Gallery of Finalists - South Girls
Text/Stats by Steve Underwood, Track PRs by Mike Kennedy and footlockercc.com, 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. Obviously, only half of the runners will finish in the top 20, but 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. KATHY KROEGER
2009, Franklin TN – Independence HS
Overview: Defending champ Kroeger’s not all the way back yet, but winning the South title (her first, actually; she was 2nd last year before winning in SD) was another big step back in the right direction. She has progressed steadily since she started running again in September and her successes include a runner-up finish at Great American and her third state title.
2007 XC: 1st FL South 16:56, 2nd Great American 17:48, 1st TN State 17:57
2006 XC: 1st FL Finals 17:29, 2nd FL South 16:32, 1st Great American 17:29, 1st TN State 16:59
2007 Track PRs – (2006) 4:49.0 1600, 10:33.02 3200
Win/Place/Show: WIN/PLACE –.As good as she is, it’s very difficult to imagine Kroeger beating Hasay or Durkin right now. But with two years of experience on this course and a growing reservoir of racing savvy, that’s not to say it couldn’t be done. It’s also hard to imagine her out of the top five or so. Third or fourth are good spots if she runs smart and steady.
2. KAYLA HALE
2009, Indialantic FL – Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy
Overview: There was little question that Hale, a three-time Florida 1A champ, was a strong bet to get back to the Foot Locker Finals when she toed the line at McAlpine. But did anyone expect her to get within a step of winning, beating fellow Floridians Ashley Brasovan and Emilie Amaro, whom she hadn’t beaten during the season? The highlight of a strong 3-year career and evidence of her ability to peak.
2007 XC: 2nd FL South 16:56, 1st 1A State 17:35, 6th Great American 18:28, 1st Region 17:13, 2nd Southern Stars 17:18
2006 XC: 21st FL Finals 18:39, 6th FL South 17:19, 4th Great American 18:38
2007 Track PRs – 4:57.98 1600, 10:41.31 2M
Win/Place/Show: PLACE/SHOW –.As impressive as Hale was in Charlotte, she still has to prove herself at this level and on this type of course. But if she’s truly hit a new level, she could threaten the top 5.
3. EMILIE AMARO
2008, Ft. Lauderdale FL – Cypress Bay HS
Overview: A true veteran with a Finals appearance and four straight runner-up finishes at her state meet, Amaro showed she might be ready to break out with her 3rd at FL South. Given her experience and last two races, she might be hitting a new peak.
2007 XC: 3rd FL South 16:58, 2nd 4A State 17:12, 3rd Great American 18:00
2006 XC: 13th FL Finals 18:26 FL, 3rd FL South, 17:15, 3rd Great American 18:24
2007 Track PRs – 4:56.91 1600, 10:51.36 2M
Win/Place/Show: PLACE –.It really looks like Amaro is ready to breakthrough from her previous best here and hit new heights. A top 10 looks very attainable and a top 5 could happen if she’s at her very best.
4. BRITTANY KOZIARA
2009, Orlando FL – Boone HS
Overview: In a state already loaded with national-class girls, Koziara has leapt up with drama and style to join Brasovan, Amaro, and Hale. She was darn good in her state meet, but still well of the time of the 4A top two, but she closed almost the entire gap at McAlpine.
2007 XC: 4th FL South 16:59, 3rd 4A State 17:31, 3rd Southern Stars 17:46
2006 XC: 12th 4A State 19:25, 2nd FR/SO race FL South 18:55
2007 Track PRs – 5:10.6 1600, 11:18.21 3200
Win/Place/Show: SHOW –.Koziara has progressed all season, and broke through further at FL South, but to do it again here would be a monumental task for someone with little big-meet experience. A top 15 or better would be super.
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5. AURORA SCOTT
2008, Portsmouth VA – Oaktree Academy HS
Overview: After her super 2006 FL South victory, subsequent FL Finals runner-up, and a short, but sweet indoor season, Scott all but disappeared. The couple races she finally completed in the fall showed decent, but far from super form. But by November, there were also reports of better performances in races where she didn’t record an official finish. At FL South, she was a stronger 5th and revealed that the Juniors later in the winter were her main goal.
2007 XC: 5th FL South 17:03
2006 XC: 2nd FL Finals 17:36, 1st FL SE 16:26
2007 Track PRs – 10:29.12 3200 (indoor), 4:32.10 (1500, 2005)
Win/Place/Show: PLACE –.Who knows what Aurora has in her arsenal right now? It doesn’t look like she’s ready to contend for the win here, but she still looks like a top 10 candidate and maybe top 3 or 4 if she’s really inspired to go after Kroeger.
6. ASHLEY BRASOVAN
2009, Wellington FL – Wellington HS
Overview: By the time she crossed the line at Great American in a record 17:05, Brasovan positively looked like the girl to beat in the USA. But her performances at the state meet (winning by a lesser margin) and FL South (6th) have created doubts. Still, qualifying for the Finals at all had been her Achilles heel for two years and she overcame that, stating for the record that qualifying was her only goal anyway.
2007 XC: 6th FL South 17:07, 1st 4A State 17:04, 1st Great American 17:05, 1st Southern Stars 16:43
2006 XC: 19th FL South 18:01, 1st 4A State, 2nd Great American 17:49
2007 Track PRs – 4:55.97 1600, 10:13.45 3200 (also 1st NIN 2M 10:25.41, 4th NON 2M 10:27.09)
Win/Place/Show: PLACE/SHOW –.The luster of Brasovan’s early-season fireworks seems to have worn off, but only she knows if she’s ready to go with the leaders and put on another Great American type of show. Maybe now that she’s here, the pressure will be off and she can fly again. The course will be tough for her, though. A finish around 10th seems most likely at this point.
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7. CHELSEY SVEINSSON
2011, Dallas TX – Greenhill HS
Overview: A private school 9th-grader pretty much unknown outside of Texas, but with a few major wins to her credit. Has good 800 and 1500 speed
2007 XC: 7th FL South 17:22, 1st Marcus I (2M) 11:30
2007 Track PRs – 2:11.98 800, 4:33.88 1500
Win/Place/Show: SHOW –.Will likely be over her head here, but clearly being a goal-driven, motivated athlete, look for her elevator ride toward the top to be rapid – but just not quite this soon.
8. CORY MCGEE
2010, Pass Christian MS – Pass Christian HS
Overview: McGee overcame an early-season illness to dominate her state again. Although she truly seems to be a miler, she finished in the top eight again at McAlpine (3rd year in a row if you include unofficial finish in 8th grade), though well off the lead group.
2007 XC: 8th FL South 17:29, 1st 3A State 14:02
2006 XC: 15th FL Finals 18:33, 5th FL South 17:19, 10th Great American 19:14
2007 Track PRs – 2:14.23 800, 4:48.07 mile, 10:39.57 3200
Win/Place/Show: SHOW –.Though McGee is probably a better runner than last year and will prove it in track, it will be very tough to improve on her 15th from last year at this point.
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9. LAUREN SMITH
2009, Lake Jackson TX – Brazoswood HS
Overview: Her steady progress put her at the top of Texas at the end of the year, then she moved up nicely to 5k to get the next-to-last spot.
2007 XC: 9th FL South 17:32, 1st 5A State 11:15 (2M)
2006 XC: 2nd 5A State 10:57 (2M)
2007 Track PRs – 10:15.19 3000, 11:04.75 3200
Win/Place/Show: SHOW –.Competition is a huge step up here … will have to run very smart and hard to get in top 15 or 20.
10. KATHLEEN LAUTZENHEISER
2010, Midlothian VA – Midlothian HS
Overview: Deciding to go the Foot Locker route instead of NTN produced results for the leading Midlo runners as they qualified Lautenheiser and two boys to the Finals. Kat had led her state pretty much all season.
2007 XC: 10th FL South 17:35, 1st 3A State 17:57, 1st Maymont 18:41, 8th Eastern States 14:34 (2.5M)
2006 XC: 22nd NTN 20:21
2007 Track PRs – 4:59.46 1600, 11:00.23 3200
Win/Place/Show: SHOW –.This will be a big step up for the talented, young runner. Will be a big challenge to get in top half of field. Eastern States and NTN (06) experience is valuable, though.
FL Finals Index