Upper St. Clair’s Shaw competes at Foot Locker National Finals

Sunday, December 10, 2017 | 9:30 AM

Upper St. Clair senior Savannah Shaw capped a historic season at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals on Saturday in San Diego.

Earlier, Shaw led the Upper St. Clair girls team to its first section title, then achieved its best finish (third place) at the PIAA championship meet.

She broke more ground by making it to national finals, where she placed 16th of 40 competitors in the girls 5K race (18 minutes, 16.4 seconds).

“Savannah is a savvy racer, has a nasty kick and ability to keep a calm mind when things get uncomfortable,” Upper St. Clair coach Douglas Petrick said. “She has made everything around her better by simply being part of it.”

Shaw was glad to finish in the top 20 at nationals.

She said a trip to the beach a day before relaxed her.

Shaw punched her ticket by placing sixth at the Northeast Regional Nov. 25 in the Bronx, N.Y (18:14.7).

“It's really cool to see her represent not just (Upper St. Clair), but the entire region,” Petrick said.

The Northeast, one of four teams, came in second to the Midwest at the national meet.

Shaw, the WPIAL Class AAA runner-up, signed a letter of intent recently to compete on the NC State women's team next season.

Wolfpack coach Laurie Henes expects Shaw to have an immediate impact. The Wolfpack placed eighth at the NCAA championship this year.

“She has a great passion for the sport and for improving,” Henes said. “She'll be a great asset to our program.”

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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