group will receive points after each race that will count toward the overall series standings. At the conclusion of the series, each age-group champion will receive a free entry to represent Texas at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. Texas is one of 17 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series. The others are Alabama, Arizona, Atlantic, Southern California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon, Pocono, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Washington.