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Great American 2002

Boys ROC - after the disqualification of five runners, the top 3 were (from L)
Mountain View UT sr Mike Steele, Davidson Hilliard OH sr Alan Burkitt, and Mountain View UT jr Steve Strickland.

Chris Solinsky
1953 Nicole Blood, Amber Harper

Meghan Owen

photos by Mike Leary

Bobby Curtis
Ryder Leary

Saturday: High School
Nicole Blood and Saratoga girls; Meghan Owen;
Chris Solinsky; Mountain View boys
DQ mars Boys Race of Champions

Boys ROC: Apparent winners Bobby Curtis and The Woodlands are DQ'd as first five runners cut the course in the last 800 meters. Mountain View UT 125 moves up to win over Davidson Hilliard OH 134 as The Woodlands loses top 2 runners in DQ fiasco. Even without their two runners scoring, The Woodlands was officially third with 158 points. Mountain View's Mike Steele, 6th across the finish line 1:11 after the first five runners, was declared the winner in 16:51, followed by Alan Burkitt OH 16:53, Steve Strickland, Mountain View 16:55, and Ian Gottesfeld PA 16:56. The Disqualification.
Girls ROC: Nicole Blood 19:02.6 wins side by side duel with Amber Harper 19:03.1 over last half of race and leads Saratoga NY to second straight team title with 100 points, followed by Jenks OK 150, Murietta Valley CA 207, Wyomissing PA 214, and Turpin Cincinnati OH 215. Next individuals were Katy Trotter NJ 19:39, Heidi Magill UT 19:51, Brianna McLeod OK 19:56, Amanda Trotter NJ 19:57, and Carolyn Rauen OH 20:00.
Seeded Boys: Chris Solinsky WI powers to win in 16:05, his slowest time in 2 years, but the fastest today on the soggy, hilly course that had most runners finishing 1-2 minutes slower than usual. Brent Vaughn CO was a strong second in 16:10, followed by Steven Hassen FL 16:22, John Crews VA 16:24. Middletown OH won the team title with 109 points, followed by Denver West CO 140 and Winter Park FL 147.
Seeded Girls: Another course error cost Lindsay Van Alstine the lead in the last mile and Meghan Owen CT swept to the win in 19:41. Van Alstine 19:59, Katelyn Kaltenbach 20:06, Jannell Young PA 20:16. Megan Kaltenbach CO fades to 12th in heat. Davis UT is team winner with 79 points; St. Joseph's OH 91.
Small School Boys: Ryder Leary 16:43 leads Bishop Kenny FL 55 to victory.
Small School Girls: Jennie Stoll 20:25 leads Pewaukee WI 50 to victory over Bishop Kenny FL 122.

Friday: College Championships
Northern Arizona men, Brigham Young women, Shalane Flanagan
Championship Men Results: Northern Arizona pours in 5 of top 11, including 1-2 Henrik Ahnstrom 26:23 8k and Nurani Sheikh 26:28, for a crushing 26 point score. (Georgetown 104, Butler 108, Colorado State 110, NC State 130).
Championship Women Results: North Carolina jr Shalane Flanagan 17:48 5k won with ease but then it was all Brigham Young. The defending NCAA champions placed 4 of the next 6 runners, led by soph Kassi Anderson 17:57 in second, for 50 points. (Arkansas 144, Columbia 155, and NC State 157).
The Course was on everyone's lips after the races. The natural difficulty of uphill, downhill, and sidehill slopes was compounded by wet grass and mud to make it slow going every step of the way. Showers sprinkled the early races and left the course soggy.

The course is run on fairways, rough, and wooded trails through the Balantyne golf course. The start is adjacent to a large hill on one side that will provide a stadium like atmosphere for spectators and on the other side is a beautiful pond. Runners make their way up that fairway and onto another before a short uphill climb of about 20-25 meters. They turn onto a long wooden bridge that stretches over a ravine. Coming off the bridge there is a short 15-20 meter uphill leading runners onto another fairway. From that point runners will glide across a stretch of downhill that runs 600-meters in length across a fairway, into the woods and back out at the one-mile mark. From that point runners run next to a creek at the bottom of a large sloping hill before running across another long wooded bridge. Runners make their way across the bottom of two fairways, crossing one more wooden bridge and then heading up a short 20 meter incline to get to a upper fairway. Runners will have a slight incline for just shy of 100-meters before they descend again down and around a wooded section just across from where they ran at the one-mile point. Runners will loop the wooded section and return to the upper fairway making their way towards a pond where the two mile point is located. Entering the woods again the runners will have a slight uphill that takes them into the woods and out to run along side the pond. Runners will then make their way down a long grassy stretch that brings them back into the main section of the golf course. With less than 800-meters to the finish the runners will run parralell to the finish line for 200 meters. The runners will run up a small hill heading into the woods for the last time. When the runners exit the woods they will run uphill for 200 meters making a horseshoe loop back to the finish area running around the banks of a pond and into a long finish stretch. A large scoreboard will help fans and runners alike to keep track of the finish order as runners cross the line. Flash Results, the best timing group in America, has joined Great American this year to provide second to none results and scoring.

from Meet Director Rick Hill

The organizing committee of The Great American Cross Country Festival is pleased to announce that the 2002 event will be held at the Ballantyne Resort, which located outside of Charlotte, North Carolina and twenty minutes from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

The Festival will open on Friday, September 27 and continue through Saturday evening, September 28, 2002. Great American includes 35 cross-country races, promoted as Nike’s Great Races of America, a Friday night pasta dinner, a wildly successful Saturday night Harrier’s Ball and celebrity athletes.

Ballantyne, a former hunting preserve nestled in the gentle foothills of the southern Piedmont, features an 18-hole golf course designed for championship tournaments and large spectator crowds. The resort also includes four hotels, a convention center, a variety of restaurants, a state of the art spa, an indoor swimming pool, and a full size fitness center.

The 5K and 8K cross-country courses, will weave through wooded sections adjacent to the golf course, over lush grass lawns on the golf course fairways, around lakes and ponds and over ridges with vast panoramic views of the Piedmont.

The Ballantyne Cross Country course will be a challenging, all-grass running surface, not typically seen in the south. One important aspect of Ballantyne is that the course has a controlled access. Entry into the starting and finish areas will be by way of a secured tunnel under a ridge. The start will be in a natural tree lined amphitheater adjacent to a very large and steep hill, which is terraced to hold several thousand spectators. The finish is along a lake framed by hills for excellent spectator viewing. Spectators will be controlled by stone walls, creeks and footbridges. However, almost the entire race will be visible from several strategic viewing points.

The 2002 event projects 5000 runners from 40 states, Canada, Great Britain and Mexico to compete in one of 35 races. The event has grown from 1800 runners in 1999 to approximately 4600 runners in 2001. However, the event will focus more on elite level competition in the coming years and meet organizers will restrict growth through a number of standards and qualification requirements.

The Friday evening races will include elementary and middle school races, collegiate races and an Open race for post collegiate runners with an Adult Club Championship. The Saturday High School races will include the highly competitive Race of Champions, an Invitational Division, Small School Challenge and Parochial School Race. To maximize competition, the Open High School race held the past three years has been eliminated and now all teams in the Invitational will compete against each other in combined scoring of several sections.

Great American’s 2002 date is one week later than in previous years and falls within in the period in which teams can earn points for at large bids to the NCAA Championship.


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