Foot Locker Cross Country Championships

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The Foot Locker Cross Country Championships are a series of annual cross country running races held in various regions of the United States to determine the premier cross country runner in various age groups, but mainly serves to find the best prep (high school) cross country athlete in the country. The FLCCC were previously known as the Kinney Cross Country Championships, which was started by Woolworth's Kinney Shoes division in 1979 in Balboa Park, San Diego, California. Finally in 1993, this elite series of cross country races became known as the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, as it still is today, for Woolworth's sporting goods company. For most people associated with the sport, the name is just shortened to Foot Locker or even abbreviated in agate results as FL. The event is the longest-running national cross country race for high school students.[1]

Regional championships[edit]

Annually there are a total of four regional championship races (usually in late November), that lead up to the national championship in San Diego in December.

Northeast Regional[edit]

The Northeast Region comprises most of the states in New England (MA, CT, NH, ME, RI, and VT) plus PA, NY, MD, DE, NJ, and the District of Columbia.[2] After being held at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, New York for its first 30 years, in 2009 it moved to Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park, Long Island, before moving back to Van Cortlandt Park in 2012.

Midwest Regional[edit]

The Midwest Region comprises the heartland states and is by far the largest region in the FLCCC series, which has states including: MN, WI, IA, ND, SD, IL, CO, KS, OH, IN, MO, MI. This event is held at the University of Wisconsin–Parkside yearly.

South Regional[edit]

The South Region is made up of states in the southern and southeastern United States including: FL, TX, KY, SC, NC, AL, GA, OK, TN, VA, AR, WV, LA. The South Region event is held at McAlpine Greenway in Charlotte, North Carolina annually.

West Regional[edit]

The West Region is considered by many to be the most potent region with the most runners appearing in the national championship. States included in the west: CA, WA, UT, ID, AZ, NM, NV, AK, HI, OR, WY, and Overseas Military. This regional race is generally conducted at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, California and is generally a week later than the other three regional races.

National Championship[edit]

The Foot Locker National Cross Country Championship is held annually in San Diego's Balboa Park (though it has been held in Orlando, Florida on 7 occasions), just as it started in 1979. A total of 40 elite cross country runners race 5 kilometers (3.1 mi), for superiority in both individual and regional standings. The top ten runners from each region are invited to the national championship in San Diego, with each region also sending two alternates. From 1981-2004, the race had 32 runners, with each region sending 8. In 1979-1980, there were 35 runners from 5 regions.

Race divisions[edit]

The number of divisions vastly differs on the region, however there are races set aside for specific age groups and one or two open events sponsored by Nike for athletes not in high school (parents, fans, supporters) to compete in.

Common regional divisions[edit]

  • Seeded Girls
  • Seeded Boys
  • Freshman Girls
  • Freshman Boys
  • Sophomore Girls
  • Sophomore Boys
  • Junior Girls
  • Junior Boys
  • Senior Girls
  • Senior Boys

Additional regional divisions[edit]

The West Regional contains the following additional divisions:

  • 7th and 8th grade

The South Regional contains the following additional divisions:

  • Nike Masters for both men and women
  • Ages 10 and under
  • Ages 11 and 12
  • Ages 13 and 14

Courses[edit]

The Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, then referred to as the Kinney Cross Country Championships started off as a small event in San Diego, California in 1979. The races moved to Orlando for the 1981 and 1982 national championships, but quickly was moved back to Balboa Park in San Diego in 1983. Additional races run in Orlando were held in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.

Orlando, Florida[edit]

The Orlando course was extremely flat, but deceivingly slow in terms of runners' times. Patches of grass and sand were scattered throughout the flat, 5,000m course.

All-Time Orlando Kinney/FL Cross Country Championships Record—Boys: Dathan Ritzenhein, 14:29, 1999

All-Time Orlando Kinney/FL Cross Country Championships Record—Girls: Amber Trotter, 16:24, 2001

San Diego, California[edit]

Balboa Park in San Diego has served as the most frequent venue for the national championships. The course is winded in a figure-8 fashion through the Morley Field portion of the nearly 5.0 km² park. There is no shortage of hills and mounds making this course the definitive cross country course. (Although the San Diego venue has always been Balboa Park, the Championships in 1979 and 1980 were run on a course other than Morley Field—a course on the western edge of Balboa Park.)

All-Time Balboa Park Kinney/FL Cross Country Championships Record—Boys: Reuben Reina, 14:36, 1985

All-Time Balboa Park Kinney/FL Cross Country Championships Record—Girls: Melody Fairchild, 16:39, 1990

Past results[edit]

In addition to a national champion being crowned in each gender division, the top 15 finishers in each gender division receive All-American honors and an overall team champion is declared based on which region had won the meet.

Footlocker National Champions
Boys Girls
Year Athlete Time Grade Region State Video Athlete Time Grade Region State Video Course
2013 Grant Fisher[3] 15:07 11 Midwest MI [1] Tessa Barrett[4] 17:16 12 Northeast PA [2] San Diego
2012 Edward Cheserek[5] 14:59 12 Northeast NJ [3] Anna Rohrer[6] 17:25 10 Midwest IN [4] San Diego
2011 Edward Cheserek[7] 14:52 11 Northeast NJ [5] Molly Seidel[8] 17:21 12 Midwest WI [6] San Diego
2010 Lukas Verzbicas[9] 14:59 12 Midwest IL [7] Aisling Cuffe[10] 16:53 12 Northeast NY [8] San Diego
2009 Lukas Verzbicas[11] 15:07 10 Midwest IL Megan Goethals[12] 17:06 12 Midwest MI [9] San Diego
2008 Solomon Haile[13] 15:15 12 Northeast MD [10] Jordan Hasay[14] 17:22 12 West CA [11] San Diego
2007 Michael Fout[15] 14:50 12 Midwest IN [12] Ashley Brasovan[16] 17:20 11 South FL [13] San Diego
2006 Chad Hall[17] 15:20 12 West CA Kathy Kroeger[18] 17:29 10 South TN San Diego
2005 AJ Acosta[19] 15:02 12 West CA Jordan Hasay[20] 17:05 9 West CA San Diego
2004 Kenneth Cormier[21] 15:22 12 West AZ [14] Aislinn Ryan[22] 17:31 11 Northeast NY [15] San Diego
2003 Matthew Withrow 14:55 12 Midwest IL Katelyn Kaltenbach 17:24 11 Midwest CO San Diego
2002 Chris Solinsky[23] 14:41 12 Midwest WI Zoe Nelson[24] 17:30 10 West MT San Diego
2001 Timothy Moore[25] 14:50 12 Midwest MI Amber Trotter[26] 16:24 12 West CA Orlando
2000 Dathan Ritzenhein[27] 14:35 12 Midwest MI Sara Bei[28] 16:55 12 West CA Orlando
1999 Dathan Ritzenhein 14:29 11 Midwest MI Victoria Chang 17:05 12 West HI Orlando
1998 Jorge Torres 15:17 12 Midwest IL Erin Sullivan 17:35 12 Northeast VT Orlando
1997 Abdirizak Mohamud 15:22 12 Northeast MA Erin Sullivan 17:22 11 Northeast VT Orlando
1996 Abdirizak Mohamud 15:21 11 Northeast MA Kristen Gordon 17:34 12 West CA San Diego
1995 Abdul Alzindani 15:11 12 Midwest MI Kim Mortensen 17:12 12 West CA San Diego
1994 Matt Downin 14:58 12 Northeast NH Julia Stamps 16:41 10 West CA San Diego
1993 Adam Goucher 14:41 12 Midwest CO Erin Davis 17:11 9 Northeast NY San Diego
1992 Brendan Heffernan 15:13 12 Northeast NJ Amanda White 17:34 12 Northeast MD San Diego
1991 Corey Ihmels 15:03 12 Midwest ND Liz Mueller 17:21 11 Northeast CT San Diego
1990 Louie Quintana 15:07 12 West CA Melody Fairchild 16:39 12 Midwest CO San Diego
1989 Bryan Dameworth 14:49 12 West CA Melody Fairchild 17:05 11 Midwest CO San Diego
1988 Brian Grosso 15:03 12 Midwest MI Celeste Susnis 17:14 11 Midwest IN San Diego
1987 Bob Kennedy 14:59 12 Midwest OH Kira Jorgensen 17:08 11 West CA San Diego
1986 Marc Davis 14:38 12 West CA [16] Erin Keogh 16:55 12 South VA San Diego
1985 Reuben Reina 14:36 12 South TX Erin Keogh 16:43 11 South VA San Diego
1984 Scott Fry 14:50 12 Midwest OH Cathy Schiro 16:48 12 Northeast NH San Diego
1983 Matt Giusto 14:54 12 West CA Janet Smith 16:43 12 Northeast NJ San Diego
1982 Eric Reynolds 14:35 12 West CA Christine Curtin 16:58 11 Northeast NY Orlando
1981 Charles Alexander 14:51 12 South VA Connie Robinson 16:40 12 Midwest OH Orlando
1980 Jay Marden 14:53 12 West CA Ceci Hopp 17:12 12 Northeast CT San Diego
1979 Brent Steiner 15:05 12 Midwest KS Ellen Lyons 17:28 12 West ID San Diego

Repeat national champions[edit]

There have only been a total of seven runners that have repeated as national champions. Zero have been national champions three times at the Kinney/FL Cross Country Championships.

Boys with two National Championships[edit]

  • Edward Cheserek won in 2011 and 2012.
  • Lukas Verzbicas won in 2009 and 2010.
  • Dathan Ritzenhein won in 1999 and 2000.
  • Abdirizak Mohamud won in 1996 and 1997.

Girls with two National Championships[edit]

  • Jordan Hasay won in 2005 and 2008.
  • Erin Sullivan won in 1997 and 1998.
  • Melody Fairchild won in 1989 and 1990.
  • Erin Keogh won in 1985 and 1986.

Foot Locker Champions to win NCAA titles[edit]

There have been a total of twelve Foot Locker Champions to win NCAA Titles in Cross Country, Indoor Track and Field, or Outdoor Track and Field, including eight men and three women.

Footlocker National Champions and NCAA Champions
NCAA Outdoor NCAA Indoor
Athlete Footlocker NCAA XC 1500 3000 5000 10000 3000SC Mile 3000 5000 University
Edward Cheserek 2011,2012 2013 2014 2014 2014 2014 Oregon
Jordan Hasay 2005,2008 2011 2011 Oregon
Chris Solinsky 2002 2006-07 2005-06 2007 Wisconsin
Dathan Ritzenhein 1999,2000 2003 Colorado
Jorge Torres 1998 2002 Colorado
Adam Goucher 1993 1998 1998 1997-98 Colorado
Melody Fairchild 1989,1990 1996 Colorado
Bob Kennedy 1987 1988,1992 1990 1991 Indiana
Marc Davis 1986 1989 1992 Arizona
Reuben Reina 1985 1990-91 Arkansas
Matt Giusto 1983 1988 Arizona
Ceci Hopp 1980 1982 Stanford

Alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]