Foot Locker Cross Country
Nov 25 - Dec 9, 2006

a DyeStat featured meet

Foot Locker finals index -

Gallery of Finalists - South girls

text by Steve Underwood, photos by PhotoRun

(Explanation of Win/Place/Show section:  As an extra feature, the “Win/Place/Show” section predicts where each finalist can reasonably aspire to finish, with “Win” meaning going for victory, “Place” meaning top 5 or 10, and “Show” meaning top 15-20.  Although only half of the runners will finish in the top 20, it is reasonable to say that’s what each athlete hopes to do, at the very least (no one “wants” to finish in the bottom half), and can do if they have a great day.)

1. Aurora Scott
2008, Chesapeake VA - Oaktree Academy (home schooled)

Overview:  Few runners have been a bigger mystery in the sport than Aurora.  As being homeschooled keeps her out of the mainstream prep scene, she shows up when she’s ready to race at select road races and sometimes college/open CC meets.  This fall, she made every appearance a spectacular one, whether it was 5ks or half-marathons.  But it was obviously the devastating performance at McAlpine two weeks ago that has made her the favorite to unseat Jordan Hasay as national champ:  16:25 to beat Great American champ Kathy Kroeger and beat Erin Keogh’s 20-year-old mark at McAlpine.  Aurora is a very, very special talent.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  1st FL South 16:25, 1st VA AAU state 17:14, 6th Lou Onesty Inv 17:59 (vs. collegians), 1st Gov’s Land Run 16:37 (road), 1st East Coach Surf Champ 17:08 (road), 1st (age group) Rock N Roll half-marathon 1:18:15,
2006 Track:  AAU state 1st 4:52.76 (1500)/1st 10:25.55 (3k)
2005 CC:  9th FL Finals 17:49, 3rd FL South 17:15, 13th Great American Univ. ROC 17:36, 1st Jingle Bell 16:55 (road), 1st Norfolk St. 17:32, 1st Fork Union 16:47 (3M)
2005 Track:  1st (Freshmen) NON 4:54.08y, 3rd JO Int. 4:32.10 (1500), 2nd USATF Reg. 9:45.32 (3k), 1st 3A State 10:50.83
2004 CC:  26th FLN 18:51, 7th FLS 17:43

Win/Place/Show:  WIN – The emergence of Scott (and Kroeger) as challengers to Jordan Hasay’s reign as prep XC queen has brought tremendous excitement to the girls race.  Without the pressure of competing against top preps most of the year, Scott seems unflappable when she does, just focused on what she can do and needs to do.  “Rankings don’t mean anything,” she told Brandon Miles.  And, “I am going out there to win it.”  Gulp!  She was solid here last year, but is obviously much improved … and she doesn’t seem the type to come mentally unraveled.  If she’s healthy and runs her race, she could be the new champ, and certainly in the top 3-4.

2. Kathy Kroeger
2009, Franklin TN - Independence HS

Overview:  The e-mail came shortly after the preseason ranking of Kroeger, which showed just a modest uptick from where she was last year (after graduations).  It warned the reader to watch out, that Kroeger was hungry and vastly improved.  How right it was.  By Great American, the world knew that she was not just one of the best 2-3 runners in the country this year, but one of the best, period, in recent years.  While she did not face significant competition again until FL South, her times and victory margins were incredible – including a state meet 16:59 that was less than a minute behind the best boy in the meet.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  2nd FL South 16:32, 1st Great American 17:29, 1st 3A state 16:59, 1st Reg. 6-AA 17:09, 1st Metro 17:06, 1st District 11 17:28, 1st Tenn Classic 17:49
2006 Track:  10:33.02 1st Region, 3A State 4:51.93-1st/10:42.48-1st,
2005 CC:  16th FL Finals 17:57, 4th FL South 17:16, 1st 3A State 17:31 (3M), 1st Region 17:51 (3M), 1st Metro Champs 17:59 (3M)

Win/Place/Show:  WIN – Obviously, Kroeger will go for the win.  Last year, she did not do as well at Balboa as she did in FL South, but that was probably more just an off day than the course.  While Kroeger was obviously trying to stay with Scott at FL South, she also had a bit of a “I just need to qualify” thing going on, leading one to believe she might not have been quite all out.  She has done well on tougher courses and she will be ready, but having an aggressive attitude to win, like Scott and Hasay surely will, would help.

3. Emilie Amaro
2008, Cooper City FL - Cypress Bay HS

Overview:  Emilie has run awfully well in the shadow in Ashley Brasovan in FL 4A, but doesn’t need to this week.  While the top two ran away, Amaro was a very strong 3rd at FL South, a minute faster than last year.  She ran well all year, including 3rd at Great American and 3rd at (her only loss to Hale).

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  3rd FL South 17:15, 3rd Great American ROC 18:24, 2nd 4A state 17:14, 3rd 17:40, 1st District 6 16:52, 2nd Region 3 17:56, 1st Spanish River 17:20, 1st BCAA 17:42, 1st Taravella 17:05,
2006 Track:  4th NIN 10:47.55y (1st Sect2), 18th NON 10:51.36y (1st Sect1), 4A State 2nd-5:01.68/2nd-10:57.39, Region3 4:56.91-2nd/10:59.82-1st,
2005 CC:  32nd FL South 18:15, 2nd 4A State 18:29, 3rd Inv. 17:37,

Win/Place/Show:  PLACE/SHOW – Like more than 30 other runners, Amaro will have trouble breaking into the top 10 because there’s 6-7 girls who are so good that they may be in their own race.  Amaro’s FL South time was good enough to win many years.  If she runs fantastic, top 10 is not impossible, but top 15 is probably the most reasonable goal.

4. Jillian Rosen
2008, Dallas TX - Richardson HS

Overview:  After running in the low 4:50s last spring, Rosen had a chance to establish herself as the best in Texas and make a Foot Locker team and that’s exactly what she did.  She went unbeaten in the Lone Star State, with victories at several invites, including a PR 10:42 and win over Samantha Means at Marcus II. She capped it off with a 10:48 to win 5A state with the best time of the day.  She didn’t seem to have trouble adjusting to the longer distance at FL South after racing two miles most of the year.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  4th FL South 17:15, 1st 5A state 10:48 (2M), 1st Marcus II 10:42 (2M),
2006 Track:  2nd 5A state 4:53.54,
2005 CC:  26th FL South 18:00, 7th 5A state 11:07,

Win/Place/Show:  PLACE/SHOW – Like Amaro and most of the other girls in the country, they will likely wind up in a race that does not include the top six or seven runners.  Getting in the top ten will be tougher than ever, and anyone who can make top 15 will be doing darn well.

5. Cory McGee
2010, Pass Christian MS High School

Overview:  McGee is obviously one of the great young talents in the sport.  Last year, as an 8th-grader she finished 7th in the seeded FL South race only to find out she was DQ’d because of her age.  To her credit, she came right back this year.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  5th FL South 17:19, 10th Great American ROC 19:14 (12th overall), 1st 4A State 14:13
2006 Track:  1st NSIC 4:49.32y, 4A State 2:20.27-1st/5:20.82-1st/11:58.00-1st, 2nd Mobile MOC 2:14.07,
2005 CC:  “7th” FL South 17:19 (not elig. for FL Finals), 1st 4A State 14:53,

Win/Place/Show:  PLACE/SHOW – The biggest challenge for McGee may be not taking it out too fast.  It will be tempting to go out with the leaders, who will be headed for sub-17 in all likelihood.  McGee is not at that level yet.  If she runs smart, top 15 is reasonable for a goal, maybe top 10.

6. Kayla Hale
2009, Indialantic FL - Holy Trinity Episcopal HS

Overview:  Like Amaro, Hale would be the top runner in many states without an Ashley Brasovan, but here at Balboa the two of them will be representing Fla. and doing it well.  Hale had a great improved year in 1A, easily winning state in 17:32 (3rd best time of day), and scored a big 2nd (beating Amaro) at  She was also 4th at Great American ROC, losing only to Kroeger, Brasovan, and Amaro.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  6th FL South 17:19, 4th Great American ROC 18:38, 1st 1A state 17:32, 2nd 17:15, 1st Carrollton (Ga.) 18:13, 1st Gator 17:48, 1st Holy Trinity 17:46, 1st District 4 17:32, 1st Region 2 17:32,
2006 Track:  1A State 2nd-5:04.97/1st-11:00.32, 2nd Holy Trinity 10:39.9, 3rd Royal Palm Beach 10:54.44, 1st Tampa DistCarn 5:02.96,
2005 CC:  24th FL South 17:58, 1st 1A State 18:30, 2nd Holy Trinity Classic 18:10, 6th Inv. 18:27,

Win/Place/Show:  PLACE/SHOW – The race within a race will probably be for places 8th or so through the finish.  Other than Great American, Hale doesn’t yet really have experience at this level, but could finish top 10-15 with a great effort.



7. Samantha Means
2007, McKinney TX - McKinney North HS

Overview:  Means and Rosen were generally considered the top two TX runners coming into this fall and, like Jillian, Samantha did her part to hold that up.  She won Texas A&M, Plano, lost only to Rosen at Marcus II, and capped things off by winning 4A state with the 2nd best time of the meet.  With the great experience of getting 14th at McAlpine last year, she moved up the places she needed to earn her ticket.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  7th FL South 17:21, 1st 4A state 10:54 (2M), 1st TX A&M 18:19, 1st Frisco 17:49, 1st Plano 11:09 (2M), 1st Rick Neill 11:03 (2M), 1st District 9 11:18 (2M),
2006 Track:  4A State 10:38.45-2nd/5:11.43-3rd, 1st TX Relays 10:47.48, 4th Jesuit Sheaner 5:03.96,
2005 CC:  14th FL South 17:43, 3rd 4A State 11:29,

Win/Place/Show:  SHOW – Top 15 or 20 would be a good goal for Means, given where she finished at her region and the power of the top runners of each region.

8. Rita Jorgensen
2007, Memphis TN - White Station HS

Overview:  Because Kathy Kroeger’s dominance of TN was so dramatic, it was easy to forget the Volunteer still had two other pretty good runners.  Hel-LO, Rita was 17th at FL South last year in 17:46 … so should anyone have really been surprised she was ready to battle for a top 10 spot?  She won the Memphis Twilight and Frank Horton meets this fall, as well as the seeded race at Great American, which made her an impressive 7th overall as only six from the ROC beat her.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  8th FL South 17:23, 2nd 3A state 18:05, 1st Great American 19:00 (seeded; 7th overall), 1st Memphis Twilight 17:41, 1st Frank Horton 18:44
2006 Track:  3A State 4th-4:53.74/4th-11:10.13/2nd-2:13.24, 2nd Mobile MOC 4:59.18y, Section4 10:57.50-2nd/5:02.50-2nd,
2005 CC:  17th FL South 17:46, DNC(?) 4A State, 2nd Region8 17:48 (3M),

Win/Place/Show:  SHOW – The quality and depth of the field will make it prudent for Jorgensen to do like most others in her position as a #8 qualifier and go for the top-half.

9. Virginia Hine
2008, Memphis TN - White Station HS

Overview:  That Hine was a talented runner has been obvious for awhile, especially when she ran 4:53/2:13 last spring.  This fall, however, she seemed to be often low on fuel and not finishing high in the money.  At state, she was 3rd, still not at her level.  But an increase in protein in her diet produced magical results and she was there at FL South to join her teammate in a dream-come-true qualifying effort for both.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  9th FL South 17:24, 3rd 3A state 18:52, 5th Great American 20:29 (seeded; 50th overall), 4th Memphis Twilight 18:25, 2nd Frank Horton 19:04,
2006 Track:  3A State 1st-2:13.24/3rd-4:53.65/3rd-11:06.48,
2005 CC:  27th FL South 18:04, 4th 3A state 19:16 (3M),
2005 Track:  5:04.71/11:02.60

Win/Place/Show:  SHOW – Hine would do well to follow her teammate and go for a finish in the top half of the field.

10. Kinsey Farren
2007, Dallas TX - Bishop Lynch HS

Overview:  Farren passed a lot of girls who beat her last year to go from 39th to 10th at FL South as a senior.  She won her 2nd straight TAPPS (private schools) championship this fall.  She went unbeaten in Texas, except for Plano where she was 2nd only to Means.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  10th FL South 17:28, 1st TAPPS 6A state 11:24 (2M), 2nd Plano 11:34 (2M), 1st The Sting 11:16 (2M), 1st Baylor 11:43 (2M), 1st Dell Cothran 11:12
2006 Track:  TAPPS 1st-5:05.29/1st-10:51.64, Texas Relays 3rd-10:49.57/5th-5:00.70,
2005 CC:  39th FL South 18:26, 1st TAPPS 11:45 (2M),

Win/Place/Show:  SHOW – Like most of the final qualifiers, Kinsey’s best goal will be to try and get in the top half.


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