Foot Locker Northeast Regional Preview

Foot Locker Northeast Preview

By Don Rich

As it has been for eight years or so, there will be ten open spots for girls and ten for boys to qualify for Foot Locker Nationals on December 8th at Balboa Park in San Diego, California.

What is unusual this year is that there are only two returners in each race… which means that the seniors of 2011 dominated. That's is normally the case with the guys… but the girls generally have a bigger representation from underclassmen.

One spot is definitely spoken for. That is, unless he goes to Sunken Meadow on Saturday instead of Van Cortlandt Park. That is returning Foot Locker champ Edward Cheserek of St. Benedict's Prep in New Jersey. He'll likely have the luxury of keeping a careful eye out for roots and rocks, and not have to worry so much about getting bumped or tripped by a competitor.

The other returner is senior Jonathan Green of Berlin MA. He was 7th in the Northeast, and 22nd at Nationals. He is currently MileSplit US#21.

For the girls, there are also two returners… one of them a two-time All-American at the big dance. Peabody MA senior Catarina Rocha was 3rd at Regionals in 2011, and moved up one spot from her 2010 finals appearance to capture 7th in 2011. She is reportedly running personally faster on each course she tours during her final season. The other returner for 2012 is junior Laura Leff of West Genesee NY. She was 5th in the Northeast, but moved up to capture 3rd at Nationals. She is returning from injury, but knows how to close out the season. She finished in the teens in her state race, but a week later was 6th at Feds.

Below are some quick overviews of some of the other top runners to watch on Saturday. Those listed first with a number, show their place and class in 2011 in this race. Some have decided to run NXN this year. Other may not be competing at all for one reason or another. But suffice it to say that both races at totally loaded this year. There are definitely going to be some surprises.

Best of luck to all the runners. But especially their parents, family and coaches, who have to either risk life and limb running through the woods, or wait nervously at the finish for what they hope is a reason to book a flight to southern California.


Runners to Watch from MA, CT, RI, NH, and VT:

Courtesy of Chuck Martin

  7 Jonathan Green            11 Berlin, MA                   15:52.50  22nd at Nationals    US#21n  Y
 23 Jake Feinstein            11 Sandy Hook, CT                 16:36.60    NIKE
 29 Scott Carpenter           11 Lenox, MA                      16:42.00   Y
 40 James Randon              11 Concord, MA                    16:55.20

1.    Jonathan Green – St. John’s-Shrewsbury, Ma    12th Grade
Hands down the best New England runner and returning Footlocker finalist. Jonathan has had a record breaking season in Massachusetts, blazing through two State records in impressive fashion. He won the Central Mass State title breaking former Oliver Ames superstar Andy Powell record by 10 seconds on the tough 2.9 mile Garner Golf Course. He went on to smash the record (15:29) on the toughest course in New England on Northfield Mountain at the Massachusetts All State finals by 15 seconds.  He will be one of the favorites for the North East title. (projected time 15:15-15:25)

2.  Mike O’Donnell- Methuen High School, Ma   12th Grade
O’Donnell is the Division 1 Eastern Mass State Champion, he ran the fastest time of the day clocking at 15:29. He went on to capture second behind Jonathan Green at the Division 1 All State Finals. His time of 15:41 was also under the record on the Mountain Course.

3.  Scott Carpenter- Lenox High School, Ma   12th Grade
Although Carpenter has not locked horns with Jonathan Green, he is undefeated in 2012. A runner that seems to run just fast enough to win and he will certainly be a runner to watch on Saturday. He is the Western Mass State Champion and also won the Brown Invitational with an impressive time of 15:15.
4.  Paul Hogan- Burlington High School, Ma. 11th Grade
Paul had a major breakthrough at the end of this season by capturing the second fastest time of the day by winning the Division 4 Eastern Mass crown. He followed that impressive performance by finishing second to Carpenter at the Division 2 All State Finals.

5.  Trevor Crawley- Cumberland High School, Rhode Island 12th Grade
Trevor dominated the State of Rhode Island, winning the Open Championship by over 20 seconds. Earlier in the season he was second to Scott Carpenter at the Brown Invitational with a fast time of  15:28. He went on to finish second at the New England Championships behind Henry Wynne from Staples, CT.

6.  Sam Daly- Bedford High School, New Hampshire  12th Grade
The Senior from Bedford High School finished second place at the New Hampshire Divisional Meet, and followed that up with another second place finish at the Meet of Champions with a time of 15:49.

7.  Tim Dotsie  Westfield High School, Massachusett 12th grade
Tim was second to his teammate Blake Croteau at the Western Mass State Division 1 Championships, but had his finest race of the season at the All State finals where he finished 5th place.

8.  Blake Croteau  Westfield High School, Massachusetts  12th Grade
Blake is the Division 1 Western Mass State Champion. He went on to finish 9th place at the All State finals.

9.  Daniel Grosvenor   12th Grade, Montpelier High School , VT
    Daniel is the Division 2 Vermont State Champion at 16:39, Daniel has run 15:36 on the track last spring.

Runners to Watch from ME:

39 Josef Holt-Andrews             10 Bethel, ME                     16:54.40  
    Class C runner-up 4th fastest time in Maine. Ran under 16 at Maine Festival of Champions
    Best race was New England Champs where he was 5th

Runners to Watch from NY:
 22 Stephen Bourguet          11 Manhasset, NY                  16:34.50  and booked NXN
 48 Tyler Sutherland          10 Trumansburg, NY                17:05.20   

Ryan Manahan  Marcellus HS, Class B champ
    Manahan is undefeated this year in everything but merged results. 
Kris Moran, North Babylon, is state indoor champ for 3200 meters.


Kyle Brazeil's Predictions:

Boys List       Girls List    
Top Contenders       Top Contenders    
Edward Cheserek St. Benedict's Prep NJ 202   Megan Reilly Warwick NY 151
Jonathan Green Berlin MA 197   Marissa Saenger Clarence NY 149
Mike O'Donnell Methuen HS MA 193   Kennedy Weisner Elk County Catholic PA 148
Shawn Wilson Cherokee NJ 192   Elle Purrier Richford HS VT 148
Ryan Manahan Marcellus NY 191   Catarina Rocha Peabody MA 147
Brent Kennedy Kiski PA 190   Bethanie Brown Waterville ME 147
Trevor Crawley Cumberland HS RI 189   Katie Lembo Penfield NY 145
Daniel Jaskowitz Grove City PA 189   Annika Gompers Newton MA 145
Ryan Smathers Northeast PA 188   Laura Leff West Genesee NY 140
Brendan Shearn Frackville PA 188   Meagan Curham Villa Walsh NJ 140
Top Challengers       Top Challengers    
William Bertrand Clarksburg MD     Brittany Mendelson Southbury CT  
Austin Pondel Columbus PA     Marissa Ruskan Bridgewater-Raritan NJ  
Scott Carpenter Lenox HS MA     Regan Rome Dallas PA  
Kyle Kroon Tom's River South NJ     Mady Clahane Cumberland Valley PA  
Max Norris Harriton PA     Catie Skinner Penn Charter PA  

Runners to Watch from NJ:

  1 Edward Cheserek           11 St. Benedict's Prep, NJ        15:20.50  Returning champ  US#1
 16 Matthew Nelson            11 Barnegat, NJ              16:23.60
 19 Nicholas Costello         11 Delsea, NJ                    16:26.50  Group III 15th place
 21 Shawn Wilson              11 Cherokee, NJ                 16:31.10    Group IV Champ and 2nd in merged results

Kyle Kroon 3rd merged - Toms River So.  2nd group III
Dylan Tarpey - Freehold Twp.  Group IV Runner-up

Runners to Watch from PA:

 18 Daniel Jaskowak           11 Grove City, PA                 16:24.90  3rd in PA AA, 15th merged
 20 Brendan Shearn            11 Frackville, PA                 16:27.50  2nd in PA AA
 24 Austin Pondel             11 Columbus, PA                   16:37.60   3rd in PA AAA and 3rd merged
 25 Conner Quinn              11 Horsham, PA                  16:39.80  Not registered
 30 Ryan Smathers             11 North East, PA                 16:42.20   7th in PA A
 32 Francis Ferruzzi          11 Willow Grove, PA               16:44.00  Not registered

Rico Galassi, Holy Cross   1st in PA A, 4th merged, Paul Short champ
Connor Harriman, Pennsbury  8th is PA AAA
Curt Jewett, Northeast Bradford  4th in PA A
Luke Jones, Elk Lake  2nd in PA A, 8th merged
Brent Kennedy, Kiski 2nd to Tony Russell in PA AAA 2nd fastest time of the day
Max Norris, Harriton   4th in PA AAA, 6th merged
Ben Ritz, Germantown Academy, Runner-up Paul Short
Sam Ritz, Germantown Academy
Sam Williams, Northeast Bradford   3rd in PA A
Ross Wilson, Council Rock North   7th PA AAA, 10th merged

Runners to Watch from DE and MD:

William Bertrand, Clarksburg   MD   State 4A champ
 38 Sam Andrews               11 Columbia, MD                 16:54.00 Not registered
 49 Vince Ciattei             11 Baltimore, MD                  17:05.70   


Runners to Watch from MA, CT, RI, NH, and VT:

Courtesy of Chuck Martin

  3 Catarina Rocha            11 Peabody, MA                18:19.90  8th in 2010, 7th at Nationals, US#23
 30 Courtney Hawkins          11 Milford, NH                19:35.80 Not Entered
 32 Annika Gompers            10 Newton, MA                 19:41.80  
 35 Julie McConville          11 Hingham, MA                19:49.90  
 40 Shannon Murdock            9 Exeter, NH                 20:05.60  
 45 Brittany Mendelson        11 Southbury, CT              20:11.10  
 48 Christine Davis           11 Acton, MA                  20:19.90 Not Entered

1. Catarin Rocha-- Peabody High School, Mass

One of the favorites for Footlocker Northeast, Rocha decided to concentrate on her teams State priorities and bypassed many of the National profile meets. She was untested in any meet she competed in, but she is faster and stronger than ever. She ran 17:27 at the Eastern Mass Championships, followed by an 18:04 on the tough Northfield Mountain Course. She finished 7th last year in the Footlocker National Championships. She is averaging over 30 seconds faster this year than 2011. Joe Rocha (Father), Gina Braz (Mother), Fernando Braz (Uncle) were all Footlocker / Kinney Finalists.

2. Christins Davis- Acton Boxborough High School, Mass

Christine was a distant second to Rocha in the Massachusetts State Championships running 18:50 on the Mountain. She ran her personal best the week (18:24)  before at the Divisional meet.

3. Annika Gompers- Gann Academy, Massachusetts

More recognized on a National level than in her own State. Gompers does not have a High School team, so she is ineligible for any MIAA competition. Daughter of the great Harvard runner Paul Gompers.  We have no current Cross-Country results on Annika. She has 4:42.0 for 1500 Meters. Her younger sister younger  Zoe Gompers is running as well. I believe she is very talented as well, but again no information on either runner this fall.

4. Maddie Berkson- Classical High School, Rhode Island

A Soccer player for Classical High School in Rhode Island. Maddie ran 2:10 for the 800M and 4:58 for the Mile last spring. Maddie is one of the best runners in New England, but not sure if the Soccer training is enough to get her a Top 10 Finish.

5. Erin Dietz- Bedford- Ma  , 10th Grade

In her first season of Cross Country, Dietz ran 18:31 on the tough Northfield Mountain course finishing second place in the D1 All State Finals.. An extremely talented runner that could easily crack the Top 10.

6. Julie McConville- Hingham- Mass

One of the few girls that could of challenged Catarina Rocha in Massachusetts. Julie ran 17:30 by herself on a very fast Massachusetts course, but then disappeared due to illness and has not raced since. I would be very surprised if she runs on Saturday, if she does, McConville is one of the best. She has run 10:36 for the 2 Mile run.

7. Shannon Murdock- Exeter, NH

 The Sophomore was third in the Meet of Champions with a 18:32 time.

8.  Natalie Mako- Frontier Regional High School-  Mass

The Western Mass State Champion has an impressive 18:08 to her credit. She finished 5th at the Massachusetts All State D2 Race.

9. Kerri Keohane- Tyngsborough High School- Mass  

The Freshman was Central Mass State Champion. Earlier in the season she won the Brown Invitational Division I race with a time of 18:33. She finished third on the Mountain at 18:56.

10 Jackie Burr- Westerly, Rhode Island

Jackie finished 3rd in the Rhode Island State Meet at 18:54. Shealso finished 14th in the New England Championships.

11. Maeve Westover- Newton Country Day School, Mass

Another unknown to Massachusetts fans, Maeve runs for a private club. She recently ran 18:30 to win the USATF Region I Junior Olympics. She finished third last year in the Footlocker Sophmore Race.

12. Elle Purrier, SR, Richford Jr/Sr HS, Vermont - VT State Champ, New England Champ for 2nd year in a row, Qualified for 2011 NXN

Runners to Watch from ME:

24 Willow Parker              9 Rockport, ME               19:22.70  Coming back from injury

Bethanie Brown, Waterville HS
       Undefeated in the state
    Ran under 18 twice and broke 3-time FL Finalist Abbey Leonardi's course record at Maine Festival of Champions
    Class B state champion
    7th in New England Champs but had dehydration problems

Runners to Watch from NY:

 5 Laura Leff                10 Syracuse, NY               18:26.10   3rd at Nationals (2nd returner) Returning from injury
16 Katie Lembo               10 Penfield, NY               19:05.80  5th Class A
19 Tiana Guevara             10 Miller Place, NY           19:14.20  2nd Class B, fast starter
 25 Talia Guevara             10 Miller Place, NY           19:26.60
 29 Jenna Cupp                11 Newark Valley, NY          19:34.00   Y
 38 Brigid Brennan            10 Northport, NY              20:00.80 Not registered
 41 Samantha Sauer            11 Elmira Heights, NY         20:06.30 Not registered

Megan Reilly, Warwick Valley freshman, 2nd fastest at Manhattan, Class A champ, 1st state meet merge
Katie Lembo, Penfield, top 5 at States, McQuaid and Federations
Marissa Saenger, Clarence HS, 3rd at States. Won letter race at Manhattan
Reilly, Saenger and Lembo were 1, 3, 5 merged at states.

Runners to Watch from NJ:

 17 Mackenzie Barry           10 Mendham, NJ                    19:10.00  Group III champ
 26 Abby Seel                 11 Mendham, NJ                    19:29.60 Not registered
 37 Reagan Kolakowski         11 Mendham, NJ                    20:00.50   Not registered
 47 Allison McCurry           11 Sussex Co. V/T, NJ            20:16.30    Going to NXN
 49 Mary Brelsford            11 Ocean City, NJ                20:21.30   Not registered

Meagan Curham - Villa Walsh  1st merged, and non-public B champ
Josette Norris - Tenafly   2nd Group III
Marissa Ruskan - Bridgewater-Raritan  Group IV Champ    2nd in merged

Runners to Watch from PA:

 23 Kennedy Weisner           10 Saint Marys, PA, Elk County Catholic          19:21.00  PA Class A Champ
    only loss to Regan Rome at Ridgway Invite 10/6 two days after a big workout
 33 Catie Skinner             11 Penn Charter, PA           19:45.40  PA Independent Schools champ
 34 Tessa Barrett             10 Abington Heights, PA                19:47.90  CR at Tennent,
    Struggled in mud at her district race
 46 Nicole Buehrle             9 Sugarloaf, PA              20:14.90  
 50 Paige Stoner              10 Pottsville, PA             20:22.30    15th in 2010  

Elizabeth Greenwood-Chikotas, 2nd PA AA
Stephanie Aldrich, West Chester Henderson, 6th in PA AAA, Brother was FL Finalist
Alyssa Brandis, Central Cambria, 2nd PA A
Mady Clahane, Freshman standout in PA. Won conference and district and 4th in PA AAA
Erika Huffman  Wyalusing Valley, 8th PA Class A
Casey Norton, Troy, 3rd PA Class A
Regan Rome, Dallas  Set CR vs Kennedy Weisner at Ridgway, 3rd in Class AA after stopping with wind-stitch

Runners to Watch from DE and MD:

 21 Meghan Lockett             9 Dickerson, MD              19:16.00 Y