Foot Locker Northeast - NY Preview


Girls NY Preview

Emily Lipari, Roslyn
The junior outkicked everyone for the Class A state championship and then took a different approach by leading for most of the race at the state federation championship. She is undefeated this season so far and clearly one of the top distance runners in the country. Lipari finished sixth last year. She’s a contender to win this year.

Aisling Cuffe, Cornwall
She really burst on the scene this season in a way that no one could have expected. She raced right along with Lipari and Queenbury’s Danielle Winslow at the state meet then went head-to-head again with Lipari over the last half mile at the state federation meet. This will be Cuffe first appearance at the Foot Locker Regionals and it’ll likely be her first appearance at Foot Locker Nationals as well.

Shelby Greany, Suffern
She is the veteran in the group. Greany is a three-time national finalist shooting for her fourth appearance. The Providence-bound senior will be trying to right herself after a shaky race at the state federation championships two weeks ago. Until then she had been consistently improving in what has been her best scholastic season. She should at least be in the top five.

Laura Mullins, Johnson City (pictured)
The freshman finished fifth, in a spectacular race at the federation meet in 18:44.6, on a muddy course at Bowdoin Park. It’ll be her first shot at making the Foot Locker Nationals. She finished second in Class B at the state meet and has been one of the best freshman in the state this season.

Brenna Symoniak, Amherst
Symoniak, a junior, won the Class B state title ahead of Mullins. Symoniak may have a chance to sneak in but she’ll likely be around the top 20.

Erin Cawley, Newark Valley
Cawley is the Class C state champ. The senior finished 11th at the federation meet. Cawley is in a similar position as Symoniak, where she has a chance to make the national squad if she can stay in position to make a move in a stretch.

Out of state contenders

Melanie Thompson (SR, Voorhees, NJ) - Spent much of the fall rewriting or challenging course records. Captured the NJ MOC in 17:47, the fifth-fastest time ever at Holmdel. Won the Eastern State Championship race at Manhattan College Invitational, running the second best time of the day by just a tenth to Emily Jones. Ran a PR of 4:50.68 in the Mile at the 2007 Nike Outdoor Nationals, placing third.

Chelsea Ley (JR, Kingsway, NJ) - Like Thompson, her fall was an assault on the record books as well. Finished second to Thompson at the NJ MOC. Ran 17:44 to capture the Shore Coaches Invitational, the third fastest time in Holmdel course history. Ran a season best time of 17:12.08 in the 5000m at Nike Outdoor Nationals, placing second last spring. Finished 18th at FL Nationals in 2007.

Emily Jones (SR, Bromfield, MA) - Massachusetts All-State meet DII winner in 17:50. Posted the fastest time of the day, 14:12.7, winning the Varsity A race at Manhattan. Finished 11th at FL Nationals in 2007. Placed second to Neely Spence at the FL Northeast Regional and in the 3,200 at Nike Outdoor Nationals in June. Her 10:22 at NON was one of 12 sub-10:35 performances for the All-American on the track last spring. Christened her 2008 campaign with a dominating 37-second victory (18:12) at the Ocean State Cross Country Invitational in Rhode Island.

Jess Cygan (SO, Bethlehem Liberty, PA) - Cygan won the Pennsylvania AAA Girls State Championship in a time of 18:47 on a very hilly course. Finished as the PIAA AAA runner-up to Neely Spence as a freshman in 2007. Cygan is a two-time District XI and Lehigh Valley Conference Champion. Cygan is also the top PA returner, having run to a 13th place 18:24.8 in last years seeded race, only 25 seconds out of a San Diego slot.

Abbey Leonardi (FR, Kennebunk, ME) - Undefeated this season, Leonardi won the New England XC Championship in 18:12 and posted a personal best 18:02 en route to winning the Maine XC Champs. Other major victories include the Maine Festival of Champions (18:43) and Western Maine Class A Regional (18:18).

Sophia Ziemian (SR, Lewisburg, PA) - Won the Pennsylvania AA girls race with a time of 18:52. Fit, healthy, and determined to succeed, Sophia has the savvy to race the hills to a San Diego plane ticket.

Kristen Kasper (SR, North Andover, MA) - DI winner at the Massachusetts All-State meet. Placed 12th at FL Northeast Regional in 2007.

Jenna Riley (SR, Coventry, RI) - Rhode Island State Champion. Finished 15th at the New England XC Championships.

Natalie Bower (SR, Greater Latrobe, PA) - Arguably one of PA's top runners this season, Bower was poised to challenge Cygan before a side-stitch slowed her to a 9th place 19:21 at the PIAA Championships. Bower should be able to bounce back strong in Van Cortlandt.

Emily Durgin
(FR, Bonny Eagle) - Ran to second place finishes behind Leonardi at the Maine State Championships (18:16), New England XC Championships (18:15) and Western Maine Class A Regional.

Others to watch:
Maura Linde (So., Century, MD) - Maryland 2A Champion with a time of 19:48.
Jenna Davidner (JR Oliver Ames, MA) - Runner-up to Jones at Mass All-State meet (18:24.9).
Moira Kenny (SR, Immaculate, CT) - Connecticut State Open Champion, 18:45.
Leslie Kovach (SR, Norwin, PA) - Runner-up to Cygan at the PA State meet after staying close until the final 200 meters.
Leah Anne Wirfel (SO, Forest Hills, PA) - Runner-up to Ziemian in PIAA AA race.
Anne Twombley (JR, Exeter, NH) - Ran 18:45 at the New Hampshire Class Meet.

Boys NY Preview

Chris Stogsdill, Marcellus
He is the top New York runner in the race and based on his performance at the state meet, where he won the Class A title, Stogsdill is willing to explore the depths of his pain threshold to make the team. The senior is coming off two great races and two weeks of rest as well.

Joe Whelan, Hamburg
Whelan also took off the federation meet and will have fresh legs when he takes the line on Saturday. The senior controlled a solid field at the state meet Nov. 8 to win the Class A title and Whelan has good enough speed to hang tough through seemingly endless last half mile at Van Cortlandt.

Demtri Goutos, Saratoga Springs (pictured)
Goutos is the top returner from New York. He finished 24th last year. He’ll be one that benefits from anyone who skips Foot Locker for NXN but either way he has a chance to earn a spot to the national meet. He finished seventh in Class AA at the state meet and the six runners in front of him won’t be in the race at Foot Locker.

Mike Hickey, Pearl River
The senior struggled at the federation meet and finished 44th at the Foot Locker Regional last year. But he’s shown that he can race tough in top fields. He is having his best high school season and a course like Van Cortlandt suits him well.

Drew Perelli, Lockport
The junior has been getting better each race this season and can be considered a darkhorse to make the team. He finished seventh at the state federation meet.

Out of state contenders

Solomon Haile (SR, Sherwood, MD) - Could be the man to beat. Won the Maryland 4A Championships with a course record time of 15:43. Set the all-time Van Cortlandt Park 2.5 course mark of 12:06 earlier this year at the Manhattan College Invitational.

Tyler Udland (JR, Millburn, NJ) - Udland won the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in 15:40. At the NJ Group 3 Championship, he held off Ocean City standout Brett Johnson as well as Jersey studs Joe Rosa and Sean Pohorence to win in 15:36, the seventh fastest time in the history of Holmdel. Placed second to Johnson at the Shore Coaches Invitational. Finished third (12:28) to Haile’s course record run at the Manhattan. Clocked 9:04 last spring to win the 3200 at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions

Jimmy Tarsnane (SR, Perkiomen Valley, PA) - Tarsnane won the Pennsylvania AAA State Championship with a time of 16:10, taking control of the race over the tough middle hills. This willingness to hurt on the hills should propel him to a top-10 finish in New York.

Joe Beveridge
(SR, Bishop McDevitt, PA) - Beveridge won the Pennsylvania AA race in 16:18, and has had Footlocker in his sights. Beveridge should finish top-20 and top-10 with a great race.

Will Keller (JR, Henderson, PA) - Kellar powered his way to a 2nd place Pennsylvania AAA finish, moving past other runners on the hills. Boys Varsity C Champion at Manhattan in 12:52. Kellar's teammate, Chris Aldrich, qualified last year, so Henderson knows how to prepare for this race.

Brett Johnson (SR, Ocean City, NJ) - Ran 15:57 at Holmdel to place 4th at the NJ MOC. Won the Shore Coaches Invite earlier this season at Holmdel, clocking 15:44 to defeat Udland by four seconds. Ran a 4:11 in the Mile at Nike Outdoor Nationals, placing 6th. Based on last year's FL results, Johnson is the third fastest returner after placing 25th at the FL Northeast Regional in 2007.

Andrew Springer (SR, Westerly, RI) - Rhode Island State Champion, Springer, a first-year harrier, dominated the New England XC scene this fall. His only defeat was a second place finish by one second to Mark Feigen at the New England XC Championships. His winning time of 15:02 at the Brown Invitational was the second fastest time ever at Goddard Park. Also placed first (15:55) at the Ocean State Invitational on a slightly different course at Goddard Park. Won a pair of state titles (1,500 and 4x800 relay) at the Rhode Island State Track & Field Championships in 2008.

Ben Furcht (SR, Lower Merion, PA) - Furcht had a stellar season before running into trouble at the state meet, but has the talent to race his way to a top-10 finish in New York. Won the PA Pre-State Invitational in 16:09, a second better than the state winning time of 16:10 posted by Tarsnane. Won the PIAA District 1 Championship in 15:08 at Lehigh University, defeating runner-up Tarsnane by 10 seconds.

Others to watch:
Graham Bazell - (SR, Atholton, MD) - Maryland 3A Champ in 16:29.
Will Geoghegan (JR, Brunswick, ME) - Maine Class A State Champion, finished 24th at NE XC Champs.
Omar Aden (SR, Charlestown, MA) - Close second to teammate at Massachusetts All-State meet Division I in 16:06.
Ahmed Ali (SR, Charlestown, MA) - Won the Massachusetts All-State Division I in 16:06.
Mike Moverman (SR, Oliver Ames, MA) - Won Massachusetts All-State Division II in a meet best time of 16:05.
Robby Andrews (SR, Manalapan, NJ) - Fifth place, NJ MOC, one second behind Johnson in 15:58
Ryan King (SR, Tolland, CT) - Fifth place CT State Open Championships.
Sean Mueller (SO, Cheshire, CT) - Second place CT Divisional LL Championships.
Eric Line (SR, Cesar Rodney, DE) - Second place, Delaware D1 State Championships