FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield Prep junior Christian Alvarado wanted to get off to a fast start in last weekend’s Foot Locker cross country national championships. He did, and he paid for it — in more ways than one.
Alvarado finished 39th in the field of the Top 40 runners from across the country at the race in San Diego. But he aggravated an injury that bothered him earlier this fall after running the race's first mile in 4:47. He finished in 16:28 for the 5-kilometer course. Ed Cheserek of Newark, N.J., won in 14:59. Alvarado trailed Cheserek by just 28 second in the regional race just two weeks earlier.
“I knew what I was doing,’’ he said. “I didn’t want to get too far behind the top runners. I haven’t gone out that fast since the injury. I just wanted to stay up front and not get boxed out.”
Alvarado was uncertain how the injury occurred. He battled a stress fracture in October and seemed to be over it, especially after a strong race at the Foot Locker regional race. But the terrain was a bit uneven, and Alvarado said he didn’t get much of a chance to ice it before the race. He said he does not believe the injury will hurt him during the indoor season.
“Next year will definitely be a better year, a redemption year,’’ Alvarado said. “I hope to get in the Top 15 and get All-American status. If I stay healthy, that’s a reachable goal. I’m glad I made the trip. The experience was amazing, and I met a lot of people that I’ll stay connected with for a long time.”