BOYS - GIRLS
DONNA ON THE SIDE
all the sideline scenes
Friday - Saturday
Action Album - Sequence of races
Girls - 58 pix
Boys - 44 pix
Action Album - Finish
Girls - Boys -
Race Flow Page:
Boys - Girls
SteveU: Girls - Boys
Speck: Repeating is hard
Prior Years on DyeStat
Prior Champs '79-'07
Boys - Girls
the meet's own web site
Only five runners have won two of the 58 titles awarded from 1979 to 2007.
Dathan Ritzenhein (1999-2000)
Erin Keogh (1985-86)
Melody Fairchild (1989-90)
Abdirizak Mohamud (1996-97)
Erin Sullivan (1997-98)
|Maryland star Solomon Haile took the boys title in 15:15, while California senior Jordan Hasay repeated as girls' titlist in 17:22, reclaiming the trophy she won as a freshman in 2005. - Photos by John Dye and John Nepolitan
Haile and Hasay hammer home to victory
by Dave Devine, senior editor DyeStat | ESPN RISE
It had been ten years since a runner from the Northeast region won the boys’ title at the Foot Locker National Final, and eight years since anyone had been able to repeat as champion at the prestigious individual championships. On a gusty, cool Saturday at Balboa Park in San Diego, California, the event—now in its 30th year—witnessed both.
In a hotly-anticipated girls race in which three previous champions were expected to vie for the title, Colorado senior Allie McLaughlin, competing in her first Foot Locker Final, threatened to nullify the hyped matchup by charging to an early lead which at times seemed nearly insurmountable. Hitting 5:22 through the first mile, the diminutive McLaughlin carved out a 10-second gap on a chase pack fronted by 2005 champ Jordan Hasay of Arroyo Grande CA. McLaughlin’s lead held until late in the race, when 2007 champion Ashley Brasovan of Wellington FL sprung the same move that won her the title a year ago.
Approaching the course’s one major ascent for the second time, Brasovan powered uphill, closed rapidly on McLaughlin, and drew alongside as the two hammered down the hill and angled for home. It appeared the race had developed into a two-person battle, with Brasovan about to break her Colorado rival, but as the front pair hit the homestretch their image appeared on the large video screen, and there was Hasay, lurking in the background with a bead on the leaders. Drawing an audible gasp from the crowd, Hasay unfurled her 4:14 1500 speed to catch and then pass McLaughlin and Brasovan. She soared home in 17:22 to claim her second national cross country victory, only the sixth to repeat and the first to do so in non-consecutive years. Brasovan held pace for a 17:25 runner-up effort, while McLaughlin was swallowed in the closing meters by Michigan’s Megan Goethals (17:30) and Texan Chelsey Sveinsson (17:31). McLaughlin ended up fifth in 17:34, with 2006 champion Kathy Kroeger grabbing sixth in 17:42.
Hasay’s coach, Dr. Armando Siqueiros, showed impressive prescience in fleshing out the race plan for his four-time finalist. “We talked about if someone went out who was not one of the ‘big three’ to let them go,” he said. “The whole game plan was to get to the bottom of the hill as relaxed as possible, then go.”
If boys’ pre-race favorite Solomon Haile of Silver Spring, Maryland, had a race plan that extended to the final downhill, he certainly didn’t need to use it. Following a moderate early pace set by Colorado’s Evan Appel, Haile assumed the lead four minutes and twenty-seconds into the contest, and never relinquished it. He pulled a small pack through the mile in 4:47, with West region top guns Chris Schwartz (Bakersfield CA) and Trevor Dunbar (Kodiak AK) close afoot. Virginian Thomas Porter, a three-time finalist who wasn’t necessarily considered a top five threat, pulled into contention near Dunbar as Schwartz faded slightly, but neither had an answer in the third mile for the Ethiopian star who’s lived in Maryland since last year.
Haile loped home unpressed in 15:15 to end a ten-year drought of Northeast winners, with Dunbar claiming a comfortable second in 15:22, and Porter holding on for third (15:26) against hard-charging Indiana star Drew Shields (15:27).
“I knew the Midwest and West would have good runners who could challenge me,” Haile said afterwards. “And they gave me a challenge, but I am so happy I could win.”
Jakub Zivec, a native of the Czech Republic attending school in Minnesota this fall, ran a gutsy race on an injured and heavily-taped right ankle for fifth in 15:29. Early leader Appel hung on impressively for sixth (15:36) and Indiana freshman Futsum Zeinasellassie became the highest-finishing ninth grader in Foot Locker history with his 15:40 seventh place effort.
In the girls’ team battle, the Midwest girls prevailed by a mere 2 points over the Northeast squad, 49-51, with the South 3rd at 60 points and the West 4th at 65. The Midwest boys made it a sweep for that region, easily topping the West boys 32 to 51, with the South at 71 and the Northeast scoring 77.