SJ Mercury Athlete Of the Week - 10/10/07

Stephanie Barnett, Leland Sport: Cross-country Class: Junior

Accomplishment: Barnett won the Large School race at the Artichoke Invitational at Half Moon Bay High School on Saturday, covering the 2.3-mile course in 13 minutes, 49 seconds, the fastest time of the day in the girls races. Last week, Barnett was the top finisher among Central Coast Section competitors at the Stanford Invitational. The defending CCS Division II and overall champion altered her race strategy due to the short course at Half Moon Bay. "I ran it more like a 3,200-meter race," Barnett said. "I tried to push the pace a bit more than I usually do." Barnett made her move on a long hill in the middle of the course, helping to build a big lead on Aptos' Marissa Ferrante, who finished second (14:19). "Marissa stayed close, about 10 seconds behind me, for most of the race," Barnett said. "That helped push me."