St. Peter cross country runner wins national title

 
Submitted by Keith Raimondi, St. Peter Lutheran Church and School
Posted1/9/2019 10:48 AM
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  • Anna Harden, an eighth-grader at St. Peter Lutheran School, Arlington Heights, has found success as a cross country runner.

    Anna Harden, an eighth-grader at St. Peter Lutheran School, Arlington Heights, has found success as a cross country runner. Courtesy of St. Peter Lutheran School

Anna Harden, an eighth-grader at St. Peter Lutheran School, Arlington Heights, finished the cross country season retaining the National Champion title.

Anna, a three-sport athlete, has been running for the St. Peter cross country team since she was in fourth grade and immediately found success in one of her greatest passions.

It was quickly realized by her coaches that even as a fourth-grader she had a gifted ability as a runner. In her first year, she qualified for the Lutheran Nationals meet, where she earned her first All American medal.

For the next four years, Anna went on to not only compete in the National meet, but win it. She finished her eighth-grade year as a four-time defending champion at the National level.

As a seventh-grader, Anna holds the current two-mile course record set at 11:44. She also led the St. Peter team to a National title, as well as a National runner-up title in her five years of competition.

On the journey to her national accomplishments, Anna also led her team to three state championships and four individual titles. In one of the largest local cross country meets, the Fred D. Martin, Anna competed yearly against 28 public and private schools and more than 675 runners. She won this meet twice and led St. Peter to the team championship.

Her accomplishments as a champion runner have been developed over the years by St. Peter's cross country Head Coach Jeff Rogers and assistants Lexi Schmidt and Meagan Harmon. Anna's hard work, focus and motivation have impacted her success as well as the other runners on the team.

The cross country program at St. Peter continues to develop outstanding athletes, beginning with the Junior Runners Program and continuing through eighth grade.

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