Ashley Brasovan, Bobby Nicolls, Doug Smith and Jordan Hasay are four of the best cross country runners in the country this fall, and they've each signed up to share their journey throughout the fall in our seasonal feature, the MileSplit Cross Country Journals. In the first edition each athlete introduces themselves and talks about their summers. Keep checking back throughout the season as we have much more to come from each athlete.
A big weekend of competition generally means some major movement in the national rankings, and that is certainly the case this week. Making the biggest leap is Tatnall (DE) (pictured by Brandon Miles), who after beating then U.S.#4 Collins Hill (GA) at the McDonald's XC Festival at Maymont jumps to US#8 in the girls rankings.
In this week's Monday News and Notes section we talk about the return of Dakota Ridge's Kaitie Vanatta. We also discuss the opener of all-American Emily Sisson (pictured far left by Tracy Rollins) and focus forward to the big weekend ahead, which includes the first state championships of the season, this one taking place in Alaska.
Each week from now until the end of the season, we'll provide a Top 15 Weekend Round-Up. This MileSplit feature will include main highlights of each of the MileSplit nationally ranked squads and their results on the weekend. See who performed well and who didn't live up to their ranking this week.
Highlights and Results from: NB Ocean State Inv. (RI), McDonald's XC Festival (VA), McQuaid Inv. (NY), Roy Griak Inv. (MN), Stanford Inv. (CA), Carlisle Inv. (PA), Jim Danner Inv. (OR), Culver Inv. (IN), Palatine Inv. (IL), LoboCat Inv. (CO), Albuquerque Academy Inv. (NM) & Midwest Meet of Champs. (OH) The best weekend yet. That's an easy way to describe this weekend's national cross country action. Most of the top teams in the land took part in an invitational, with some teams coming up very big. US#5 York (IL) kicked off their season by winning the Palatine Invitational, one of the big highlights of the weekend thus far.
**Pictures Coming Shortly. York opened up their season with an impressive win Saturday at the Palatine Invitational, scoring 59 points behind the 1-2 finish of Steve Sulkin and Jordan Herbert. Lyons Township finished second with 117 points. Meanwhile, the Palatine girls won with a decisive victory over Hinsdale Central 63-95. Palatine's Sarah McIntosh won the race in 17:00, winning by 22 seconds.
It's a tight-knit school, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School. The community is small, parents are involved in their kids student-athlete lives, and with a smaller student population compared to most of the other top teams in the country, this team is achieving more than many think they could. Over the past few years few teams have dominated girls cross country like Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake. In the fall of 2007 the squad took another step forward, qualifying for Nike Team Nationals, with a fifth place finish overall at the national meet despite missing their number two runner. Many speculated that Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake would've placed second had they had their full line-up, as they finished 38 points behind runner-up Saugus (CA). Regardless, the team now looks forward, hoping to build upon their '07-'08 success with even more success. While no one will admit it, the thought of winning the Nike Cross Nationals title has to be on their minds. A talented trio up top with Sam Roecker, Molly Pezzulo and Meaghan Gregory gives this team a distinct advantage few others teams can match. This is a season of hard work, challenging oneself to go above and beyond, and most of all having 40 girls coming together to strive towards the same goal. It's something every team tries to do, but only so many actually accomplish it. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake will strive for greatness and how this journey ends will be something fans of the sport will watch all season long.
Cross country runners in Alaska often get overlooked. Being so far away from the lower-48, and ending the Alaskan season the first weekend in October, generally means that the focus the state could get is swept away as top invitationals start taking place elsewhere. However, Kodiak senior Trevor Dunbar has seemingly stopped that trend, or at least slowed it down. Since his freshman year, Dunbar's been the top runner in Alaska. He's set course record after course record, and this spring ran times on the track few Alaskans have ever approached. This fall Dunbar looks to take another step forward in his progress towards becoming one of the best runners in the country. With his goals set high and his training right on schedule, Dunbar sits down with MileSplit national editor Scott Bush to talk about his expectations for this season, what it's like to live and train in Alaska and much more.
Week 4 of the MileSplit Top 12 Individual Rankings are up! A lot of movement took place in specific regions due to a few head-to-head match-ups that created some major results. In the Northeast, Solomon Haile moved to #1 after his winning Oatlands Invitational performance, making him the only new regional number one of the week.
A lot of competitive invitationals took place last weekend, meaning that a few of the top teams in the country lost to unranked squads. With those loses comes new teams jumping into the week #4 MileSplit National Cross Country Rankings. See who's in and who's out in this week's edition.
The season really started to heat up this past weekend in California, as many of the top teams and individuals in the state headed to the Woodbridge Invitational and Mt. Carmel Invitational. Check out our race summaries, along with meet pages and results, in our weekend round-up. (Photo by Andrew McClanahan)
With so much action this past weekend, our coverage spilled over Monday into our weekly News & Notes section. The Woodbridge and Mt. Carmel Invitationals are highlighted, which saw some impressive individual and team results, including a few upsets. See what else took place, as well as our weekly look ahead.
2007 State XC Champion Chris Derrick, who now attends Stanford University, is posting a cross country blog for Stanford. In his first edition Chris discusses the team's two week training camp up at Mammoth Lakes in California. This is a must read for any Illinois cross country fan. Click Here for Blog Post
The results keep flying in and the final tallies are showing some interesting stories across the nation. Top teams and individuals from coast to coast had much to prove this weekend, as the national level competitions really took off. Individuals like Solomon Haile and Jillian Smith showed their talents at the highest levels, while Saratoga Springs and North Central proved why they are two of the top teams in the country. See what else took place in our weekend highlights and results section.
The past month has been an exciting one with the start of the cross country season. This weekend the season really gets going with numerous national-level match-ups get going across the land. Big meets in Virginia, Kentucky, Idaho, New Jersey, New York and Colorado feature top invitationals, while a half dozen others showcase nationally ranked squads and individuals. See who's where this weekend in our weekly weekend preview.
Universal Sports, the preeminent multiplatform destination for Olympic-related sports programming, announced today the addition of nine new television markets, boosting its distribution to more than 30 million television households.
A few big match-ups across the nation mixed up the regional rankings a bit. Joseph Manilafasha's great performance at Liberty Bell (CO) put the senior atop the Midwest boys rankings, while Kathy Kroeger ran to the top spot in the South girls rankings after running 17:44 for 5k last weekend. See who ranks where in the week three MileSplit Regional Top 12 Individual Rankings.
A star since her freshman year, Jessica Tonn (Jr., Xavier Prep, AZ) heads into her junior year with high expectations. After qualifying for Foot Locker Nationals her first two seasons and finishing fifth in the NON two-mile in 2008, Tonn is ready for this cross country season to get underway. Tonn sat down with MileSplit and talked in depth about her goals this season, how she got into running, and much more.
Ventura, CA: It wasn't a matter of if they would win, but rather how much they would win by. U.S. #3 Saugus (CA) came up victorious, but in a much grander fashion they perhaps imagined. Last fall Saugus was ranked one of the top girls teams in the country, showing that they would be tough in 2007, but perhaps even stronger in 2008, as they finished second at Nike Team Nationals and returned most of their squad this season.
A monster performance by Saugus (CA) vaulted the team from the third spot in the MileSplit National CC Rankings to the top spot. Meanwhile, boys US #1 North Central (WA) stays on top, but looks forward to a strong challenge next weekend at the Bob Firman Invitational (ID).
Kathy Kroeger (Sr., Independence, TN) dominated the competition at the Brooks Memphis Twilight CC Classic, winning the 5k race by 1:43 in 17:44. Check out other action in our Monday News & Notes section. (picture above by Ted Plunkett)
Not once, but twice, Kickapoo (MO) came up short Saturday at the Forest Park XC Festival in St. Louis, Missouri. Kickapoo finished second to team champion St. Louis University (MO) in the boys varsity competition, 87-159. In the girls race, Kickapoo fell to Jefferson City (MO)
Many of the top teams in the country competed this weekend, with a few squads showing that they have national championship abilities. Girls U.S.#3 Saugus (CA) kick-started their season with a record breaking performance in California, showing they'll give the top squads from New York quite the challenge this year.
Tracy Walter's Invitational (WA) Meet Page The top boys team in the country, U.S.#1 North Central (WA), got their season underway Saturday at the Tracy Walter's Invitational, as the team easily beat a strong field by placing four in the top six. While the meet scored eight athletes in the final team standings, North Central beat Seattle Prep (WA) 79-150. The squads' 1-5 split ran 66 seconds. North Central was led by senior Andrew Kimpel, who won the 5k race in 15:20.5, as runner-up Adam Thorne (Jr., Joel Ferris, WA) finished 15 seconds back in 15:35.3. Kimpel's teammates Jeff Howard and Leon Dean finished third and fourth, while Seattle Prep was led by junior Drew O'Donoghue-McDonald. Katie Mahoney (Sr., Richland, WA) won the girls varsity race, outlasting the field by finishing the race in 19:13.5. Mahoney outdistanced herself from runner-up Laura Sauvage (Jr., Seattle Prep, WA) over the final mile, as Sauvage finished in 19:23.3. Seattle Prep (WA) took home the team title 105-111 over Richland (WA).
The second weekend of September brings forth some great competition. With most of the top teams starting up their seasons over the past two weeks, this weekend looks to be the most competitive yet. See which meets stand out heading into the weekend.
The first of three regular season invitationals in Peoria takes place this weekend, as the Peoria Woodruff Invitational brings together many of the top ranked teams in the state to race on the state meet course. This year seven of the top 13 ranked boys teams and six of the top ten girls teams will take part. Perhaps the most anticipated part is the debut of freshman superstar Lukas Verzbicas, who will face Danny Pawola, Jeff Thode, Anthony Manfrin, Aaron Beattie and Indiana's Drew Shields among others.
Since Nike Team Nationals started in 2004, no school has had the success Fayetteville-Manlius (NY) has shown. Four seperate NTN meets, four seperate top three finishes (2 boys, 2 girls). This year, F-M's girls team is ranked U.S. #1 in the MileSplit National CC Rankings and looks to make a run at their third straight national championship. Why is this squad so successful? What's their magic? MileSplit national editor Scott Bush traveled out to New York to see for himself, and the results were surprising.
The IHSA released their regional/sectional assignments Tuesday on the IHSA.org website. The addition of a fifth sectional in AAA creates a field of less than ten teams per regional competition, with some fields consisting of seven teams. This set-up is a different alignment than last year and should produce a more equal playing field come the state series. Class AAA: Boys / Girls Class AA: Boys / Girls Class A: Boys / Girls IHSA Websites: Boys / Girls
With the second full week of the cross country season complete and in the books, many of the top athletes around the country have now had a chance to compete in some sort of competition. Each week we'll rank the top 12 athletes in each region, and now things start to get exciting as the big meets start to crank up with the season swinging into full gear.
Week #1 of the Illinois Cross Country Coaches Poll came out Tuesday morning, as Neuqua Valley boys and Geneva girls stayed on top of the rankings. Little movement took place in either poll, but a few teams jumped in, while a few others were bumped out. See where your team stacks up as the season is now underway. Boys Rankings / Girls Rankings / ICCCP Website