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UW-Parkside, Kenosha WI
Nov. 24, 2007

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Girls Clair Durkin's a senior "rookie" but she's the pick
Boys Chris Derrick favored in middle of 6-week run

by Steve Underwood, DyeStat News Editor

Foot Locker MW Girls


1. Claire Durkin OH
2. Katie Flood IA
3. Emily Infeld OH
4. Stephanie Morgan OH
5. Emily Sisson NE
6. Kristin Sutherland IL
7. Alex Banfich IN
8. Ashlie Decker IA
9. Laura Hughes MN
10. Ashley Beutler WI

Brooklyne Ridder OH, Nicole Bensen IL, Caitlin Comfort IL (if she runs), Shannon Osika MI, Sloan Secord MI, Laura Roxberg KS, Lindsay Anderson ND, Elizabeth Hynes IL

Emily Sisson NE, 1st
(Kaitie Vanatta CO, 2nd, but not entered)
Emily Infeld OH, 3rd
Alex Banfich IN, 10th

Caitlin Comfort IL (not yet registered)
Kaitie Vanatta CO (2nd last year, injury at NTN SW)


An Ohio runner who’s a senior is at least the co-favorite in Saturday’s race … and she’s never run an XC or track post-season event before.

Well, that’s unless you include last weekend, where Claire Durkin ran on the Ohio team at the Mideast Meet of Champions and won by 44 seconds, smashing the course record.

This weekend, Durkin’s national coming out party continues and probably only Iowa’s Katie Flood is in the way of another big meet triumph. Don’t get it wrong … Flood is quite possibly the best runner in the region and has already proven herself with big wins at Griak and NTN Heartland. But Flood’s racecard is tougher with both the NTN and Foot Locker races, and if she’s smart, she might run just to qualify this weekend. She’s got plenty of work left in Portland and San Diego, assuming she makes it.

That Durkin is even Ohio’s best runner this year is quite the accomplishment, considering she shares that state with last year’s #3 here, Emily Infeld, as well as NON mile champ Stephanie Morgan. Neither was as fast (in separate races) at Ohio’s state meet. Infeld has not faced a top runner this fall, but has enough national experience that it should not be an issue. Morgan, on the other hand, got vital experience at Great American (5th behind the South’s best) and that should help her a lot here.

More returnees

The other three returnees, along with Infeld, include two big question marks and one not registered. Actually, defending champ Emily Sisson isn’t a question mark so much as just someone who hasn’t quite returned to the spectacular level she was at last year, when she won here and was 3rd in San Diego. She has won all but 2 races, but those were decisive losses to Katie Flood. Still, Sisson always runs her best at the very end of the season.

As for FL MW runner-up and FL Finals 4th placer from 06, Kaitie Vanatta CO, she aggravated an injury warming up at NTN SW last week and is not entered. Had she not been hurt, it’s likely she would have focused on NTN anyway. Meanwhile, Alex Banfich’s bid to get a 3rd Foot Locker Finals bid is in jeopardy. The Indiana 3-time state champ struggled with the flu and finished 18th at the Mideast Meet of Champs last weekend. She doesn’t have to be 100 percent to make it to San Diego, but reasonably close.

Illinois has a trio of athletes that could all qualify, if they’re up to par and running. Caitlin Comfort and Kristin Sutherland were solid all season at the top. Comfort was 2nd at 2A state and in the Mideast meet, but is not yet registered here. Sutherland was the 3A state champ. Nicole Benson surprised some by beating Comfort at state, but is not as consistent as the other two.

Other strong top ten bets are Flood’s teammate Ashlie Decker and Laura Hughes MN, who were 3-4 in the NTN Heartland race, and homestate favorite Ashley Beutler WI. Michigan’s hopes are led by freshman Shannon Osika.

1 5 Emily Sisson 9 Omaha, NE 17:13
2 154 Kaitlyn Vanatta 10 Arvada, CO 17:16
3 8 Emily Infeld 11 University Heights, OH 17:43
10 4 Alexandra Banfich 11 Plymouth, IN 18:04
12 78 Laura Hughes 9 Mankato, MN 18:09
16 3 Lindsay Anderson 11 Leeds, ND 18:24
19 21 Ashley Beutler 11 New Glarus, WI 18:28
20 59 Meggan Freeland 10 Albion, MI 18:29
21 188 Elizabeth Hynes 10 St. Charles, IL 18:29
23 357 Brittani Johnson 11 West Plains, MO 18:31
24 241 Caitlin Comfort 11 Peoria, IL 18:35
26 274 Alexa Rogers 11 Littleton, CO 18:37
27 264 Stephanie Morgan 10 Barnsville, OH 18:37
28 321 Kelli Budd 10 Omaha, NE 18:37
31 207 Chelsea Blanchard 11 Fort Wayne, IN 18:40
34 106 McKenzie Melander 11 Apple Valley, MN 18:48
35 101 Renee Masterson 11 Beech Grove, IN 18:49
38 436 Tiffany Abrahamian 11 Rochester Hills, MI 18:51
41 115 Julia Nowak 11 Racine, WI 18:54
42 286 Michelle Volz 10 Lakeville, MN 18:55
44 309 Catherine Rack 9 Oak Park, IL 18:57
45 258 Kailyn Kuzmuk 11 Tinley Park, IL 18:58
46 110 Stephanie Mundt 11 Urbandale, IA 18:59
47 169 Katie Haines 11 Rockford, MI 19:00
49 491 Rachel McFarlane 11 Livonia, MI 19:03
51 275 Natosha Rogers 10 Littleton, CO 19:07
52 342 Grace Green 10 Troy, MI 19:09
53 453 Emily Pritt 11 North Canton, OH 19:10
54 315 Brianne Beemer 11 Loveland, CO 19:11
55 489 Sara Kroll 9 Westland, MI 19:12
56 281 Alexis Skarda 11 Boulder, CO 19:13
57 61 Melanie Funke 11 Minot, ND 19:13
58 282 Hilary Snyder 11 Michigan Center, MI 19:14
61 498 Lorna Whaley 11 Avon, IN 19:19
62 433 Natalie Webb 11 Allen Park, MI 19:20
64 460 Catherine Cumming 11 Stillwater, MN 19:22
65 260 Paige Lillo 10 Littleton, CO 19:22
67 189 Kendra Gerk 11 Greeley, CO 19:23
68 119 Ali Paul 11 Cedar Grove, WI 19:23
69 122 Alyssa Penning 10 Grand Rapids, MI 19:23
71 186 Alexandra Daugherty 10 Indianapolis, IN 19:26
72 147 Katie Thompson 11 Ford Dodge, IA 19:26
73 402 Kristin Sternhagen 11 Yankton, SD 19:27
74 268 Lacey Oeding 11 Jasper, IN 19:27
75 224 Melinda Palinkas 9 Saranac, MI 19:28
76 11 Erika Alpeter 11 Galloway, OH 19:29
77 151 Hannah Turlington 9 Brookville, OH 19:29
78 364 Kate Lydy 11 Germantown, WI 19:30
79 112 Meaghan Nelson 11 Cedar Rapids, IA 19:31
82 160 Tynae Wilson 11 Fort Wayne, IN 19:36
83 83 Kari Johnson 11 Central Lake, MI 19:36
84 384 Megan Pines 11 Troy, MI 19:37
86 155 Molly Waterhouse 11 Vicksburg, MI 19:38
87 259 Erin LaFave 11 Troy, MI 19:38
90 372 Brittany Moreland 10 Cape Girardeau, MO 19:40
97 15 Michelle Babb 9 Clearwater, KS 19:48
100 104 Michelle Mehnert 11 Champaign, IL 19:50

Foot Locker MW Boys


1. Chris Derrick IL
2. Kevin Williams CO
3. Michael Fout IN
4. Rob Finnerty MN
5. Maverick Darling MI
6. Kevin Havel IL
7. Evan Appel CO
8. Tom Achtien IL
9. Joash Osoro ND
10. Bobby Aprill MI

Nick Holmes IL, Dan Thaler OH, Charles White CO, Walter Luttrell OH, John Luttrell OH, Bill Kogel SD, Brian Himelright OH, Mat Smoody IL, James Lanciaux MI, Devin Allbaugh WI

Evan Appel CO, 5th
Joseph Manilafasha CO, 6th

Donny Roys OH (Ohio D1 champ, not registered)
Addis Habtewold MI (MI D2 champ, not registered)
Jordan Carlson MN (#2 in state, not registered)
Cory Leslie OH (5th at ME MOC, not registered)


You almost want to suggest to Chris Derrick that he hold something back this week, that a 6-week span of historical performances at Detweiller Park and Lavern Gibson, and those races yet to come in Portland and San Diego, is too much to be trying to set a record here in Kenosha, too.

The mark here, 14:35 by Dathan Ritzenhein, may not have the historic panache that Craig Virgin’s 13:50 does, but it’s still pretty darn good. But 5 hard races and 5 victories in 6 weeks, the competition getting better every race? Chris Derrick is widely considered the nation’s best runner, but still …

Then you think, w-e-l-l-l-l-l … with a week off last week, can he really be expected to run just to qualify, competitive warrior that he is? Nah, probably not. So the pick here is for him to win against a very good field of state champs and previous qualifiers.

The best bet for 2nd is Colorado champ Kevin Williams, who made it through the Colorado season entirely unscathed (not an easy task) and also ran faster in his race at Liberty Bell than top NTN/Foot Locker national returnee Ben Johnson NM did in his. He’s had a long layoff and will have to work his way intelligently into the race.

With his win over Maverick Darling MI last week at Mideast Meet of Champs, Michael Fout reaffirmed his status among the region’s elite and the top 3 sounds about right for him. Darling, now with some competition behind him and just six ticks behind with a super time as well, should also be in the top five. The pick here to split them is unbeaten MN state champ Rob Finnerty, though his races early in the year have looked better than those more recent.

Tom Achtien and Kevin Havel were 2-3 behind Derrick at the Illinois State Meet, then Havel reversed that at NTN MW. The Hersey sr seems to have his confidence back, the confidence that had him rated right behind Evan Jager as a sure thing for FL Finals last year. Figure on both of them in the top 8 or so.

Colorado has two returning finalists, but neither has been overly impressive this year, though Evan Appel has been solidly the 2nd best runner in the state most of the year. Joseph Manilafasha has struggled all fall, however, and is a longshot. If he runs smart, don’t be surprised if miler-type Charles White battles for one of the last spots.

Another who has talent to qualify but has to run smart, i.e. avoid going out too fast like he did at NTN HL, is North Dakota champ Joash Osoro. Then look for Michigan’s Bobby Aprill, a near-miss last year, to complete the 10. Among those to watch are a group of solid, but unspectacular Ohio runners and Nick Holmes, who was the 2A champ in Illinois.

5 19 Evan Appel 10 Littleton, CO 15:12
6 313 Joseph Manilafasha 10 Denver, CO 15:13
13 20 Bobby Aprill 11 Dexter, MI 15:30
16 301 Rob Finnerty 11 Burnsville, MN 15:33
18 297 Chris Derrick 11 Naperville, IL 15:36
20 71 Maverick Darling 11 Ovid, MI 15:36
23 3 Kevin Havel 11 Arlington Heights, IL 15:39
27 557 Joe Miller 11 Bowling Green, OH 15:46
37 277 Kevin Williams 11 Lakewood, CO 15:52
38 334 Joe Stilin 11 Milwaukee, WI 15:53
42 540 James Lanciaux 11 Fremont, MI 15:55
43 463 Jason Bishop 10 Dexter, MI 15:55
44 221 Greg Roeth 11 Miamisburg, OH 15:55
45 154 Bill Kogel 11 Sioux Falls, SD 15:57
50 539 Kevin Lachowitzer 11 Perham, MN 16:00
53 943 Joash Osoro 10 Bismarck, ND 16:01
54 699 Nick Holmes 11 Peoria, IL 16:02
65 147 Tyler King 11 Lakeville, MN 16:06
69 427 Ben Miller 10 Grosse Pointe Park, MI 16:06
80 287 Devin Allbaugh 11 Bettendorf, IA 16:12
83 157 Elliot Krause 11 Appleton, WI 16:12
86 25 Phillip Bascio 11 Forissant, MO 16:13
87 27 Adam Behnke 11 St. Louis, MO 16:13
88 501 Matthew Feldhake 11 Effingham, IL 16:14
91 1007 Nathan Troester 11 Mokena, IL 16:16
97 555 Ladd Mercer 11 Bristol, IN 16:18
98 667 Brad Anderson 11 Yankton, SD 16:20