Anna Harden, an 8th grader at St. Peter Lutheran School in Arlington Heights, finished the cross-country season retaining the national champion title. Anna, a three-sport athlete, has been running for the St. Peter cross country team since she was in 4th grade and immediately found success in one of her greatest passions. It was quickly realized by her coaches that even as a 4th grader she had a gifted ability as a runner. In her first year, she qualified for the Lutheran Nationals Meet where she earned her first All American medal. For the next four years, Anna went on to not only compete in the National Meet but win the National Meet. She finished her 8th grade year as a 4-time defending champion at the National level. As a 7th grader, she holds the current 2-mile course record set at 11:44. Anna also led the St. Peter team to a National title as well as a National Runner-Up title in her five years of competition. On the journey to her national accomplishments, Anna also led her team to three state championships and four individual titles. In one of the largest local cross country meets, the Fred D. Martin, Anna competed yearly against 28 public and private schools and over 675 runners. She won this meet twice, and led St. Peter to the team championship.
Her accomplishments as a champion runner have been developed over the years by St. Peter’s Cross-Country Head Coach, Jeff Rogers, and assistants, Lexi Schmidt and Meagan Harmon. Anna’s hard work, focus, and motivation impacted her success and well as the other runners on the team. The cross-country program at St. Peter continues to develop outstanding athletes beginning in the Junior Runners Program continuing through 8th grade.
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