One of the strengths this fall for young prodigy Anna Rohrer has been her growing ability and commitment to be prepared for anything in a race and readiness to make adjustments on the fly. (Photo by Don Rich)
Twelve months ago, St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) junior Edward Cheserek was bound for San Diego atop a towering wave of momentum that would dwarf any surfers’ swells from the nearby Pacific Ocean. Coming into the Foot Locker Finals, he had smashed seven course records during a season for the ages, including becoming the first under 12:00 at Van Cortlandt (Eastern States), taking down Joe Rosa’s Holmdel Park record in Jersey, and a host of others. (Photo by Don Rich)
Rohrer decimating the competition at the Midwest Regional. Will her talent be enough to win the prestigious Foot Locker crown? (Photo by Kane Baker)
The girls of Fayetteville-Manlius (N.Y.), known as Manlius XC here, came into Saturday’s Nike Cross Nationals girls’ championship race in Portland with six consecutive titles under their belt. Yet, there were questions. F-M had, at the Eastern States Championships in October, been beaten for the first time in any meet in six years (by Tatnall DE) – though F-M had been without its #1 Jillian Fanning. Would they finally relinquish the NXN crown? Who would beat them?
The Nike Cross Nationals finally crowned its first two-time boys’ national champion Saturday. But it wasn’t those 2011 titlists that had ruled in record fashion all fall long – from North Carolina to New York – and had been favored, despite nearly stumbling last weekend in their regional. (Photo by Patty Morgan)
It’s fascinating how the history of Nike Cross Nationals has evolved in terms of comparing the girls’ and boys’ championships. With the girls, you had a program in Fayetteville-Manlius which has won six titles in a row -- not to mention another in the same state, Saratoga Springs, which has claimed three consecutive runner-up finishes. For the boys, however, there has not only never been a repeat champion, but no club has won two titles overall in the 8-year history of the event. Eight different NXN boys’ championships, eight different winners.
If you see Nick Ryan going out hard Saturday during the Nike Cross Nationals Boys Championship race at Portland Meadows, perhaps grabbing a sizable lead in the first mile, you best not let him go this time.
They are questions you’ve posed and heard regarding the Nike Cross Nationals girls’ team title every year since 2007. Why? Well, because until the answers change, what other questions are there to ask? Can the Fayetteville-Manlius (Manlius, N.Y.) girls (known here as Manlius XC) win again? And if not, who can beat them? (Photo by Pat Bendzick)
If you’ve watched US#1 Sarah Baxter destroy hallowed course records of Amber Trotter at Mt. SAC and Julia Stamps at Woodward Park during this epic 2012 fall campaign, you might have said, “Wow, she looks like she could be running with the boys.” (File photo by Pat Bendzick)
Nearly two miles in, the Foot Locker Midwest boys’ championship race Saturday in Kenosha was looking an awful lot like the girls’ affair that had preceded it. No, Michigan’s Nick Raymond isn’t a sophomore, like girls’ champion Anna Rohrer, and this wasn’t his first FL MW (he was 33rd last year). (Photo by Kane Baker)
One year ago, Anna Rohrer (left) was recovering from a broken foot after a freshman season that included a 19:17 in her only race. Frosh Werner (in white) finished 2nd. (Photo by Kane Baker)
The Foot Locker Midwest boys’ championship race can’t quite match the front-end, national championship-level firepower of the girls’ race. Still, there’s a big handful of 2011 Finals returnees, aspiring national championship doublers and talented state champions that will be present Saturday.
It’s an easy one – the clash of the “Big Four” (see analysis below) Michigan stars Erin Finn and Julia Bos, and Indiana standouts Anna Rohrer, and Ashley Erba should be the most exciting individual war for any of the Foot Locker or NXN regional races this season and there are several reasons why...
TERRE HAUTE – Nike Cross National regional titles are often won well beyond the leaders and deep in the packs following. On a day that was dry and mild, but with ferocious 25-30 mph winds, the 2012 NXN Midwest Championships – for the most part – were no exception. (Photo by Ken Moreland)
Steve Underwood previews the action from the Midwest regional in the Nike Cross series! Kroy (York IL) could qualify for their 9th National! (2011 File Photo by Paul Everett)
BROOKLYN, Mich. – As the field at Michigan International Speedway Saturday made the big turn after the long starting straightaway, turning to cross the actual speedway about 500 meters in, Grosse Pointe South teammates Hannah Meier and Kelsie Schwartz led the field by 10-15 meters, while Erin Finn was tucked back quietly in a group behind them. Knowing that Finn was still on the road to recovery from an iron deficiency, one could hardly keep from wondering if she was up to defending her 2011 MHSAA Lower Peninsula State Finals Division 1 girls’ crown.
Highland-Milford’s boys cross country team is never far from the top. As Coach Brian Salyers likes to point out, his squad has placed in the top ten in the MHSAA Lower Peninsula State Finals Division 1 race during 15 of the past 16 years. In 2003-2004, they won back-to-back titles.
BROOKLYN – In the end, the Division 1, 2 and 3 boys’ races at Saturday’s MHSAA Lower Peninsula State Finals at Michigan International Speedway would all have winners running between 15:04 and 15:07.
Julia Bos would have loved a big personal best to close out her in-state cross country career. She had to settle, instead, for merely a very dominant repeat victory in Saturday’s MHSAA Lower Peninsula Finals Division 2 race at Michigan International Speedway.
BROOKLYN – Jackson Lumen Christi’s boys coach David Miller laughed as a reporter asks him how many state titles he and his powerful boys have won now, during the Division 3 awards ceremony at the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Finals Saturday at MIS. It’s clear he’s been asked that a lot.
BROOKLYN, Mich. – Breckenridge junior Kirsten Olling wanted to make sure no one had any designs on taking her title away from her at Saturday’s MHSAA Lower Peninsula Final Girls Division 4 race at Michigan International Speedway.
BROOKLYN, Mich – There were the Kyle Stack-led champs of 2009. Then came the titlists of 2011, headed up by Spencer Nousain. Now, in 2012, a sophomore has led them, with Jesse Hersha’s 15:32.3 ruling over the field by more than 20 seconds in Saturday’s MHSAA Lower Peninsula Final Boys Division 4 at Michigan International Speedway.
BROOKLYN, Mich – “I’m back!” said a delighted Erin Finn after her MHSAA Lower Peninsula Finals Division 1 title defense – and after she overpowered the field the way she did Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, who could say otherwise? (Seaholm photo by Pat Davey, runmichigan.com)