Mountain View's Porter Finishes Third at Foot Locker Meet

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thomas Porter of Mountain View High School was the top Virginia finisher yesterday at the Foot Locker Nationals, earning all-American honors on the five-kilometer course at Balboa Park in San Diego.

Porter finished last in the race in 2007 -- he developed plantar fasciitis in his right foot days before the meet, couldn't quell the pain and struggled to 40th place -- but was healthy and confident yesterday, picking off several of the country's elite distance runners to finish third in 15 minutes 26 seconds.

"Last year, I kind of felt shortchanged," said Porter, the 2007 All-Met Cross-Country Runner of the Year. "This year, I put out the best race I could've put out."

Of the four Virginians in the 40-runner field, Edison senior Leoule Degfae was next after Porter. He placed 12th in 15:46. The top 15 finishers were named all-Americans.

"I felt pretty good about what I could accomplish here, but I never knew I could get top 15," Degfae said. "I'm still amazed. I don't think I can sleep tonight."

Porter also advanced to the Foot Locker race in 2006 and is just the second runner from the Washington area to become a three-time Foot Locker finalist in the 30-year history of the meet.

-- Carl Little

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