Pix and Stories | Donna on the Side: Part
1 Registration - Part 2 Race Day
Boys ROC - Girls
ROC - Seeded Boys - Seeded
Girls - Small School Boys - Small
New venue for Great
$16 million SAS Soccer Park at Cary NC, draws rave reviews. Runners come
up a short hill to finish with a half oval on the stadium grass.
| High School Entries | Schedule
| Prior Years | the
meet's own web site | Directions |
the Colorado Connection
- three of the four major races at the Great American
were won by Denver runners. Denver West soph Mohamed Ige
won the Boys Nike Race of Champions in frontrunning 15:48. Smoky Hill
CO teammates Ryan Deak and Katelyn Kaltenbach
won the seeded invitational races in the fastest times of the day -- Deak
15:26 and Kaltenbach 18:05.
the lead on the opening downhill and never relinquished it. Remembering
his loss to Ryan Deak 2 weeks ago, Ige said, "I wasn't going
to give up the lead this time."
Ryan Deak and
- Each used a lethal kick to win. Deak "threw a
few surges" at Gavin Coombs in the last mile and won comfortably.
Kaltenbach wanted to run smart and not go out too fast, but almost
waited too long. She made up 5 seconds in the last 400 meters
and beat Jennie Barringer in a sprint to the finish by 0.4 second.
claims for Number One ranking by
The Woodlands TX boys and Saratoga NY girls
- lead runner for The Woodlands TX boys.
"The guy that won (Mohamud Ige) went out really hard,
but I knew that we just needed to be patient. We did what
we were supposed to do and we came out on top."
Small School Boys
Small School Girls
- coach of The Woodlands TX boys, winners of
10 Texas state championships and 2 US#1 rankings in his 33 years
of coaching. "This is the strongest team I've ever had."
Recalling last year's loss when his first two runners were DQ'd
for following Bobby Curtis off course, Green said, "We
kind of had a score to settle, not with anybody in particular,
but just with us. You hardly ever hear about that (a DQ) in
a race like this. These guys trained really hard over the summer
because they wanted to come back here and prove they could be
Number One in the nation. When it was announced this year that
we were the pre-season Number One, nobody was giddy about it.
We thought that was a mythical thing. We hadn't done anything
yet to earn it.We peaked for this. Now we are going to kick
back and take some time off and then try to peak again for our
- Coming off a tendonitis injury that knocked her out of the
AOC Raleigh national outdoor meet in June, Blood resumed her
place at the head of the Saratoga NY girls,
who placed their five scorers in the top 22 finishers. "The
injury made me realize how lucky I was. It's healed now, and
I'm back to where I was or even better."
- High School
The best face to face team matchups of the year - 18 high school teams
ranked in The Harrier's
Super 25 - a glittering collection of Foot Locker individual candidates.
Race of Champions - Boys
The Woodlands 99, Denver West soph Mohamud Ige 15:48
Ige led all the way and teammate Aden Ahmed was 5th, but The Woodlands
(3-9-22-25-40) was on a mission to make up for last year. Inner city
Denver West 162 claimed the runner-up plaque jubilantly. Mountain View
UT's Steve Strickland was fourth, but he didn't have enough support
as the defending champs finished third with 187 points.
DyeStat Preview: US#1 The Woodlands TX is favored
and eager to make amends for the course cutting DQ fiasco that cost
them the title last year. Led by senior Brian Sullivan, The Woodlands
routed a strong Texas field including pre-season US#12 Kingwood at the
Texas A&M Invitational last week. Defending Great Am champion and
2002 US#1 Mountain View UT (ranked #4 this year) lies in wait, along
with US#5 Shenendehowa NY. Surprises could come from US#10 Denver West
or US#13 Christian Brothers Academy NJ. US#18 Middletown OH is led by
Jeff See, who broke Alan Webb's sophomore class record in the mile last
Race of Champions - Girls
Nicole Blood 18:09 leads Saratoga NY 63
Saratoga had too much power, placing their top 5 in the top 22 finishers.
Argyle's young squad was a surprising second with 106 points, and Bay
Shore 150 made it a New York sweep on the awards stand. New York also
had the top 5 individual finishers, with Blood followed by Aislinn Ryan,
Warwick Valley 18:19, Laura Cummings, Bay Shore 18:27, Lindsay Ferguson,
Saratoga 18:28, and Emily Fung, Argyle 18:37.
DyeStat Preview: Defending national champion
Saratoga NY, ranked US#2 this year behind Los Alamos NM, guns for its
4th straight Great American title to make a case for top national ranking
again. Saratoga is led by defending ROC champion Nicole Blood, still
only a sophomore in her fourth year on the varsity. If there is a threat
to the deep Saratoga team, it could come from US#6 Mountain View Orem
UT (which has the highest combined boys and girls ranking in the country)
or US#7 Desert Vista Phoenix AZ. Mountain View is led by the "Heidis,"
Heidi Magill (6th in the Foot Locker finals last year) and Heidi Houle.
Desert Vista is led by the Sammons sisters, senior Katie and soph Keara.
South region #9 Sacred Heart Louisville KY has Foot Locker finalist
Maddie Schueler and Kip Hill, daughter of Great American founder Rick
Invitational - Boys
Ryan Deak 15:26,
Kings OH 81
Smoky Hill CO sr Ryan Deak broke open a close race
late to win by 10 seconds over surprising Brentwood Academy TN jr Andrew
Bumbalough. Next in close order were Gavin Coombs
CT 15:40, Victor Gras MA 15:44, Chris Winter
15:44 Jake Morse TX 15:46, Chris Spooner
PA 15:52, and Andy Biladeau FL 15:54.
ranked individuals without a team are slotted into the Seeded Invitational.
Ryan Deak, whose move from Florida to Colorado this year is working
out sensationally so far, is favored. The Smoky Hill Aurora CO senior
was 12th in Foot Locker finals last year, and he has won two early invitationals
in Colorado, breaking Adam Goucher's course record in the big Liberty
Bell Inv by 7 seconds with a 14:59 5k at altitude. The winner could
also come from such tough runners as Andy Biladeau FL, Gavin Coombs
CT, Victor Gras MA, Chris Spooner PA, and Erik Stanley TX. Some top
teams in this race are Danbury CT, New York City #1 Monsignor Farrell,
perennial Rhode Island champion Bishop Hendricken, and the farthest
travelled team of the meet, Argyle of Vancouver Canada.
Invitational - Girls
18:05 (Jennie Barringer 18:06), Pewaukee WI 84
In the most thrilling
finish of the day, Kaltenbach made up a 5-second gap on Barringer on
the last hill, collared Barringer as they entered the stadium, and won
the 200-meter sprint to the finish on the stadium grass. Kaltenbach
and Barringer had the two fastest times of the day. Spring Valley SC
soph Kate Niehaus 18:20 was third and Barnesville OH soph Jenny Morgan
Hill Aurora CO jr Katelyn Kaltenbach rates as the favorite. Katelyn,
whose older sister Megan ran as a freshman for North Carolina in the
college ROC Friday, finished 7th in the Foot Locker finals last year
and has swept early invitationals in Colorado without a challenge. Kaltenbach
is in this race because she is running unattached without her US#4 Smoky
Hill team. Also on hand in a strong field are Sarah Bowman VA, Jessica
Cickay PA, Carmen Mims KY, Jenny Morgan OH, Kate Niehaus SC, Katie Albright
NC, and Lindsey Scherf NY. Team competition is wide open, but watch
out for 2002 Wyoming 3A champion Douglas WY, led by Jenne Dilts, who
won the state championship as a sophomore.
School Boys - LaSalle College PA's fabulous pack
(4-10-12-14-15-16-22) overcomes Cardinal Gibbons NC's 1-2 punch of Freddy
Torres 15:57 and Nick Sunseri 15:59. All seven
LaSalle runners finished before Gibbons' third.
School Girls - Oak Hall FL 71, Robyn DeBenedet 19:22
FRIDAY - College
Race of Champions Men - Travis Laird 25:33.9 leads
Northern Arizona 112 to repeat victory (Central Michigan
Nike Race of Champions Women - North
Carolina State 45, Shalane Flanagan North Carolina
16:44.6 - Wolfpack's tight pack (5-6-8-11-15) overcomes Tar Heels' 1-3-4
University Women - North Florida
97, Jenny Lake, South Carolina St 18:29.9
University Men - Massachusetts-Lowell
55, Terah Kipchiris, Coastal Carolina 26:46.7
Small College Women - Johnson
County 60, Marta Zimon, Milligan 19:53.5
Small College Men - Stonehill
44, Joe Soul, Stonehill 27:44.4
at the Great
1 - Registration Day - left, Sarah
"Vanna White" Bowman of Virginia points out the letters
on the course map. Sarah's also a Julia Roberts look alike.
2 - Race Day
Hill - the
most significant feature of the course to runners is a 400-meter long
inclined plain. It is traversed three times in the 5k configuration
-- downhill at the start, a speed trap for the unwary, and uphill
the second and third miles, a severe strength test.
downhill from the start
the woods at bottom of the hill
Nike Race of Champions
There are 30 races, but the heart of Great American from the start
has been the Nike Race of Chmpions. Before Great American, top national
teams rarely ran against each other. Marc Bloom provided national rankings
in The Harrier magazine, but there were very few face to face tests of
team strength. The Nike Race of Champions annually pits 10 or more national
boys and girls team powers in an early season matchup.
New owners and a new venue mark the 5th running of the Great American
Cross Country Festival. Since Rick Hill launched the Festival in Charlotte
in 1999, it has been a unique event that lives up to the name festival.
It is now a fixture on the high school and college cross country calendar.
The new owners, National Scholastic Sports Foundation, promise to use
their long experience of running national indoor and outdoor meets to
make GACCF bigger and better than ever. NSSF is grooming the SAS Soccer
Park to overcome the problems of previous venues and become a permanent
home for the festival.
High School Entries
High School entries feature many top ranked
national teams and individuals. The ROC has 18 teams ranked in The Harrier's
Super 25 national team rankings List
#2 September 22, headed by US#1 The Woodlands TX boys and US#2 Saratoga
Springs NY girls. Four more teams are ranked in The Harrier's top 10 regional
63 unattached high school runners will compete in the
Great American. The individual runners are entered in the Seeded Invitational
races, except for four girls who will run in the Adult Open race Friday
night. The individual entries include many top ranking runners: Andy Biladeau
FL, Gavin Coombs CT, Ryan Deak CO, Victor Gras MA, Chris Spooner PA, Erik
Stanley TX, Sarah Bowman VA, Jessica Cickay PA, Katelyn Kaltenbach CO,
Carmen Mims KY, Jenny Morgan OH, Katie Niehaus SC, Katie Albright NC,
and Lindsey Scherf NY.
Features - new owners, new site, new procedures
Teams - 400 teams, 4,000 runners, defending NCAA women's champions
Brigham Young and Shalane Flanagan, defending Great Am men's champion
Northern Arizona, defending HS girls champion Saratoga NY and Nicole
Blood, US#1 boys team The Woodlands TX, and defending Great Am boys
champion Mountain View UT. Central Catholic Portland OR, with Galen
Rupp, is a late scratch.
Time Comparisons - stats, stats, stats
- fields include 16 teams who qualified for last year's NCAA championships.
- leading teams in Nike Race of Champions.
|Plenty of room
for team tents
on spacious grounds of the SAS Soccer Park.
at the meet
Josh Rowe, director
of youth running (right),
with Nike runners Kara and Adam Goucher.
- 2002 -
Chris Solinsky and Nicole Blood have fastest times. Saratoga NY girls,
Mountain View UT boys win Race of Champions. Marred by bees, mud, overly
difficult course, and disqualification of first five boys finishers
in the Race of Champions for cutting the course at the Ballantyne Resort
- Saratoga NY girls, Kingwood TX boys win team titles. Alison Tubbs
WA hammers top girls field. Bobby Curtis has fastest boys time. Races
were run at Winthrop Farm Meadows at Rock Hill SC, just across the state
line from Charlotte.
- 2000 - The
year of the great flood. At the starting time Saturday morning, the
start and finish areas were under water. Races were amazingly run after
a 6 hour delay to let the swollen creek at McAlpine Park recede. The
winners were Alan Webb, Alicia Craig, Saratoga NY girls, and Mountain
View UT boys.
- Inaugural Festival was a magic moment at McAlpine Park in Charlotte
with a full Carolina moon overlooking the tent party and dance on Friday
night. On Saturday, race announcer Doug Speck called it "the most
significant day in the history of US high school cross country"
because of the unprecedented showdown of top ranked national teams.
Then, when the Bingham UT girls dominated the Race of Champions, Speck
said it was "the greatest girls cross country team performance
in US history," surpassing the previous standard University Irvine
CA team. An average time of 18:13 for 5000 meters - a 35-point trouncing
of the nation's No. 1 team Saratoga NY. A 2-3-10-11-19 finish - all
five scorers under 19 minutes - the 6th and 7th runners finishing 28
and 33. Felicia Guliford NM won the girls ROC, followed by Bingham's
Zeigle twins. Alan Webb VA and The Woodlands TX were the boys ROC winners.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
1 Small College Women 5K 2:15 pm
2 Small College Men 8K 2:45 pm
3 University Women, Seeded 5K 3:15 pm
4 University Men, Seeded 8K 3:40 pm
5 Nike Race of Champs, Univ. Women 5K 4:15 pm
6 Nike Race of Champs, Univ. Men 8K 4:40 pm
7 Univ “B”, Open & Club Women 5K 5:15 pm
8 Univ “B”, Open & Club Men 8K 5:40 pm
9 Corporate Challenge, Men + Women 3K 6:15 pm
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
10 Community Fun Run 2K 7:30 am
11 Small School Champ, Boys 5K 7:55 am
12 Small School Champ, Girls 5K 8:20 am
13 Nike Race of Champions, Boys 5K 9:00 am
14 Nike Race of Champions, Girls 5K 9:25 am
15 Invitational Boys, Seeded 5K 9:50 am
16 Invitational Girls, Seeded 5K 10:15 am
17 Invitational Boys, Red 5K 10:40 am
18 Invitational Boys, White 5K 11:05 am
19 Invitational Boys, Blue 5K 11:30 am
20 Invitational Girls, Red 5K 11:55 am
21 Invitational Girls, White 5K 12:20 pm
22 Invitational Girls, Section Blue 5K 12:45 pm
23 JV Boys, Section I 5K 1:10 pm
24 JV Boys, Section II 5K 1:35 pm
25 JV Girls, Section I 5K 2:00 pm
26 JV Girls, Section II 5K 2:25 pm
27 Special Scholastic Boys 5K 2:50 pm
28 Special Scholastic Girls 5K 3:15 pm
29 Elementary School 2K 3:40 pm
30 Middle School Boys & Girls 3K 4:00 pm
SAS Soccer Park, Cary, NC
From Raleigh Durham International Airport and from the West: Exit the
airport and take I-40 Eastbound. Exit at exit #290. Take right at the
end of the ramp. Go 100 yards to first traffic light, make left turn.
Go ¼ miles; street ends on Chapel Hill Road. Park is directly across
the street. Make right, go 50 yards, and make left into the Park.
From East: Take I-40 to Exit #290. Make right at end of the ramp to first
traffic light. Follow directions above to the Park
Admission to the course, Soccer Park and event is FREE to everyone.
Each team will be giving a parking pass at registration. It must be displayed
at all times. For all other cars there will be a $10.00 per day parking