Foot Locker Western Regionals - 1998

3.0 miles @ Mt SAC

Goto Results
Goto Write Up
Goto Qualifiers
Goto Notes

Write Up

Foot Locker Western Regional - Race Sums by Doug Speck Girls The Girls race of a hundred and fifty was off on a picture- perfect December sunny early afternoon, with defending champion Mariel Ettinger (Or) making a big early statement, leading by a full eight meters over the field as the group came off the grass at 150 meters. Through the first half mile, the Oregon star continued to press the pace, with a forty meter lead over Arizona's Sarah Gorton. Ettinger continued to roll through the mile, passing that mark faster than any female prep in the history of the illustrious Mt. SAC course, at 5:05. Sarah Gorton continued to lead the rest of the runners, far out of contact with the flying Oregon leader. Through the mile, nine athletes had slightly pulled away from the field, including past Foot Locker finalists, Abby Miller (Nv), Lauren Fleshman (Ca), and Allyson Marquand (Ca). Through the tough hilly Switch-back loop after the mile, Ettinger continued to lead, but the pack, led by Gorton, started to rein her in. As the group settled down onto the airstrip before starting the last two tough hills, "Poop-out" and "Reservoir," a pack of four battled up front. Sara Bei (Ca), a ways back through the mile, had moved aggressively during the switchback loop and moved strongly into the lead, with Fleshman, Gorton, and Miller close behind. One sensed a real momentum to Bei's arrival up front. Allyson Marquand, surprising Felicia Guliford (NM), Trina Cox (Ca), Kristel Redhair (Az), and Katie Moon (Wy) looked strong at the half-way point before Poop-out hill. When the runners next appeared heading up Reservoir Hill it was the green-clad Bei who had moved to a lead of twenty meters over Lauren Fleshman, with Gorton still competitive in third, and early leader Ettinger fading fast. Bei crested Reservoir Hill, at two and a half miles at 14:25, looking very strong, with a little over a half mile to the finish. Rolling down the flat cement airstrip and up on to the track, the Montgomery of Santa Rosa sophomore purred to a fifty meter triumph over Lauren Fleshman 17:51-18:02. Trina Cox closed strongly the last half of the course to place third, with early pace-setter Ettinger finishing 31st and Sarah Gorton ending up 17th. Bei later remarked that the patient start with big move over the hills is naturally suited to her style of racing, commenting that too quick a start here can put you in trouble as you labor over later hilly sections of the course. Her relaxed start put her into some heavy traffic during the first two flat loops that go up to the mile, but that she was thankful things widened and spread out a bit during the switchback loop so that she could work her way up. Sara stated her goal here was to qualify, with a finish in Orlando among the top three and maybe challenge for the championship there. (at the three mile finish line (course today extended up around the track to full 5000 meters) Bei was 16:59, only the third female prep under 17:00 behind former Foot Locker Champs Julia Stamps (Course Record 16:55) and Kristen Gordon (16:58). Qualifiers - Sara Bei (Montgomery HS, Santa Rosa, Ca) 17:51, 2. Lauren Fleshman (Canyon HS, Canyon Country, Ca) 18:02, 3. Trina Cox (Santa Rosa HS, Ca) 18:05, 4. Abby Miller (Green Valley, Henderson, Nv) 18:20, 5. Felicia Guliford (Gallup, NM) 18:23, 6. Kristel Redhair (Page, Az) 18:29, 7. Allyson Marquand (University HS, Irvine, Ca) 18:32, 8. Katie Moon (Evanston, Wy) 18:37. Boys: A relaxed start had a ton of people close through the relatively flat first mile, with Ben Ortega (NM) leading there at 4:35. As the field headed up over and down the switchback loop, a group of three moved to the front, with Adam Tenforde (Wa), Juan Reyes (Az), and Josh Rohatinsky (Ut) battling half-way through the event. Back just a tad were twenty-five people within a couple of seconds in the contest for the other qualifying spots. As the leaders next came into sight as they started the run up Reservoir Hill, Rohatinsky had about ten yards over Tenforde. Putting his head down the Utah junior Rohatinsky powered up over the top of the very tough Reservoir Hill at 12:20 (2 1/2 miles), extending his lead to thirty-five yards by that point. The competition for the qualifying spots after first couple was very, very close with a half a mile to go. Rohatinsky continued to power away, winning by eighty meters in 15:30, with Jed Barta (Id) edging Josh Spiker (Ca), Celedonio Rodriguez (Ca), and Tenforde in a battle for spots 2-5. Afterwards, Rohatinsky commented that at the end of the regular season he had experienced some iron level difficulties in his blood. He almost collapsing during a sixth place effort in a Utah all-star competition in his last race, so he was worried coming into this weekend. He tried to put it all behind him the night before the meet. He indicated he "snuck a look back" at the base of Reservoir Hill and seemed to notice that Adam Tenforde had slowed a tad, which combined with his confidence on hills, led to a determined decisive move. Josh commented on the pushing in the tight pack at the start of the race. He did not wish to take the lead, stating he would kill himself if he took the pace too early. An early season goal the Utah star had was to place in the top ten at Orlando. When asked about his running family (sister Tara a BYU star), and if anyone else was coming up, he replied that his ten year old brother was a national age-group placer in the 800 meters at 2:24, faster than Josh himself ran through age twelve. (Josh was 14:43 at the three mile course finish line, behind Jeff Nelson (14:32), Bryan Dameworth (14:36), Eric Mastalir (14:38), Eric Reynolds (14:39), and Louie Quintana (14:40) on the all-time Mt. SAC course prep list. Nelson still holds the National Prep two mile record at 8:36, with Dameworth, Reynolds, and Quintana all former Foot Locker National CC Champs as high-schoolers. Rohatinsky will get credit for an eleventh regular Mt. SAC grade course record for his effort today, as all the above mentioned did it during their senior years.) Qualifiers: 1. Josh Rohatinsky (Provo HS, Ut) 15:30, 2. Jed Barta (Idaho Falls, Id) 15:44, 3. Josh Spiker (Ventura HS, Ca) 15:45, 4. Celedonio Rodriguez (Elsie Allen HS, Santa Rosa, Ca) 15:47, 5. Adam Tenforde (Hanford HS, Richland, Wa) 15:51, 6. Ian Dobson (Klamath, Or) 15:51, 7. Brett Winegar (Kalispell, Mt) 15:52, 8. Juan Reyes (Phoenix, Az) 15:52.


1998 Foot Locker National Finalists 
any corrections welcome on city of school, other interesting facts about the
Doug Speck



1. *Jillian Mastroianni (Sayville HS, NY)
     -15th here last year -2 x Penn Relay Champ 3000m - 
     -4:46 1600m - 10:22 3200m track 

2. **Erin Donohue (Haddonfield HS, NJ) 
     -2 x NJ St Group I CC Champ - NJ Meet of Ch's 3200m Ch Tr
     -4:57 1600m - 10:43 3200m 

3. -Catherine Guiney (Middletown South HS, Middletown, NJ) 
     -Winner NJ Meet of Ch's in CC - fastest time 10 years 
     -Member High Academic Honor Roll 
     -4:59 1600m - 10:53 3200m track 

4. -Sheela Agrawal (Joseph Case HS, Swansea, Mass)
     -22nd here 1997     -3 x Mass St Runner-up CC 
     -4 Year winner Highest Academ Honors Award
     -2nd place Mass St Science Fair 
     -10:36 3200m track    

5. -Elizabeth Churchville (Upper Merion HS, King of Prussia, Pa)
     -2 x Pa State CC Champ   -St 3200m champ Track 
     -Member of Meritorious Academic Honor Roll 
     -10:47 3200m Champ track 

6. -Erin Sullivan (Mt. Mansfield HS, Jericho, Vt) 
     -Defending Champ here - 7 x Vt St champ Track/CC
     -Nat'l Scholastic Outdoor 2 mile champ 
     -Academic Award winner 
     -4:49 1600m - 10:15 3200m 

7. -Sheila Klick (Archbishop Predergast HS, Drexel Hill, Pa) 
     -member National Honor society 
     -5:01 mile - 10:11 3000 meters 

8. -Cheryl Bauer (Morris Hills HS, Rockaway, NJ) 
     -3rd St Meet CC 
     -Member of Math, Spanish, and Academic Honor Society 
     - 5:05 1600m - 11:05 3200m track 


1. -Liz Awtrey (Robinson, Fairfax, Va) 
     -Undefeated 1998 CC - 3 x F Locker Nat'l Finalist (26th 97)
     -Va State CC Champ       
     -member National Honor Society 
     -4:56 1600m - 10:49 3200m track 

2. **Kelly Otstott (Jefferson, Alexandria, Va) 
     -All State CC - Indoor  & Outdoor Track 
     -4th Place Nat'l Scholastic Indoor 800m 
     -member French Honor Society 
     -2:13.36 800m -4:58 1600m track 

3. *Hilary White (Eastside, Gainesville, Fl) 
     -2 x State Champ CC - State 1600-3200m Champ Track 
     -4:59 1600m & 11:03 3200m 

4. *Sara Graybill (Daviess County, Owensboro, Ky) 
     -Winner Ky State Meet CC - St Runner of the Year 
     -member National Honor Society 
     -5:09 1600m -11:24 3200m track - 

5. -Risa Rutland (Clements HS, Sugar Land, Tx) 
     -Texas St 5A CC Champ -      
     -3 x School Acad Excellence Aw winner
     -Member Nat'l Honor Society    -11:23 3200m track

6. -Kimberly Myers (Jefferson Forest HS, Forest, Va) 
     -Va St AA CC Champ setting Course Record - 
     -St Indoor AA 1600 & 3200m Champ - 
     -Student Body President -member Nat'l Honor Society   
     -11:24 3200m track

7. *Carre Joyce (Summerville HS, SC) 
     -State CC Runner of the Year  
     -State 1600m-3200m Champ Track 
     -Academic Letter winner 3 years - 
     -11:23 3200m - 

8. -Ashley Broussard (Willis HS, Tx) 
     -former Texas St 4A CC Champion    
     -Student Council President-Student Body Secretary - 
          Co-Editor of the Yearbook 
     -11:10 3200m track 


1. -Lyndsi Gay (Reynoldsburg HS, Oh) 
     -Oh St & Midwest Regional Champion in 1st year running 
     -3 x Tennis State Qualifier - Nationally ranked there 
     -Homecoming Court, Class Treasurer, member Nat'l Honor Soc
       & Academic All-American 

2. -Marni Kruppa (Dublin Coffman HS, Coffman, Oh) 
     -Mid-East CC champion - 7th Oh St Meet CC & Track 3200m 
     -Nat'l Merit Commended Scholar - St Finalist Wendy's 
          Heisman Award             
     -10:53 3200m Track 

3. -Christin Wurth (Bloomington HS, Il) 
     -4th last year this competition -2 x Ill St 800m Champ Tr 
     -member Nat'l Honor Society - Ill St HS Assn Scholar Athlete
     -2:12 800m - 4:34 1500m track 

4. *Rebecca Mitchell (Geneva HS, Il) 
     -6th 1996, 3rd 1997 this competition - 2 x Il St CC champ 
     -6th Jr Nat'ls 1500m Track 
     -Jr Class Secretary/Treasurer - Member Nat'l Honor Society
     -4:36 1500m Track 

5. -Amy Mortimer (Riley County HS, Manhattan, Ks) 
     -4 x Kansas St CC Champ - St 800-1600-3200m Champ Track 
     -4 year Honor Roll Student - Nat'l Merit Commended Scholar
     -Wendy Heisman's State Finalist 
     -4:58 1600m - 10:49 3200m 

6. *Katherine Hartmann (Woodstock HS, Il) 
     -7th & 2nd last two years in the Illinois St Meet in CC 
     -Member Nat'l Honor Roll
     -10:50 3200m track 

7. -Nicole Williams (Westview HS, Topeka, In) 
     -2 x Foot Locker Nat'l Finalist (30th 1997) 
     -former St CC & 3200m Ch Tr  -winner St Mental Attitude Award 
     -4:56 1600m -10:49 3200m 

8. -Cecilia Williams (York HS, Elmhurst, Il) 
     -2 x All-State CC - 2 x member St champ 4x800m Relay team tr
     -School artist of the month in photography 
     -4:48 1500m track 


1. **Sara Bei (Montgomery HS, Santa Rosa, Ca)
     -10th 1997 Foot Locker Nat'ls - Cal St 1600m-3200m Champ Tr
     -Undefeated this Fall 
     -4.83 GPA - ranked first in class academically 
     -4:49 1600m - 10:30 3200m in track  

2. -Lauren Fleshman (Canyon HS, Canyon Country, Ca) 
     -2 x Runner-up in Foot Locker Cross-Counry Western Regional
     -Cal St Div I CC champion - 
     -4.83 GPA - Nat'l Honor Society Vice President 
     -2:11 800m 4:58 1600m and 10:38 3200m track 

3. -Trina Cox (Santa Rosa HS, Ca) 
     -2 x National Finals Qualifier - former Cal St CC Champ 
     -Winner of Alabama's Vulcan CC Classic this Fall 
     -Member School Sr Hall of Fame - Most Athletic Girl Award
     -5:00 1600m - 10:30 3200m track 

4. *Abby Miller (Green Valley HS, Henderson, Nv) 
     -2 x Nat'ls Final Qualifier (3rd 1996) 
     -3 x Nev St CC Champ - St 1600m-3200m Champ Track 
     -Member Academic Honor Roll - Straight A's since 2nd Grade
     -4:53 1600m - 10:37 3200m track 

5. ***Felicia Guliford (Gallup JHS, NM) 
     -State 4A CC Champion CC - St 3200m champ Track 8th grade 
     -Member Academic Honor Roll & Student Council 
     -11:27 3200 meters track in 8th grade!

6. *Kristel Redhair (Page HS, Az) 
     -2 x State 4A CC Champion - 
     -11:28 3200m track 

7. -Allyson Marquand (University HS, Irvine, Ca) 
     -25th here last year - 6th State Track 3200m 
     -All State CC/Soccer/Tr 
     -member US "under-18" Nat'l Soccer Team 
     -Nat'l Merit Scholarship Commendation Award 
     -4:55 1600m - 10:39 3200m track 

8. *Katie Moon (Evanston HS, Wy) 
     -2 x Wyoming St CC champ - 
     -Member Academic Nat'l Honor Society 
     -11:11 3200m track 



1. -Andy Powell (Over Ames HS, Easton, Mass) 
     -St CC Champ - also indr and outdoor 1600m champ 
     -Member Academic Honor Roll 
     -4:05 1600m - 8:56 Two miles 

2. -Franklyn Sanchez (Lynn Tech HS, Lynn, Mass) 
     -1997 St runner year CC - 2nd Nat'l Schol Outdoor 2 mile 
     -9:04 3200m track

3. *Aaron Emery (Beaver River Central School, Croghan, NY) 
     -NY Federation CC Runner-up. 
     -9:17 3200m track 

4. -Dan Tebano (Shenendehowa HS, Clifton Park, NY) 
     -5th NY Federation CC Meet   
     -Member Academic Honor Roll 
     -4:20 1600 - 9:31 3200m track 

5. -Nate Miller (Highland Regional HS, Blackwood, NJ) 
     -St CC Champion 
     -Honor Society President 
     -4:20 1600m - 9:29 3200m track 

6. -Louie Luchini (Ellsworth HS, Maine) 
     -11th 97 Foot Locker Nat'l Meet 
     -Member National Honor Society 
     -4:17 1600m - 9:07 3200m 

7. -Jonathan Fasulo (Hunterdon Central HS, Flemington, NJ) 
     -15:48 this year at Holmdel Park in NJ -#8 time crse history
     -9:20 track 3200m 

8. -Tom Parlapiano (St. Pius X HS, Pottstown (?), Pa) 
     -2 x State CC champion - St Track Champ 1600m-3200m 
     -Member Nat'l Honor Society 
     -4:20 1600m - 8:27 3000m in track  


1. -Brad Wilkins (Orange HS, Hillsborough, NC) 
     -Southern Regional Champion 
     -member A/B Honor Roll 
     -4:11 mile in track 

2. -Jonathan Fawcett (Georgetown HS, Tx) 
     -2 x Scholar-Athlete Award winner - Heisman Natl HS Nominee  
     -Jr Class Student of the Year - Math GPA Award winner 
     -4:17.5 1600m & 9:10.5 3200m Track 

3. -David Christian (Daviess County HS, Owensboro, Ky) 
     -3 x Ky State CC champ - 2 x St Champ 1600m-3200m Track 
     -30th in this competetion in 1996 as sophomore 
     -4:17 1600m - 9:16 3200m track 

4. -Nick Mangum (Cardinal Gibons HS, Raleigh, NC) 
     -2A State Champ CC & 3200m Track 
     -4:22 1600m - 9:21 3200m track 

5. -Thomas Bonn (Lockhart HS, Tx) 
     -Tex St 5A 1600m & 3200m Champ - 
          3rd Penn Re 1500m & 6th Golden West Inv Mile 
     -Member Nat'l Honor Society - 
     -4:13 mile - 9:22 3200m 

6. -Alexandre L'Heureux (Palm Beach Gardens HS, Fl) 
     -Fl St CC champ - 2 x State 3200m Champ Track 
     -Member Nat'l Honor Society & Art Honor Society 
     -8:53 3000m - 

7. -Joshua Baker (Freedom HS, Morganton, NC) 
     -1997 Foot Locker Finalist - 4th NC State CC this Fall
     -4:20 1600m & 9:26 3200m track 

8. -Edward Acosta (Belen Jesuit HS, Miami, Fl) 
     -4 x All-State CC - St 3200m runner-up track 
     -3 x Academic Honor Roll award winner 
     -9:36 3200m track 


1. -Jorge Torres (Wheeling HS, Il) 
     -Runner-up this competition last December 
     -3 x Foot Locker Finalist CC - 3 x Il St CC Champ - 
      -has been a Student of the Quarter 
      -member "B" Honor Roll       -4:16 1600m - 9:09 3200m Tr

2. -Jason Hartman (Rockford HS, Mich) 
     -2 x Mich St CC Champ - St 1600m/3200m Champ Track 
     -Member School Academic Honor Roll 
     -4:12 1600m - 9:10 3200m 

3. **Dathan Ritzenhein (Rockford HS, Mich) 
     -5th & 2nd Mich St CC championships last two years 
     -6th St 3200m Track as a 9th grader last spring 
     -member school Academic Honor Roll   - 9:30 3200m Tr

4. -Dana Carne (Omaha North HS, Ne) 
     -Nebr St A Champ CC & runner-up last two years 
     -1996 Nat'l JO Champ CC  
     -Student Council Vice President - member 4.0 Honor Roll 
     -4:19 1600m - 9:26 2 miles track 

5. -Brian Godsey (Lakota East HS, Liberty Township, Oh) 
     -Oh St champ CC & over 3200m track 
     -ranked 3rd academ in his class, math honorary president 
     -9:16 3200m track 

6. -Joe Barnes (Clayton Northmont HS, Clayton, Oh) 
     -2 x Foot Locker Nat'l Finalist 
     -Oh St Ch & runner-up CC last 2 years - St Champ Track 
     -member school academic honor roll 
     -9:16 3200m track  

7. *Jake Flynn (Benzonia Central HS, Benzonia, Mich) 
     -2 x State CC Champion  -4:26 1600m & 9:40 3200m Track 

8. -Eduardo Torres (Wheeling HS, Il)  
     -Three Time Foot Locker Nat'l Finalist (6th last year)
     -School Leadership award winner 
     -4:17 1600 & 9:09 3200m track 

8. -Neil Hanson (Fairmont HS, Mn) - goes as part of 8th place tie
     -Minn St AA CC Champ this Fall - 2nd St AA 1600m track 
     -Member High Honor Roll 
     -4:16 1600m track 


1. *Josh Rohatinsky (Provo HS, Utah) 
     -2 x Qualifier for these Foot Locker Nat'l Championships
     -winner 4 State Titles CC/Track last two years
     -9:08 3200m track 

2. -Jed Barta (Boneville HS, Idaho Falls, Id) 
     -Nat'l JO 5000m Champion Track - St Champ CC 
     -4:19 1600m - 9:17 3200m track 

3. *Josh Spiker (Ventura HS, Ca) 
     -4th Cal St Meet Division I - 
     -Winner Academic Honor Award for 4.0 GPA 
     -9:18 3200m track last spring as soph 

4. -Celedonio Rodriguez (Elsie Allen HS, Santa Rosa, Ca) 
     -Calif St Divisional CC Champion 
     -Member Academic Honor Roll each semester of High School 
     -9:43 3200m in track 

5. -Adam Tenforde (Hanford HS, Richland, Wa) 
     -St 3A CC champ (fastest time of day) 
     -6th Nat'l Scholastic Outdoor 2 Mile run  
     -member Nat'l Honor Society 
     -4:13 1600m - 9:09 3200m track 

6. *Ian Dobson (Klamath Union HS, Klamath Falls, Or) 
     -Ore St 4A CC champion 
     -Member Nat'l Honor Society - 
     -4:09 1500m - 8:50 3000m track 

7. -Brett Winegar (Flathead HS, Kalispell, Mt) 
     -2nd St AA CC Championships - 10th Nat'l JO Ch's CC 1997
     -Academic All-State 
     -4:20 1600m - 9:31 3200m track 

8. *Juan Reyes (Carl Hayden HS, Phoenix, Az) 
     -Az St 5A CC Champion - 
     -has been his school's Student of the Month 
     -9:15 3200m in track 


Notes - Foot Locker Nationals 
Doug Speck 

      -If you get ahold of no other publication on our sport this 
year get your hands (that's a lot of "get's" I know), on the Foot
Locker program that was put together for the Regionals and I 
assume will be available at the Nationals Meet in Orlando.  With 
the assistance of Adidas and printing by Shooting Star Media, 
Inc. (Larry Eder and crew), the Twentieth anniversary issue is 
one of the great works ever one about the sports of Cross-Country 
or Track & Field.  Every national finisher since the competition 
started in 1979 is listed (I know there are only the top ten 
listed from 1979 but I finally tracked down in my garage the rest
rom that first year, care of Bob Latham of Bend HS), so we do 
have all the finishers ever in the National Finals in one spot 
now.  Marc Bloom (Harrier Magazine) has a great overall article 
on the championship weekend and an amazing research effort on 
every past champion, with interesting quotes, current status, and 
an interesting "most embarrasing moment in the sport.  It's a 
total crack-up!  Which Foot Locker champ now has six children and 
marks as her most embarrasing moment when she had to stop to 
answer nature's call during a prep race, then stepped back on the 
course to win the meet?  We won't spoil it by telling you, but 
there is a ton of amazing information that will provide some 
very, very entertaining reading (most not quite so "far-out"). 
Interestingly, most former Champs are doing very well with nearly 
all marking the Foot Locker Championship race weekend as one of 
the highlights of their career in running.  Many comment on the 
Foot Locker experience as the springboard to motivate them to 
future national or international success at the Collegiate and 
Open level.  
     Obviously we see a research job here, with for about a 
decade this writer wishing to do a database of schools of all 
national qualifiers.  There are some amazingly successful prep 
programs, with North Hunterdon HS (NJ), Thousand Oaks (Ca), 
McCullough (Tx), Jesuit (Ca), etc. coming to mind with having an
mpressive number of runners qualifying for this competition 
through the years.  Which programs have the most through history 
would be very intersting information.  Sounds like a Christmas 
vacation project--we'll be in touch, as will need some help as we 
go back through twenty years of "where they went" (Foot Locker 
info most often carries hometown, not school of attendance)!     

     The Western Regional move from Fresno's Woodward Park to Mt. 
SAC, with the latter course in Walnut, California quite a bit 
more challenging, went off in fine style.  Comments from outside 
of state coaches was of a very positive nature about the  course
itself, with the Mt. SAC coach manicured to perfection by  Mt.
SAC crew Coaches Doug Todd/Mike Goff and crew.  With some  3500
entrants there was no shortage of runners, with exciting  races
all during the day.  The course at 5000 meters finishes on  the
track with parents and others able to relax in the large 
football stands area able and watch the finish. The efforts of 
out of state parents and coaches cannot be appreciated too much 
as they point young people in a positive direction with our 
sport, with some pretty major planning for travel with private 
buses and all with taking place.  

     How the Orlando race develops will be very interesting.  The 
course used for a number of years at Balboa Park in San Diego was 
a figure eight loop that was run twice, with a major hill section 
that had to be each of those segments.  Many successful athletes 
pointed to a planned or unplanned move on the hills as a decisive 
factor in the race.  I remember for a number of years that the 
female athlete who came off the hill just after the mile in first 
place was never passed for the remainder of the race.  The golf 
course set-up in Florida will obviously be a bit different.  What 
tactics are planned and how they pan out will be interesting.  
Will contact with a leading pack be "life and death" important?  
Will some go out too hard, with the winner coming from a pack 
behind the leader?  It's why they run the race, with the 
geographic variety of leading contestants and the activity's 
tradition like nothing else in high school sports (there is still 
no prep championship activity in any sport that gathers such a 
high percentage of the top potential competitiors).  

     The Girls' contest obviously became a ton more interesting, 
as defending champ Erin Sullivan (Vt), last year's winner by 
nearly thirty seconds over Mariel Ettinger (Or), was only sixth 
in the Northeast Regional.  Ettinger was interestingly the victim 
of too fast a start in the Western Regional a week ago with a 
5:05 first mile before hitting the brutal hills there and not 
making it with a 31st place effort.  We believe the Northeast 
Regional effort was Sullivan's first loss to high-schoolers in 
the last year and a half.  Obviously there are confidence issues 
coming back at the next higher level two weeks after a less than 
optimum race.  Sullivan was certainly the most dominant prep 
runner her 1997-98 junior year, with a dominant National 
Scholastic Outdoor two mile win in June over a top group that was 
run after she just had just enough time to warm up after her 
flight arrived late in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The Midwest 
Champ, Lyndsi Gay (Oh) is amazingly a nationally ranked tennis 
player in her first year of running.  She won over a very veteran 
group out of the Midwest with National Finals experience, with 
track speedsters Rebecca Mitchell (Il) 3rd last year nationally, 
and 2:12.15 800m runner Christin Wurth (Il) 4th from the 98 
nationals, probably favored by the Lake Buena Vista course in 
Florida.  Sara Bei (Ca) has dominated the west, with the lastest 
star out of the Santa Rosa area above San Francisco, smooth as 
silk, often deferring the early pace-setting to others in big 
races.  How far she can afford to sit back in the Nationals will 
be interesting, with her mid-race moves at the Mt. SAC 
Invitational and Western Regional on a tough, hilly course very 
impressive.  Bei was tenth at Nationals last year after 
qualifying at eighth place from the region.  Western runner-up 
Lauren Fleshman was 2:11.87 in her one serious 800m attempt last 
spring, with the lithe, gliding runner seeming to race well on 
all types of courses, and the ability for a quick sprint finish.  
Liz Awtrey (Va), the Southern champ, is a three-time finalist who 
was 30th at Nationals in 98, and is undefeated this Fall.  She 
certainly has the experience, with the Foot Locker weekend with 
its gala demeanor sometimes a bit intimidating to first year 
qualifiers.  Most preps are not a couple of thousand miiles away 
from home and in a strange bed for a couple of nights before 
running a very, very important race.  Hilary White (Fl) was third 
in the Southern Regional and will have no shortage of local 
support, as some of those California Champions along the way were 
lifted along the course by literally thousands of local 
supporters.  Kira Jorgensen, Milena Glusac, Marc Davis, and 
others were very, very popular local stars, with Davis claiming 
he could sit in class at nearby San Diego High School and look 
out on the Foot Locker Nationals course, visualizing himself 
winning the National title.  With top regional athletes often 
romping in local competitions along the way, it is nice that all 
Regionals this year had good weather.  A race under good 
conditions with a quick start with suddenly a ton of athletes 
around you early in the running was achieved by all national 
qualifiers this year.  Qualifying athletes who dominated local 
competition all year long met top competition under "fair" 
conditions in their area races.       
     The male prep distance running strength nationally has 
definitely taken a Northeastern slant in recent years, with three 
of the last four individual champs (Abdirizak Mohamud (Mass) two 
and Matt Downin (NH) winning over area rival John Mortimer (NH) 
in 1994) coming from that area.  The track exploits of Jonathan 
Riley and Andy Powell and others in recent years has really 
generated a ton of interest in the our activity.  With Powell 
inspired recently in the "hill and dale" sport, and a Northeast 
Regional win over fellow Massachusetts star, Franlyn Sanchez, one 
has the sense that this group is honed on solid competition or 
local "sense of excellence" that will make the group very tough.  
Both Powell and Sanchez have excellent Track credentials, with 
Andy the nation's top returning 1600m/miler and 3200m/two miler, 
with Sanchez not far behind over the eight lap event.  Powell was 
20th last year, some 40 seconds behind returning runner-up Jorge 
Torres (Il).  The Illinois crew was very strong this Fall, with 
Jorge Torres the only ever four-time National Finals qualifier in 
Foot Locker history (Bryan Dameworth might have made it all four, 
but he had a shoe stepped off his foot a mile into the Western 
Regional his ninth grade year).  The regional winner Torres has 
worked his way up from 13th (95), 5th (96), and 2nd (97), with 
brother Edwardo 23rd (96) and 6th last go-round (Edwardo was only 
eighth in the Midwest Regional).  The duo is obviously moving up 
the ladder each year, with it seeming most Illinois prep courses 
through the state meet similar to the Lake Buena Vista lay-out 
(fairly flat and fast!).  Michigan's Jason Hartmann, Midwest 
runner-up has 4:12.8 (1600m) and 9:10.23 (3200m) credentials, 
with national experience.  He was fifth in the National 
Scholastic Outdoor two mile last June at 9:14.98, with Franlyn 
Sanchez 9:07.86 for second there, and the Northeast's Louie 
Luchini (Mne) (11th Foot Locker 97), 3rd at 9:08.86.  The South 
is rising in distance running.  The Foot Locker series must be 
given credit for making all areas of the nation aware of distance 
running excellence, with activities such as the National 
Scholastic Outdoor Meet, which has found a home in Raleigh, North 
Carolina, making it possible for Southerners to easily travel to 
meets and race against top competition.  Brad Wilkins, right down 
the road from Raleigh in Hillsborough, NC, took the Southern 
Regional, and was 4:11.81 for a mile in the NSO Meet, one place 
behind Andy Powell.  Wilkins will travel to Orlando with 
confidence.  Out West, Josh Rohatinsky is honed on local tough 
competition in Utah, with that area possibly the nation's most 
competitive in the fall sport.  Josh's Western Regional win at 
Mt. SAC included setting an eleventh grade course record that put 
him ahead of former Foot Locker National Champions Louie Quintana 
and Bryan Dameworth.  Josh is a 4:20 miler, with the rolling 
quick course probably a challenge to his speed.    

INTERESTING BIO FACTS (this year's finalists) 

Lyndsi Gay (Reynoldsburg, Oh) - Midwest Champion in her first 
year of running (!) is a nationally ranked tennis player who 
qualified for state in that sport for the last three years.  

Allyson Marquand (University, Irvine, Ca) - Allyson is a member 
of the U.S. "under 18" National soccer team in addition to her 
running exploits.  She has signed at----------(don't hold your 
ears and scream!!!!) Stanford.  At the Regional she indicated 
that she would play soccer her first year at the Farm, indicating 
she was excited about the class of athletes she is joining there, 
hoping to help the soccer team to move up in the National 
Rankings in that sport.  She will continue to do some running, 
and maybe be involved with Cross-Country and Track in the future 

Marnie Mason - We are inclined to think that Coach Marnie Mason-
Johnson listed for qualifier Ian Dobson (Klamath Union HS, 
Klamath Falls, Or) is the eighth place finisher from the same 
school in 1984.   

Where they are now: (from Foot Locker program done by Marc Bloom)

1979 Champs 
Brent Steiner - account manager for Cannondale Bicycles, Phoenix, 
Ellen Lyons - Marketing and web site design for a mechanical 
engineering firm, Mountain View, Ca.  
Jay Marden - elementary school principal, Carmel, Ca.  
Ceci Hopp - mother and professional runner, Atherton, Ca.  
Charles Alexander - mechanical engineer for Silicon Valley 
computer firm, Mountain View, Ca. 
Connie Jo Roberson - Middle School teacher, Cary NC. 
Eric Reynolds - works claims department of insurance company, 
Ventura, Ca. 
Christine Curtin - completed her PhD in clinical psychology at 
University of California, Berkeley, Mill Valley, Ca. 
Matt Giusto - Professional runner - Bay area of California. 
Janet Smith - started camp for young female distance runners last 
year. Mount Prospect, Il. 
Scott Fry - Works at father's ceramic tile factory. Tiffin, Ohio.

Cathy Schiro - High School Track Coach, Durham, NH. 
Reuben Reina - Professional runner, Fayetteville, Ark. 
Erin Keogh - completing PhD at University of Texas in 
Kinesiology, Austin, Tx. 
Marc Davis - Professional runner, Boulder, Co. 
Erin Keogh - above 
Bob Kennedy - professional runner, Indianapolis, In. 
Kira Jorgensen - completing PhD in aerospace engineering at 
University of Colorado, wants to be astronaut. Boulder, Co.    
Bryan Dameworth - Professional runner, Alamosa, Co. 
Melody Fairchild - Professional runner and high school cross-
country coach, Denver, Co.
Louis Quintana - Substitute teacher, San Luis Obispo, Ca. 
Melody Fairchild - above 
Corey Ihmels - Substitute teacher, Salem, Or. 
Liz Mueller - Data entry at nuclear power plant, also amateur 
boxer who is undefeated in three fights with one TKO.  New 
London, Ct. 
Brendan Heffernan - Working in computer field, assistant coach at 
high school where dad is the head coach. Glen Gardner, NJ. 
Amanda White - Professional triathlete.  Carlsbad, Ca. 
Adam Goucher - student University of Colorado, Boulder Co. 
Erin Davis - student Penn State University, University Park, Pa. 
Matt Downin - student University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wi 
Julia Stamps - student Stanford University, Stanford, Ca. 
Abdul Alzindani - student North Carolina State University, 
Raleigh, NC
Kim Mortensen - student, Los Angeles, Ca. 
Abdirizak Mohamud - student Lindenwood University, St. Charles, 
Kristen Gordon - student Georgetown University, Washington DC. 
Abdirizak Mohamud - above 
Erin Sullivan - prep student - Jerich, Vt. 

EARLY TV - They put a go-kart on the course in the first year's 
race in 1979 in San Diego with a camera looking back at the 
runners. Girls' leader Ellen Lyons spent most of her time on the 
downhills waving and yelling to the go-kart during the race to 
speed up or get out of the way, as the driver did have the nerve 
to go down the hills faster than the Idaho winner could traverse 
those sections.  This was also the year the TV group asked Fred 
LaPlante, the Meet Director (then San Diego State Coach), if the 
athletes could not stay close together for the first mile or two 
so they would look good in the TV pictures.  

GREAT MOVIE - They used to show the Foot Locker Finalists a movie 
the night before the event.  This movie happened to be of the 
early 80's national finals where the girls race went out close to 
4:50 for the first mile and Oregon's Brad Hudson charged out 
close to 4:25 for the first mile in the Boys' contest.  Both 
leaders eventually faded, but, boy, you should have seen the look 
on many of the competitor viewers faces as they thought each year 
the race went out that hard, and "oh my gosh," you have to take 
this race out quite a bit faster than my best mile ever run.  I 
was kind of glad when they stopped showing that particular movie. 

COURSE RECORD RUNS - Reuben Reina's 14:36.8 Course Record run on 
the San Diego Balboa Park course in 1985 was never broken through 
the finals races there until 1996.  That 1985 race had nine boys 
under 15:00, with no other yearly finals ever having more than 
two under that barrier.  
     Janet Smith's 16:43.7 survived the onslaught of Cathy Schiro 
(16:48.1 1984), and Erin Keogh (16:43.8 1985) before Melody 
Fairchild unloaded on it on an eighty degree day in 1990, with 
the Boulder, Colorado star racing 16:39.2 to win by 59 seconds in 
one of the most staggering prep performances ever.  Fairchild was 
"in a zone" that day unlike maybe no prep ever in this series.  
Julia Stamps came close with a 16:41.9 from 1994.

PERSONAL MOMENT - Having 1996 National Foot Locker Champion 
Kristen Gordon tell me later that a comment I made helped spur 
her on to her win.  At the top of the last hill before she ran 
down Julia Stamps and the group for the win she said that she 
thought back to when I introduced her at the California State 
meet award presentation a couple of weeks previous as probably 
the second best runner in the nation, thinking in her mind she 
was going to prove me wrong---oh well---------------!   

There's truly nothing like the event.  Orlando's a cheap ticket 
if you ever are inclined to go, you will not be disappointed with 
your attendance.