This Saturday in frigid Wisconsin 10 boys and girls will look to qualify for the Foot Locker Cross Country Championship in San Diego. Missouri MileSplit's David Everett takes a look at the top contenders in a very strong field featuring 7 nationally ranked girls.
Kelsey Lakowske MS# 4 (SR, CO) – Kelsey returns as the 4th best returner from Foot Locker Nationals where she finished 6th. She won her state meet in 18:05 and should be the favorite coming into the race on Saturday.
Molly Seidel MS# 7 (JR, WI) – Seidel won her state meet in 13:44 for a 4k beating the field by over a minute. She won the Midwest Distance Gala Mile last year, ahead of other girls looking to qualify.
Allison Woodward MS#10 (SR, WI) – She also won her division, winning in a time of 13:59. She won the Nike Heartland Regional in a time of 17:35, winning by 20 seconds. Woodward is also the Roy Griak Champion.
Kayla Beattie MS# 14 (JR, IL) – Beattie impressed a lot of people winning the Nike Regional in a time of 17:45. She won a lower division in Illinois, with a time of 16:22, with a margin of 50 seconds. Of the results available, she has only finished second once only to Aisling Cuffe.
Shelby Houlihan MS# 15 (SR, IA) – Houlihan won her state meet in 13:40. Putting the times in perspective, Katie Flood, who went on to finish 8th at Foot Locker National last year, ran 13:50 at the state meet. She gapped the field by about 30 seconds at State. She was second at Nike Regional only behind Allison Woodward.
Brook Handler MS# 18 (SR, MI) – She blazed a 17:00 at her State meet to finish just in front of Gabrielle Anzalone. She finished 21st last year at regionals, and can easily improve from that placing.
Gabrielle Anzalone MS# 19 (SR, MI) – Anzalone lost by only one second to Handler, but has beaten her earlier in the year. The two Michigan girls should be up towards the front come Saturday.
Carly Hamilton (SR, OH) – Hamilton finished an impressive 4th at NXN Midwest in 17:55. She was second at her state meet only behind Thomas. While she did finish 33rd last year, she has as good a chance as any to qualify for Nationals on Saturday.
Waverly Neer (SR, IN) – Neer is coming off a State title where she ran 18:17. She then finished 6th at Foot Locker in 18:01, and 2nd at Mid-East only behind #24 Michelle Thomas. She was the first one out finishing 11th last year at Foot Locker Midwest.
Jessica Jackson (SR, MO) – Jackson finished 12th last year at Regionals. She came in second at State, only behind Samantha Nightingale who went on to finish second at NXN Midwest.
Colleen Quigley (SR, MO) – 3rd at state, 14th last year
Maria Hauger (SO, MN) – 1st at State, 5th at NXN Heartland
Shannon Osika (SR, WI) – 10th at Foot Locker Midwest last year, but 5th at State this year.
Allyson Winchester (SR, MI) – Won her division at state, 13th last year.
Eleanor Fulton (SR, CO) – Finished 3rd at state but had an amazing track season including being a Jim Ryun Dream Mile Finalist.
Alexandria Fons (FR, WI) – Won her division at state as a freshman.