Adapted from an article written by David Everett
An incredibly deep field is assembled for the United States XC Championships. The field boasts a handful of NCAA Qualifers, All-Americans from both NXN and Foot Locker, and the ACC Freshman of the year. With so many names, here are some of the top runners to look out for this weekend. The field is competing for the coveted spots on the United State XC Team for the IAAF World Championships in Poland. Two New York Alum are in the mix, and look to represent the Empire State well.
From our XC All-Star List in 2011 (Updated)
Daniel Lennon – Peru – Dan had a monster season, proving he is one of the best male runners to come out of Section 7 in the past 10 years. He placed first at the Burnt Hills Invitational, first at the VVS Invitational over Nick Ryan, as well as a pair of first place finishes at the league and sectional championship level. Once Lennon hit the state level, his talents shown through, as he placed third overall in the States’ merge, behind a breakout performance by Victor senior MJ Erb. Continuing onto post-season, Lennon placed second at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional, only being beaten by the unstoppable Edward Cheserek of New Jersey. Continuing on, Lennon would run a strong 15:43 to take 21st nationally. As a senior, he was 21st at Foot Locker and ran 9:00 for 3200m. Lennon has expanded his range while at Syracuse to fit the 8K distance. He ran 24:43 at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational. Lennon ran 14:36 for 5K on the track this past weekend.
Samantha Nadel – North Shore - This Long Island senior has had a remarkable career even before entering her senior year of Cross Country. Coming off an overall win at the Millrose Mile last January, Sam Nadel was a force to be reckoned with. She took the pack out strong at NXN in Portland just a week ago, finished with the 2nd fastest time at the States Championship, and 2nd again at the Nike Cross Regionals NY. Consistently posting fast times on tough courses, Nadel led a very strong contingent that would go on to achieve 9th at NXN. Now a graduate of the program, Nadel was the 2012 Millrose Games Mile Champ where she ran her PR of 4:46.11. She also graduated HS with a 3K time of 9:25. At Georgetown, Nadel finished 128th at NCAA Nationals as a freshman, dipping under 21 minutes for 6K.
Some Top Girls
Emily Stites: The top finisher from NCAA Nationals, Stites placed an incredible 26th at NCAA's as a true freshman. She ran a blistering 20:05 for 6K to cross the line as a third freshman. Stites also competed at the Great Edinburgh Classic where she was the top finisher with her 7th place finish.
Erin Finn: This girl is the real deal. The West Bloomfield (Michigan) star was seventh as a sophomore at Foot Locker Nationals and second as a junior. Her senior season was ended early when she failed to qualify for nationals. She got right back up and opened her indoor season with a blazing 10:18 3200m and followed that up with a 14:09 4K to win the NACAC Junior race.
Carrie Verdon: CA State XC Champ in 2011, Verdon was on Colorado's varsity squad as a freshman. She finished 136th at NCAA Nationals as a freshman and recorded a PR of 20:41 in her first season as a Buffalo. She is in great shape despite it being late January, as she is coming off of a 16:47 5K this past weekend.
Samantha George: The ACC Freshman of the year, George recorded a 6K time of 20:46 to place 13th at the ACC Championship. She is coming off of a fifth place at the NACAC XC Championships, showing she is ready to roll on the course.
Taylor Mannett: Another girl who will be heading down from Michigan, Mannett had a great freshman year as a Michigan Wolverine. She ran a best time of 20:52 for 6K and placed 169th at NCAA nationals. She recently ran at the Great Edinburgh Classic where she was 17th in the junior race.
Maddie Meyers: Meyers crossed the line at NCAA Nationals in 187th place as a freshman this year. The Washington Huskie is in great shape as evidence by her 9:33 3K this past weekend. The Washington native boasts a 6K PR of 20:53.
Olivia Pratt: The Butler Bulldog was 195th at NCAA Nationals as a freshman. Her best 6K time from the season was 21:27 at NCAA Pre-Nationals. Pratt is coming off a solid 3K this past weekend, running 9:48 for 3K.
Meghan McGovern: Another NCAA Nationals qualifier, McGovern was 228th as a freshman. She recorded a very similar time of Mannett, as she ran 20:56 as her best for the 6K distance. McGovern, a runner for Willam & Mary, was sixth at the NACAC Championship.
Katie Knight: Knight has established herself as one of the top HS distance runners in the nation. She finished third at NXN this year as well as last year. The future Washington Huskie has set incredible times from 800m to 5000m with PR's such as 10:20 for 3200m and 4:51 for a mile.
Maggie Drazba: At only 16 years of age, Drazba was last year's runner up. The future West Virginia runner is coming off of a 22nd place finish at Foot Locker Nationals. She has run 10:27 for 3200m and 4:53 for a mile, while having a solid 17:10 5K from the Foot Locker South Regional.
Hannah Long: Long has been a force in Missouri ever since she won the Forest Park XC Festival last year. She had a tough loss against Taylor Werner at that meet this year but continued on to win her first state championship this fall. She qualified for Foot Locker Nationals and made the most of the opportunity and took 10th place, beating out her MO counterpart. Long is no stranger to the Forest Park course, as she ran 17:07 for 5K this year at Forest Park.
Regan Mullen: Mullen chose the DII route and has found great success doing so. She finished 22nd at DII Nationals recording a 6K time a little over 21 minutes. She competed for Team USA at the NACAC Championships where she was 9th.
Kaitlyn Kramer: Kramer collected a solid PR for 6K running 20:57 at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational. A NC State freshman, Kramer had a breakout season in college. She was 26th at ACC's and will join her teammate, Samantha George in St. Louis this weekend.
Taylor Werner: One of only a few runners to complete the NXN and Foot Locker doubles, she is the only freshman to pull off that feat. The top freshman, Werner burst on the scene on the Forest Park course, running 16:59 in her first ever 5K to win the Forest Park XC Festival. Werner capped off her season with a 13th place finish at Foot Locker, only a couple spots behind Missouri counterpart, Hannah Long.
Sydney Scott: The Colorado Native has faired well at West Viriginia. She has one of the better 6K times in the field with a PR of 21:21 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional where she was All-Region.
Alex Davis: The Plainview (Oklahoma) HS standout was 17th at this meet last year. However, the Baylor commit had quite the senior year. She won her state meet, was fourth at Foot Locker South, and went on to place 26t at Foot Locker Nationals.
Emily Nist: A teammate of Nerud's at Syracuse, Nist clocked in at 22:16 for 6K this fall. From Idaho, Nist ran 10:26 in her HS days. She showed she was ready to go for this weekend, running 17:24 last weekend at the Penn State National Invitational.
Emma Lisa-Murphy: Ran 21:35 in her freshman year as a Wisconsin Badger.
Laura Vazquez: Ran 21:40 in her freshman season at San Diego State.
Emma Abrahamson: 10:24 3200m, 4:55 1600m, 14th at Foot Locker West.
Ariel Michalek: Wisconsin Badger, redshirt in the fall, 4:53/10:33 HS PRs.
Kaitlyn Fischer: A local talent, Fischer has won many state championships in Missouri. She had a fantastic senior cross country season where she ran 17:51 at the Forest Park XC Festival and won her state meet. She has things going for her - her experience on the Forest Park course, and her ability to adjust to long distances. For many of these girls it will be there first 6K. While this is true for Fischer, she ran an absurd 36:13 for 10K this summer.
Nicole Mello: Mello was a Foot Locker qualifier as a junior, but missed out this past fall. A recent Mizzou commit, Mello was second at the Missouri State meet this fall.
Amelia Paladino: 30th at Foot Locker Nationals.
Lyndsey Mull: At UCLA, ran 4:49/2:14 in HS.
Miranda Prado: TX XC State Champ.
Some Top Boys
Craig Nowak: Nowak, an Oklahoma State Cowboy, helped his team make it to NCAA Nationals, but did not run at the national meet. The Cypress Woods (Texas) grad, ran a blazing 10K at the Arkansas Chili Pepper Festival, clocking in at 30:28. He just missed out on All-Region, placing 28th at the Midwest Regional. It hasn't even been a month since he ran a cross country race as he was 3rd at the Great Edinburgh XC Classic.
Matt McClintock - The Big Ten Freshman XC Runner of the year, McClintock placed 103rd at NCAA's as a true freshman. He recorded personal bests of 24:03 for 8K and 30:45 for 10K in his first season at Purdue. He recently ran a 5K indoors, clocking in at 14:29 in the 5K at the Indiana Relays last week. The many time Maine State champ was 15th in his senior season at Foot Locker Nationals, two spots ahead of another USA XC Championships competitor, Darren Fahy.
Tony Smoragiewicz: The University of Michigan runner had an illustrious career at Rapid City Central. Smoragiewicz was third as a junior at Foot Locker and followed that up with a seventh place finish his senior year. A sub nine 3200m runner, Smoragiewicz is an incredibly strong cross country runner. This season he ran a PR of 24:13 for 8K at Big Ten's to finish 16th and was 132nd at Nationals with a time of 31:00 for 10K. Tony also ran at the Great Edinburgh XC Classic where he was 11th.
Jacob Thomson: The Louisville area star has become one of the top distance runners in the country. This past fall he was second at Great American (where he ran 14:43!), won the Kentucky State Meet, and was fifth at Foot Locker. He also ran at Edinburgh where he was 12th. A day later he committed to run for NC State next year.
Estevan De La Rosa: De La Rosa is coming off of great couple of races. He was second at the mud-covered Nike Cross Nationals where he played an integral part in his team's victory. He then went to the Great Edinburgh Meet earlier this month where he was sixth. De La Rosa kept rolling on the XC train, finishing second at the NACAC XC Championships and the top American. Needless to say, the California State runner up has been on a roll in his recent races.
Andrew Gardner: Gardner, 11th at Foot Locker Nationals, just had a cross country race this past weekend. He finished 9th at the NACAC XC Championships, running 19:26 for 6K. He was the second American behind De La Rosa. Gardner made it to Foot Locker three times in high school.
Thomas Graham: A Stanford Cardinal, Graham has the fastest 8K time among the bunch. He ran 24:11 at the Doc Adams Invitational to place fifth back in November. In his high school days, Graham was 9th at Foot Locker and ran 8:56.21 for 3200m.
Darren Fahy: A big name last spring, Fahy is a two-time Foot Locker qualifier. He finished his senior year in style where he ran 8:54 at Arcadia and won both the 1600m and 3200m at the California State meet. Now a Georgeotwn Hoya, Fahy gained some experience at the 8K distance, as he ran a PR of 24:14 at NCAA Pre-Nationals. He went on to finished 173rd at Nationals with a time of 31:21.
Malacy Schrobilgen: Oak Park-River Forest grad and Wisconsin Badger, Schrobilgen was a Foot Locker Finalist in 2011. He ran 4:12 and 9:03 on the track last spring. He opened his career as a Badger January 19th, running an 8:19.70 to win the 3K at the Wisconsin Elite Invitational (this equates to 8:56.43 for 3200m).
Dustin Wilson: Wilson's career as a Columbia Lion was an incredible one. He opened the season with a 24:54 for his first ever 8K followed by a 24:46 to place 56th at the Greater Louisville Classic. After that, he began to struggle with sickness and fell off towards the end of the season. However, the 2011 13th finisher at Foot Locker, has gotten back on his feet and has run 8:35 in his first 3K for the indoor season. For all those 3200m convertors out there this equates to a little over 9:10 for 3200m.
Ben Golestan: When Wilson got sick, Golestan was one of the Lions that stepped up to fill his spot. The Southlake Carroll grad finished 25th at Ivy's where he ran 24:27 for 8K.
Craig Engels: Engels was one of the top milers last spring, as he finished 6th in the Adidas Dream Mile with a time of 4:03.96. Now at NC State, Engels redshirted the past fall. With an 800m PR of 1:49.89, if he is around at the finish we could see quite the kick. He also has run 8:55 for 3200m.
Evan Chiplock: Chiplock is another college freshman who stepped up for their team. As a Missouri Tiger, Chiplock was consistently a scorer in his first year. He ran his personal best time of 24:44 at the Greater Louisville Classic where he was 52nd.
Tyler Schneider: You could say Tyler Schneider had a breakout fall. The Conant Grad and Missouri Tiger, Schneider was second last fall at NXN Midwest…in the open race. He went on to run 24:24 at the Greater Louisville Classic where he crossed the line 27th and the second Tiger.
Drew White: The Festus/Missouri Tiger is no stranger to Forest Park. He had his breakout race at the Forest Park Invite as a junior and ran 15:19 as a senior at the same meet. The three-time Missouri State Champ redshirted in the fall running a handful of races including a 25:17 at the Rim Rock Classic. He laid down a 8:39 on the track earlier this season and should be ready for his return to Forest Park.
Noah Kauppila: Noah has one thing going for him - home field advantage. The Marquette junior finished first at the Forest park XC Festival this fall. While his cross country season had a tough ending with a 20th place at the State Meet, Kauppila already has a title to his name, with a 3200m victory last spring as only a sophomore. Noah ran a local road race this past weekend and averaged 5:18 for four miles.
Erik Peterson: 24:29 as a Butler Bulldog, 9:11 3200m runner in HS
Thomas Madden: 23rd at Foot Locker as a junior, 8:56 3200m runner, committed to the University of Virginia.
Sam Parsons: 9:00.61 3200m runner, 14:53 for 5K, member of NC State Wolf Pack
Connor Sorrells: Indiana XC Champ, 9:01 3200m runner, Furman University commit.
Korey Krotzer: 9:01 3200m runner, 4:09 1600, OSU Cowboy.
Kevyn Hoyos: 9:01 2 Miler, runs for Syracuse, 11th last year at USA XC's
Daniel Martinez: 8:57 3200m, runs for Portland
Joel Hubbard: Foot Locker qualifier as a senior, runs for Syracuse
William Brewster: 9:04 2 mile/ 4:13 mile - STL Community will remember him from his second place finish at Festival of Miles
Alex Moran: 25:14 for 8K, Michigan Wolverine
Adam Roderique: 6th at Forest Park XC Festival, 6th at MO State Meet, 21st at Foot Locker Midwest, Tulsa Commit
Sumner Goodwin: 7th at NXN