Pittman is 26th in Portland

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By The Staff

Los Alamos High School standout runner Kyle Pittman just missed the top 25 at the 2009 Nike Cross Nationals this weekend.

The Nike Cross Nationals, which is hosted by the Nike corporation every year, was run Saturday in Portland, Ore. Nearly 200 of the top cross country runners from all across the country took part in the event.

Pittman, a senior, finished 26th overall at Saturday’s race. He finished the course in 15 minutes, 42.9 seconds, coming in just .3 seconds behind No. 25 runner Lane Werley, a junior from California.

Pittman earned his third straight trip to the national event with his finish at the NXN regional event, held last month in Tempe, Ariz., where he finished fourth overall.

Just two weeks earlier, Pittman won his second-straight individual state prep championship.

Saturday’s winner and national champion was Craig Lutz, a junior from the South region. He took a .3-second victory over California’s Elias Gedyon, finishing in a time of 15:09.2. Joseph Rosa from the Northeast region was .6 seconds back of Lutz.

The top placer from New Mexico at the event was Pat Zacharias, a senior from Los Alamos’ arch-rival Albuquerque Academy.

Zacharias ran a 15:30.6, which was good enough for 13th place overall.

Zacharias’ team, the Albuquerque XC Club – teams are not allowed to compete as their schools – finished fifth overall with a score of 236 points.