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West Bloomfield athlete competes at Foot Locker Nationals WITH PHOTO GALLERY

  • 2016 FootLocker XC-Finals
  • 2016 FootLocker XC-Finals
  • Kyla Christopher-Moody is ahead of Farmington's Abby Inch (left) and North Farmington's Whitney Reid during an OAA White race at Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills. (MIPrepZone file photo).
  • West Bloomfield's Kyla Christopher-Moody (left) gives a hug to North Farmington's Whitney Reid after the OAA White race. (MIPrepZone file photo).
  • Kyla Christopher-Moody of West Bloomfield finishes at the Oakland County championships last October. (MIPrepZone file photo).
  • Kyla Christopher-Moody (right) of West Bloomfield leads a group of all-staters at the D1 regional. (MIPrepZone file photo).
  • West Bloomfield's Kyla Christopher-Moody leads at the OAA White race. (MIPrepZone file photo).
  • Kyla Christopher-Moody of West Bloomfield finishes the race at the D1 state finals at Michigan International Speedway. (MIPrepZone file photo).

Kyla Christopher-Moody races with best in California

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A trip to California wouldn’t be complete without some California-style adventures, especially in December. That’s what Kyla Christopher-Moody of West Bloomfield discovered as one of 40 competitors at the Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals Saturday in San Diego.

Besides racing, recreation was on the agenda for most of the competitors. “It’s really fun, I’m having a great time actually,” said Christopher-Moody. “I just went in the ocean. It was really cold.”

Cold, but fun for the sophomore, who took a dip in the Pacific as well as a dip into high-caliber high school competition from across the country. Christopher-Moody placed 23rd for the 5K course, clocking 18:04 as she continuing a recent trend of Oakland County runners at nationals.

She was one of three Michigan athletes in the field with Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Anne Forsyth placing fifth (17:46) and Ava Strenge of Battle Creek 34th (18:24). Claudia Lane of Malibu, Calif. won in 17:04 and Reed Brown of South Lake, Texas won the boys race (15:01).

The race brought together the top 10 finishers from four regional races across the country, and Christopher-Moody, who placed a surprising 10th at the Midwest Regional last month in Wisconsin, was one of them.

Seasoned juniors and seniors comprised most of the individuals and Christopher-Moody was one of five sophomores in the field of runners.

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the course and what the other girls were going to try to do,” said Christopher-Moody. “It was pretty intense. The first mile I think I went out too fast, but it ended pretty well, I guess.”

She placed fourth the Division 1 state championships last month at Michigan International Speedway and Forsyth was runnerup.

Christopher-Moody followed in the line of other area runners who’ve competed at nationals the past seven years, including Waterford Mott’s Shannon Osika, Rochester’s Brook Handler, Birmingham Seaholm’s Audrey Belf, West Bloomfield’s Erin Finn, a national runnerup in 2011, and Rochester’s Megan Goethals, the national champion in 2009.

Finn, who led Michigan to the Big Ten championship this past season, was NCAA runnerup as the Wolverines placed second.

Waterford Mott’s Ryan Robinson (2014) and Grand Blanc’s Grant Fisher, a two-time national Foot Locker champion, also competed in past years in the boys races. Robinson competes at Michigan State and Fisher competes at Stanford.

Last Updated: 12/12/2016 7:06:56 PM EST

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