Foot Locker Cross Country
Nov 25 - Dec 9, 2006

a DyeStat featured meet

2006 Foot Locker Favorites
Northeast Boys - Update 2

November 9, 2006
Manhattan was big, but championship season hits full stride now
Craig Forys, Tom Gruenewald and Steve Murdock still favored

by Steve Underwood

The Big 15
1. Craig Forys, NJ (1)
2. Tommy Gruenewald, NY (2)
3. Steve Murdock, NY (8)
4. Paul Springer, PA (6)
5. Jason Weller, PA (10)
6. Mark Amirault, MA (3)
7. Sintayehu Taye, MA (5)
8. Brian Rhodes-Devey, NY (4)
9. Kyle Dawson PA (HM)
10. Donn Cabral CT (HM)
11. Matt Centrowitz MD (7)
12. Brandon Jarrett NJ (HM)
13. Tom Poland NJ (NR)
14. Lee Berube NY (NR)
15. Matt Paulson NH (NR)

Manhattan Was Big, But Championship Season Hits Full Stride Now

Manhattan was the shaper of things as far as the rankings for the Northeast Region Foot Locker boys, to date.  But, save for Pennsylvania, every state and every standout athlete has at least another week of action for which to build his credentials.

At the top, Colts Neck NJ sr Craig Forys and Fayetteville-Manlius NY sr Tommy Gruenewald are two of the top four runners in the country.  By virtue of his overall season, and credentials coming in, Forys maintains the smallest of leads – despite the fact that Tommy G. was a split second faster at Manhattan.

Both were an incredible part of history that day, a month ago, as Forys first outkicked Shenendehowa sr Steve Murdock to win the “E” race in meet and course record time 12:10.7 (2.5M).  As Forys was talking to reporters, however, Gruenewald powered in just minutes later in the “F” race in an amazing 12:10.6.

Forys has been more dominant and consistent than ever this year, sweeping through Jersey, with his other wins including Spiked Shoe (PA) and Cougar. He’ll be the heavy favorite Saturday to win the Group IV title and post the state’s best time of the day.

Meanwhile, Gruenewald’s campaign, other than Manhattan, has been a little more low key, though he’s powered to wins at McQuaid and other invites in his area.  And he will face much tougher competition in the NYSPHSAA Class AA race Saturday in NY in Murdock and Brian Rhodes-Devey.

Murdock has had a great year at his new school, having transferred from Saratoga, and just seems to keep getting better and better.  He was a fine 2nd at Great American and had the great 3rd overall at Manhattan.  Then he just smoked the Section II course last weekend with a 14:36 3M.  BRD, the Guilderland sr and defending AA champ, has trailed Murdock at Great American and Section II, but won another division at Manhattan.  With the best speed in the field, he can’t be discounted.

PA runners Paul Springer and Jason Weller have traded wins at District (Springer) and state (Weller), but Springer’s season and career credentials still give him a slight edge.  The Unionville sr also had outstanding races in Manhattan, winning his division, and at the Cougar meet (2nd overall to Forys).  Weller, a Boyertown sr, has only lost to Springer and has closed the gap on him overall since track.

A third outstanding PA runner is also in the top 10, sr Kyle Dawson of NE#1 Coatesville.  He was a close 3rd to Springer and Weller at District and State.

MA runners Mark Amirault and Sintayehu Taye follow Springer and Weller, though, both entering mid-November as unknown quantities.  Amirault, after such a great end to his track season (two 8:59 2-miles) has won a few key MA races, but also battled injuries and had to miss others.  The MIAA divisional races are Saturday with State to follow before FL NE, so the Xaverian sr have to recover quickly to prepare for FL.

Taye, the top returnee after taking 2nd in FL NE last year, recovered enough from back problems of his own to post a 24:55 in the Boston Mayor’s Cup for 8k.  If the Cushing Academy jr can back that up, he could keep the regional title in the family as brother Ayalew took it last year.

Glastonbury sr Donn Cabral has dominated CT, including the state open meet last weekend.  Broadneck MD sr Matt Centrowitz will try and take the Maryland state title Saturday and time will tell if he can race on a par with his breakout Penn Relays 3k performance last spring.





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