Nelsons place in U.S. event

Published 8:33 pm Monday, December 15, 2008

By By Adam Robinson- Sports Editor
One family of runners is making a name for themselves - and for T.R. Miller High School - in the sport of cross country.
In a recent AAU National Championship race in Oakville, the four children from the Nelson family competed in a national cross-country race.
Karisa Nelson took fourth place in the nation out of 76 runners with a time of 10:58.10. Nelson's time was nine seconds out of first place and just half a second from third place.
Nelson's sister Katie finished in 30th place out of 76 runners in the 3,000-meter run.
Katie was sick when she ran the race and she said if she was feeling at her best, she would have run better. “I think I would have done better,” Katie said.
In the 4,000-meter run, Amber Nelson took 35th out of 62 runners with a time of 16:53.20.
Brother Brandon Nelson took 45th out of 103 runners in the 5,000 meter run with a time of 17:32.80
Katie said there were a lot of nervous feelings before the race.
While Katie was not feeling her best in the race, conditions for the race were not the best either on a wet, cold day.
Karisa agreed.
“Actually it was hard to walk at first because there were so many people there,” Karisa said, “But when the people started dying out, so you really did not know how fast to go at the beginning. When we were running, we had dots all over our backs from kicking up mud all over our backs.”
Brandon said the course was more difficult than others they've raced on - and with good reason.
Karisa said she learned some things from this race.
While the national race will be a great memory for all the Nelson kids, Karisa named one that will stick out to her.
Katie said she thinks she saw some future running stars in the competition.
The Nelsons believe T.R. Miller's cross country team is going to become as well known as some of the other sports at the high school.
“One time when we were running a 10K, we met this girl and we told her we were from T.R. Miller and she said ‘Oh you guys are from T.R. Miller?'” Katie said.
While most would just sit back and relax during the off-season, the Nelsons don't. The next race the siblings plan to run in is the Azalea Trail Run in Mobile.
A lot of the success of the Nelson children goes to T.R. Miller Tiger cross country coach Rob Atkinson. All had plenty of thanks for Atkinson for the kind of runners they have become.