Amy-Eloise Neale at State
Oregon – Washington Border Clash
Another Border Clash is now in the books and Washington, as usual, came away the winner, although the Oregon girls made it a contest. There was no surprise individually with Amy-Eloise Neale, Alexa Efraimson & Katie Knight declaring their intentions early. The Washington trio separated themselves from any would be challengers working together early before challenging each other in the later stages. Neale earned this victory with Efraimson taking second ahead of 2011 BC winner Katie Knight took third. They were all under the course record, although the course has been changed so many times, that declaring a record for the event has little meaning.
The young lassies from Oregon did not concede the race to their northern brethren and Maggie Schmaedick. Sara Tsai & Erin Clark swept the next three places to give Oregon a chance in the team race. Katie Bianchini secured a crucial seventh place finish for Washington but Ella Donaghu & Parkes Kendrick of Oregon answered back by taking 8th & 9th. Jordan McPhee, Chandler Olson & Brittany Aquino of Washington put the finishing touches on the Washington victory. The girls of Oregon had left their male counterparts a chance to win the overall team title but they would need a solid victory. In spite of the fact that Washington stalwarts Andrew Gardner, Wolfgang Beck & Poli Balthazar did not compete the Washington guys dominated with a sweep of the top five positions. Patrick Gibson of Squalicum, who will now head to Foot Locker to face the nation’s best runners, led the way with 13:44 and was followed by Joe hardy, John Dressel, Sumner Goodwin & Colby Gilbert. The full story has already been rendered, so we will not delve into it deeper here.
Mid-East Meet of Champions
This great meet is in its 26th year and its roll of winners starts with Bob Kennedy & Laurie Gomez Henes. Since its inception many future American stalwarts have competed here. Although Kentucky & Pennsylvania athletes have performed here in other years, this year Indiana, Illinois & Michigan harriers joined their counterparts in Kettering, Ohio. Still there were very solid fields, which toed the line on Saturday and the Indiana girls showed what a solid senior class that they have this year. Ashley Erba, who placed 2nd at State this year after winning the previous year, ran away from her teammates as well as her competition and raced to victory in a time of 17:21. Bobbie Burgess, who had placed third in her state meet behind Anna Rohrer & Erba, finished second here with 17:55 & Bethany Neeley followed in third in 18:08. Joelle Noe of Ohio claimed fourth in 18:12 and was followed by Brooke Wolfe of Illinois, who ran 18:20 for fifth. Ohioans swept the next two positions thanks to the efforts of Samantha Siler & Lauren Wood before Raquel Serna of Michigan claimed 8th. Delaney Phelps of Ohio & Anna Aldrich of Indiana rounded out the top ten. Indiana topped Ohio 29 to 37 in the team race.
Michigan athlete Nick Raymond was the swiftest of the guys and he earned a twelve second victory in a time of 15:25 for the 5K distance. Riley McInerney of Illinois took second with 15:37 & was followed by his team mate Quintin Shaffer a second later. The pair, incidentally, had placed third & second in different divisions in Illinois, while Raymond was the Michigan State champion. Connor Mora of Michigan garnered 4th in 15:40, while Jake Brown of Illinois came in 5th (15:45). Indiana State champion Connor Sorrells placed sixth in 15:48. Indiana runners Jonathan Reynolds & Alec Kostelnik added 8th & 9th place points for their team and Joey Santillo of Illinois rounded out the top ten and Michigan’s Alex Whitmer came in a crucial eleventh and the end total of the scores resulted in a 42 to 42 tie. The victory was determined by Roger Phillips of Michigan, who finished 18th in 16:02 and topped his Illini counterpart.
New York Federation
One of cross country’s historic powers asserted itself on Saturday over the challenging course at Wappingers Falls and came away with both tea titles. It marked the first time since 2001 that the Blue Streaks managed that feat, which was aided by Fayetteville-Manlius’ abandoning of their own state meet for the dubious quest of Portland. Bella Burda of Arlington ran away with the individual title with an impressive time of 17:56 defeating Katie Lembo of Penfield, who ran 18:22. Taylor Driscoll of Saratoga earned third with 18:25 and Megan Young of Nanuet followed ten seconds later. Siobhan Quinn of Rush-Henrietta edged Laura Leff of West Genesee for fifth, as both were credited with 18:38.
Although the FM decision probably did not impact the front of the girls’ individual race, it certainly affected the boys’ race but we’ll never know if Ryan Manahan could have won New York’s Federation race and joined an historic list of Empire State champions. That honor will now go to Sebastian Hanson of Arlington, who ran 16:00, and years from now his name will be the only one remembered by the preponderance of the running community. Thomas Slattery of Chaminade claimed second in 16:06 & Alec Peinkofer of Baldwinsville took third in 16:08. Sean Kelly, also from Chaminade garnered 4th in 16:17 and Brian Cook of Pearl River came in a second after him. Dan Galford of Monsignor Farrell secured sixth. Saratoga was led by the eleventh place effort of Jay Navin, who actually finished 13th in the individual race.
Non-Public Prep Championships
Hurricane Sandy caused massive problems two weeks ago and many events were simply cancelled, but one event was placed back on the schedule and it allowed Edward Cheserek to get in another race prior to the Foot Locker Northeast Regional. He broke his own course record at Blair Academy by winning with a time of 14:42. The St. Benedict’s Prep runner defeated Liam Mullett of Montclair Kimberly, who ran 16:13. Kelvin Serem finished third in the ‘A’ race in 16:44. Will Dudek of Kimberly won the ‘B’ race with 16:59.
Marisa Ruskan scored in Group 4 with her mark of 18:22 at Holmdel. Kelly Jankowicz came in second in 18:26. Mackenzie Barry won Group 3 with 18:26 topping Josette Norris, who ran 18:44. Grace Dwyer was third with a time of 18:54. Sarah Disanza of annexed Group 2 laurels with 18:29. Clarissa Modde came in second with 18:43. Group 1 went to Colette Richter’s clocking of 18:42. Ben DeVenezia earned his third championship with 16:23. Chris Luciano garnered second with 16:29. Tom O’ Neill scored in Group 1 with the best time of the day in 15:36.
Massachusetts State Meet
2011 Foot Locker national finalist Catrina Rocha of Peabody earned her second State title in 18:06 and Abbey McNulty led the way in D2 with 18:20. Jonathan Green defended his State title with 15:29 defeating Mike O’ Donnell, who ran 15:41. D2 went to Scott Carpenter, who sped home in 15:55.
The 4A girls’ title went to Bridget Blake in 17:53, who defeated Alexa Cruz by over twenty seconds. Three runners broke eighteen minutes in 3A with Susan Givens of Chiles leading the way with 17:48. Katy Gladis Solis (17;58) & Kacy Smith (17:58), who were both from Estero, took the next two places. Julie Woolrath won 1A in 18:15. Andres Arroyo easily ran to victory in 4A boys’ action with 15:18, as Brandon Marquez placed 2nd in 15:33. Class 3A went to Thomas Howell, who crossed the finish line in 15:19.
Although it rained in an area unused to it Sarah Baxter of Simi Valley did not appear to mind as she blazed 2.75 miles in 15:53, which gave her over a half second margin over Kiara Mcintosh in D1. Paige Tennison of Newport harbor claimed D2 in 16:13, which gave her a thirteen second margin over 16;26. Sydney Segal of Beverly Hills ran 16:18 for the D3 title. Juan Gonzalez of El Toro had the best time of the day with 14:00 yet only crossed the line a second ahead of Estevan De la Rosa of Arcadia. Bryan Fernandez of Dos Pueblos scored in D2 with 14:06 topping Austin Goins, who edged Garrett Corcoran: both runners were timed in 14:08. Myles Smith won D3 with 14:13. The boys ran just over three miles.
San Diego Section
Emma Abrahamson was the first of three La Costa Canyon runners to cross the finish line with her winning time of 15:56. Kelly Lawson (16:17) & Elle Abrahamson (16:27) followed her on the Morley Field course, which will be used for the Foot Locker national race. Other girls’ winners were Nicolette Sorenson (16:17) in D1 and Anne Charles (16:04) in D3. Steven Fahy, also from LCC, scored in D2 with 115:44 to defeat Forrest Riley & Andrew Tellames, who both were clocked in 15:52. Jeff Schaefer won D1 in 16:06 & Daniel Gomez (16:09) scored in D3.
Los Angeles Section
Myles Smith of St. John Bosco won the abbreviate course hosted by Mt. SAC in 14:13.
This race was held on Sunday and we watched it on the computer. No, naturally the host does not bother to televise its own things, which are done on the cheap, but Indiana runner broadcasted the event. Seeing that we knew a few of the people running the race was of particular interest. The course was the Lavern Gibson course outside of Terre Haute, which is used for the Indiana State meet & has hosted a number of NCAA championships. Just to give the reader a sense this is hardly a challenging course and has no real hill, although it does offer a few slight grades to break up the race a bit nut it never forces the runners to change gears. It is not a course, which favors strength runners or true XC specialists, so it makes me wonder why it is used so often for events. Once again there was a brisk breeze, which seemingly comes with the terrain. Given that it is sponsored by the company with a headquarters in Oregon, although it has its shoes made cheaply in Indonesia (yes another job exporting company) there are a few extraneous hay bales, which for most are not big deal.
It should be noted that the biggest guns from the Midwest, Erin Finn & Julia Bos of Michigan and Anna Rohrer of Indiana, were not on hand, as they are focusing on the big prize of Foot Locker, but there was a solid field to contest this event. Taylor Werner, the Missouri State champion, took the lead early. Skyler Bollinger of Yorkville & Kate Thayer followed in pursuit, while a throng of runners followed close behind them but by the 2:45 mark in the race the chase pack had formed around them. Warner & Thayer, however, remained the titular leaders.
The 1K mark was breached in 3:18 with Bollinger & Werner on point. Moving into noticeable contention were Kaylee Flanagan of Roselle, Illinois & Mackenzie Caldwell of Indiana. The pack seemed to be content to play a bit with the leaders as it alternately followed discreetly and then moved back alongside them. During one of its forays to the front Courtney Ackerman of Illinois established herself up front and Brooke Wolfe of Prospect moved into the picture.
Ackerman led the field through the mile in 5:27 with Flanagan and Werner in tow. They held a ten yard margin over an undetermined runner, while the chase pact, which had been reduced to about five runners, became a bit strung out as it followed. Soon afterwards the runners encountered the first of the hay bales, which had little bearing on the race. They only change was the fact that the pack began to coalesce once again and by the seven minute mark in the race it had once again reeled in the leaders. It was at this point that Medline Perez, the Illinois State champion, inserted herself into the equation. Also entering the picture was Ashley Erba, the former Indiana State champion, who placed second this year.
With that having been accomplished the leaders ran the 2nd kilo in 3:37, so the paced had indeed slowed a bit. The pack had been reduced to about eight members at that point but they were in control, as they possessed a good fifty to sixty meter margin over any would-be interloper. Ackerman still held sway through the 8:46 mark of the race with Perez, Wolfe, Erba and Caldwell noticeably in tow. They soon reached one of the slight grades on the course (9:49) but the wind was also at their back, which lessened any possible toll. Bobbie Burgess, who had placed third in Indiana & was racing for her team, became a presence at that time too and moved ahead of Erba and into second position. The leaders negotiated the third kilo in 3:30 and they reached the two mile mark in 11:12 with Erba, Ackerman & Perez holding court.
With the race moving into its final phase Erba asserted herself and took the lead around the 12:40 mark and in the next minute forged a ten meter lead over her challengers, as Ackerman was forced to fall back behind Erba. Taylor Werner was still fighting to hold her position and Mary Kate Vaughn moved into contention as well shortly before reaching the next set of nuisance bales. Erba for her part seemed to have no issue at all with them and took advantage of their presence, while the others fell off the pace a bit, although they did not actually struggle while going over them.
At the Indiana state meet Erba was forced to give way to Anna Rohrer, who stormed down the final stretch but on this day it was Erba, who took charge and pulled away down the final straight. She won with a time of 17:38, while Madeline Perez took charge of second by opening up a gap and achieving a final time of 17:46. Taylor Werner, in spite of her early leadership duties, finished well to edge Mary Kate Vaughn, who also was credited with 18:08. Courtney Ackerman followed in fifth with a time of 18:12, which gave her a two second margin over Bobbie Burgess. There was a large gap over the next runner Lauren Wood, who always seemed to be near the main contenders, placed seventh in 18:38. Mimi Smith earned eighth with 18:39 and then Kirsten Olling garnered ninth in 18:40 shortly before Victoria Clinton nipped Mackenzie Caldwell with both being credited with 18:42.
Other finishers of note included Brooke Wolfe (14th – 18:46) and Kaylee Flanagan (16th – 18:55). Tess Wasowicz of Palatine was only a second behind in 17th and Skyler Bollinger finished 20th in 19:01. Carmel runners Kelcy Welch and Gina Genco finished a second apart with the former coming home in 19:02.
The young men’s race took off awhile later and saw Sam Wharton, the Ohio D1 champion, moved into the lead followed closely by Samuel Prakel of Indiana, who had finished second at State. There were some names up there early like Zack McCauley and Joe Arquillo, who I believe is from Ohio, and they gave chase for a time. McCauley actually took the lead prior to the two minute mark in the race and was followed by Arquillo, Heath Warren & Mike Hall. The group then ran past the 1K mark in 2:53 Cory Glines of Ohio moving into contention.
McCauley held about a ten meter lead at the 3:30 mark with two runners, I could not determine, giving chase. McCauley was persistent and held the lead through the 4:49 mark but the pack had regrouped to close back in on the leader with Wharton & Glines leading the way. The second kilometer went slower (3:19) so they rolled through the 2K mark in 6:08 but by that time it was T J Carey, who had placed 2nd in Michigan D2, working at the front. Glines remained close at hand and Indiana champion Connor Sorrels got into the picture at this point.
They announced Sean Pengelly, Michigan runner, had moved to the front but the pack, which remained nearby, was large number as many as twenty runners. At this point no one seemed to have fallen off the pace but it was noted that Samuel Prakel, who had placed 1st in Ohio D3, had moved into contention. Another three minutes later (9:39) Illinois D1 State champion Jack Keelan moved to the front and he was followed by Patrick Perrier of O’ Fallon. They had picked up the pace and Keelan had run the kilo in 3:10 and soon went through the two mile in 9:58.
The race was still up for grabs, when T J Carey picked up the pace and headed the pack. The pack still numbered a good twenty runners with Sam Wharton & Samuel Prakel holding positions two & three but included in the mix Jacob Dumford of Ohio also moved into contention. During the next brief interlude Patrick Perrin moved up only to be removed from the position by Sam Wharton: the D1 champion from Ohio. Down the stretch Alex Riba made a forceful move and the Illinois runner, who had only placed third in his state meet, soon overtook Wharton (13:30) and pushed the pace before pulling away from Wharton to claim victory in 15:30. Wharton followed him two seconds later and T J Carey earned third with 15:33.
Quintin Shaffer of Illinois took fourth in 15:34 edging Jack Keelan, who shared the time. Samuel Prakel of Ohio garnered sixth with 15:37 and Cory Glines crossed the finish line in 15:40. Zach Panning came in 7th with 15:42 and Scott Milling of Kroy, whose team won another trip to Portland, finished 9th in 15:45. Patrick Perrier then took tenth (15:52). Some of those, who gambled early, ended up with really long days but that is the essence of the sport and we’ll not get into the details. Happily the officials running the Midwest are far faster in producing results and unlike in the Northwest the runners and fans did not have to wait long before being informed of the results.
Also held on Sunday, this meet from the so-called Heartland was held in Sioux Falls and featured both Jake Leingang & Maria Hauger, who both qualified for Foot Locker last year. They in both the Portland race as well, which has always served to weaken runners, when they contest for the national championship in San Diego. There is a long litany of runners, who have been compromised in their attempt at Foot Locker, so the logic of their return escapes me. We have never seen and the Sioux Falls Argus did not appear to bother to cover the race, so it is impossible to relate the times to anything. The conditions were quite poor with the temperature dipping in the low twenties and the wind kicking up at over thirty miles per hour.
Leingang wanted the victory and he took off early, so as to make a statement and he did so convincingly over a field of debatable quality. In his case he was also serving as a team member & his Bismarck teammates backed him for the victory in that area as well. Danny Aldaba of Fremont, N D placed second in 15:30 and then two Minnesota runners swept the next spots, as Obsa Ali of Minneapolis followed a second later & Eric Colvin of Stillwater took fourth in 15:32. He edged Ryan Kromer of Wisconsin, who had earned 4th at the Griak meet, garnered fifth with essentially the same time. Connor Olson of Wayzata took sixth in 15:36. The next few places were taken by Matthew Welch (15:37), Kevin Docherty (15:38) and Joe Harter (15:45). Addison Dehaven of South Dakota had an off-day placing only tenth in 15:47. Former Wisconsin champion Chandler Diffee also had one of those days placing only 23rd.
Maria Hauger of Shakopee won the girls’ race handily in 17:33. The four-time Minnesota State champion & winner of the Griak remained undefeated for the season. Clare Flanagan of The Blake School in Minnesota earned second with 17:50 and Iowa’s Stephanie Jenks, the winner of the heartland Classic this fall, took third with 17:58. Anna French of Wayzata was the last runner to break eighteen minutes with her time of 17:59 and Bethany Hasz of Alexandria, Mn. Was fifth with 18:00. Two-time Kansas State champion Alli Cash of Shawnee Mission West absorbed her first loss of the season, as she finished sixth in 18:15. Jenna Truedson (18:21), Danielle Anderson (18:21) Megan Hasz (18:25) and Anna Holdiman (18:25) rounded out the top ten. Emi Trost of Minnesota placed eleventh (18:26) & North Dakota State champion Brittany Brownotter ran 18:36 finishing 13th.
Arizona State champion Bernie Montoya remained undefeated after his romp in 14:48 for 5K. The race was held in Mesa, Arizona. Benjamin Saarel, the Utah State champion, claimed second in 14:52 & Luis Martinez, the New Mexico titlist, came in third with 14:54. It will be interesting to see what Saarel chooses to do, because he has attempted to qualify at Foot locker West without success. Elise Cranny of Colorado was the fastest of the girls with 16:59. She defeated Coloradan Katie Rainsberger, who ran 17:11. Colorado champion Heather Bates finished third in 17:18 & Utah’s Summer Harper followed in 4th. Other runners of note were Arizona champion Sarah Fakler (9th) & Colorado’s Erin Hooker, who rebounded from her 34th place finish at State to finish 11th.
In a reprise of their Texas state meet Robert Domanic and Joe Sansone battled for the most of the race before Hebron’s Domanic pulled away to win with a time of 15:09. Sansone of Carroll came in second with 15:12 and his team mate Nate Sullivan (15:18.1) & Connor Hendrickson (15:18.2) swept the next two places. Ryan Teel of Friendswood made it four Texans in a row with his 15:21 and Cameron Villarreal of Arlington made it six straight Texans with his time of 15:23. Jacob Shiohira, Trevor Gilley of Carroll, Austin Wells and Bradley Dohner rounded out the top ten.
Texas State 5A champion Karis Jochen easily scored in the girls’ race with her time of 17:17. Jochen had finished twelfth last fall in the Foot Locker South Regional topping Sandie Raines of Kingwood, who had come in behind Jochen at the State meet. Madie Boreman of St. Andrews Episcopal garnered third after being nipped at the line by Raines, while Katie Jensen, yet another Texan, followed in fourth with 17:36. Alex Davis of Oklahoma ran 17:38 placing fifth. It was another seven seconds back to Texan Courtney Kriegshauser. Megan Montgomery of Hebron finished seventh in 17:51 and Madi McClellan took 8th in 18:01. Jessica Pricket followed in 18:02 and Arin Rice came in tenth with 18:05. Elena Arriaza of Carroll also ran 18:05 to take eleventh.