While school may have been on break, New York's high school athletes were certainly not. The week has seen some of the best early season times ever, as well as hosted some major meets in and around the state.
Wow, I can’t believe that Cross-Country season is over! It has been such a long journey and I could not imagine a better way to end it. This past month I have been struggling and trying to fight off sickness; at CIF finals I caught a cold which then turned into bronchitis by Thanksgiving and was at it’s worst right before the State Meet. Unfortunately I got sick at the absolute worst time, but I can’t do anything about it; it happens.
Neely Spence to Begin Quest For Olympic Dream. Spence was an eight-time NCAA Division II national champion at Shippensburg. (2011 USATF 5K Champs - Photo by Don Rich)
In this second episode of The Fit Runner our host is Tara Gidus, aka the "Diet Diva" and nutritionist to the Orlando Magic. She gives us some solid meal and hydration ideas for before, after, and during a run. This is the latest episode in our series on being a fit runner.
Check out Matt McClintock's blog from Footlocker Nationals. Matt recaps his 4 day experience.
North Shore (NY) girls blasted an 18:50.91 clocking for 4x1500 meters to set the National Record for that relay. A big early season WOW! (Photo by Kyle Brazeil)
If you have ever had the pleasure of meeting any of the track and field greats you will notice that they all exhibit one common trait; a compulsive desire to be successful. The same can be said about the greats of any industry, but in sports it plays-out in the public eye.
Grace Tinkey, a 3-time Foot Locker finalist from GA, blogs about the amazing 3-day experience known as the Foot Locker XC Championships. Follow along as she gives an inside look as to what these athletes experience over the course of the weekend. (Photo by Victah Sailer, PhotoRun.net)
Cheserek held off a late charge by Zeinasellassie after a back and forth battle nearly the whole way. Seidel was able to make a break with 300 to go after Finn led the race for close to 2.5 miles. Great races all around from all the athletes! (Photo by Don Rich)
It's a good thing that the athletes have so much to distract them on beautiful Coronado Island or else their nerves would surely eat them to bits. Although they will have many great races yet in their potential-packed running careers, to them this seems like the most important race of their lives. And in many ways it is.
Predictions below are made for fun and entertainment purposes. Enjoy and feel free to add comments with your own predictions and words of encouragement for the athletes competing this weekend!
One of Connecticuts' top distance runners Connor Rog talks about his high school career, preparation for Foot Locker Nationals this weekend, and his plans to run collegiately at the University of North Carolina.
The girls race at Foot Locker Nationals is a little more wide open than the boys race, but there are still a handful of girls at the top who will be difficult to beat. The top 3 returners from last year have all had great seasons and have proven they can race well under the pressure at Balboa Park.
The boys race at Foot Locker Nationals has the potential to be a very special event. The course record of 14:36 at Balboa Park has been held by Reuben Reina since 1985. This record is in serious jeopardy as both Edward Cheserek (NJ) and Futsum Zenasellassie (IN) have been consistently under 15 minutes this year. Photos by Victah Sailor/Photorun.net. Center Photo by Don Rich.
Out of nowhere. It's a phrase used on occasion in sports to describe an athlete who puts on a performance that virtually no one expects. And not just a good performance. An extraordinary one. (Photo by Marleen Van den Neste)
The field separated quickly after the “cannon” went off to start the 2011 NXN Championship, with the strong favorites, surging ahead from the crowd of runners behind them. Led by Sam Nadel of North Shore, the pack would include Sarah Baxter (Simi Valley), Haley Pierce (Tatnall), Katie Knight (Northwest), and Jillian Fanning (FM). Nadel took an early lead, reminiscent of Nick Ryan's race strategy from an hour earlier, and ran alone with a 20 meter lead. That lead soon diminished, as a strong group quickly caught up.
Futsum Takes the Title Along With the Course Record; CBA Clinches Title Over Carroll in Close Compet
All eyes were meant to be on Futsum Zeinaselassie. Previews had Zeinaselassie as the odds on favorite to win by a wide margin. That all changed once the gun went off. Nick Ryan of Fayetteville-Manlius took off quickly, as he tends to do during his races in his home state of New York. Ryan's speed found him in the first position after the pack had converged, with about a 50 meter lead ahead of other national caliber athletes; Futsum included.
12/3 WKND: NXN-F-M gets 6th title! Baxter in 17:38! CBA Boys! Futsum 15:03 CR!|Garcia-Fahy @ FL West
Sarah Baxter (CA) won the individual title with a time of 17:38, 3rd fastest on the course. Haley Pierce (DE) was 2nd, Katie Knight (WA) was 3rd and Jillian Fanning (NY) was 4th. Fayetteville-Manlius (NY) set history once again with their 6th straight team victory at NXN. This years squad faced quite a bit of adversity, losing two of their top-5 but still retained their position atop the podium. Saratoga Springs (NY) made them work for it, finishing 2nd by just 24 points with a score of 60 to 84. Tatnall (DE) finished an impressive 3rd with 186 points.
Athletes competing in the Nike Cross Nationals Championship were given the royal treatment at Nike headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Most athletes flew in Wednesday night or Thursday morning, and have since been ushered into a life centered around cross country. The athletes were first picked up at the airport by their own private Nike van. They were taken to the Nike Campus, home of numerous professional athletes sponsored by Nike. The lavish campus pays tribute to past Nike running greats such as Michael Johnson and Steve Prefontaine.
The Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) brings together the best teams in the country and pits them against each other on the most unique course available. Portland Meadows will once again play host to the championship battle and the manufactured course that traverses the interior of a horse racing track will have all the traditional features of European style cross country racing; including plenty of mud.