Foot Locker South Girls Preview

With 32 girls under 18:00 minutes for the season, the 10 qualifying spots will be up for grabs Saturday in the 34th running of the Foot Locker South Regional meet.

The odds’ on favorite is senior Caroline Alcorta (West Springfield, VA). After finishing eighth here last year, she is the top returnee. She went on to place 16th at Nationals and has been on a tear since. She claimed an indoor state title in the 3200m and then went on to scorch a 10:19.68 two mile to finish fifth at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, NC. This past cross country season, she has dominated. Her wins at Third Battle, adidas Challenge and state where she earned another title were all 30+ second margins over second place. Barring any mishaps Saturday, the UNC commit, should earn one of the qualifying spots to the Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego, CA on Dec. 14, 2013.

Close on Alcorta’s heels last year, was ninth place finisher Allie Klimkiewicz (Oakton, Vienna, VA).  The junior raced to a 1st place finish at the Wendy’s Invitational in a season best of 17:34 on the same McApline course the athletes will compete on on Saturday. Last year’s 33rd National finisher enters this ranked sixth best from her Wendy’s time. However, she’ll need to rebound from her fourth place finish at 3A State champs in 18:01 where she was beaten by several of the runners in Saturday’s seeded race.

Another contender is last year’s tenth place finisher, Amelia Paladino (University High, Morgantown, WV). The senior is coming off a win at the WV 3A State cross country championships in 17:55.8.  That’s a tad shy of her wining mark of 17:47 last year, but last year she was able to muster a 17:32 to qualify for nationals where she finished 30th.

Other top returners from last year include 12th place finisher Katie Fortner (Sr, Cave Springs, Roanoke, VA), 13th place finisher, Sydney Foreman (So, Landmark Christian, Fairburn, GA), 15th place finisher, Kayla Montgomery ( Sr. Mount Tabor, Winston-Salem, NC), 18th place finisher, Emily Edwards(Sr, Fort Myers, FL), and 19th place finisher, Alexandra Cameron(Sr. Dunwoody, GA).

However, this group will be challenged by a very fit field. Just two weekends ago at the Dash for Doobie 3200m race in Winston Salem, NC, a stunning 12 runners dipped under the 11:00 barrier. That increased the number of sub 11:00 3200m runners in the field to 26! In that race, Montgomery who has the fourth  best cross country time of the season, finished 11th in 10:54.2 and behind Saturday field’s 24th ranked Eliza Dekker( Jr, Durham Academy, Durham, NC). Saturday’s field could produce that type of competitive race which could turn the rankings inside out.

So expect the unexpected Saturday. The field is wide open. Alcorta is the class of the field and should win easily and possibly crack the 17 minute barrier which has not been done since Chelsey Sveinsson’s 16:53 in 2009. Behind her will be a hotly contested race on an expected cool crisp morning- perfect for fast times.

Here is a list of the contenders (based on entries posted on the Foot Locker South website and times found on milesplt.com’s data base).

Devin Clark, Junior, Smithson Valley, TX. She enters with the second fastest time in the field with her 17:16.0. She finished 3rd at her state meet in 17:55.4 and most recently sixth at the NXN South Regional in 18:02.1. She’ll need to get back on track this week and crack the 17:40 barrier to have a chance at a qualifying spot.

Hannah Christen, Senior, Lake Braddock, Burke, VA. There is a lot of tradition behind the Lake Braddock program. They are the all-time leader in number of girl athletes to qualify with 8. If Christen qualifies, that would make nine athletes and 13 total qualifiers which is second only to Saratoga Spring’s 17 qualifiers to nationals. Christen comes in with the third best time of 17:21.5 and a runner-up finish at 6A state championships where she ran a solid 17:52. She’s also owner of the third fastest 3200m time(10:26.99) in the field which she’ll need on Saturday.

Kayla Montgomery, Sr, Mount Tabor, Winston-Salem, NC. She finished 15th last year and is coming off a win at the 4A State championships where she sped to a quick 17:29.12. She was second at the Wendy’s Invitational in another quick performance of 17:42. She ran 10:54.12 to finish 11th at the Dash for Doobie which was within seven seconds of her personal best.

Tayler Tuttle, Sr, Providence Christian Academy, Lilburn, GA. The senior is making the most of her full time commitment to running. The former softball player has the sixth fastest time in the field with her 17:32.6 on the Alexander/Asics Invitational quick course. She was second at the GHSA A Private XC Champs in 18:51.97 and will need to knock a good minute off to have chance at a qualifying spot.

Gabriella Karas, Freshman, Martha Layne Collins, Shelbyville, KY. The fastest frosh in the field with her season best of 17:34.3. She won the 2A State XC Champs in 17:39.04 to go along with her sensational double win in the 1600m, 5:03.08 and 3200m, 10:58.5 in the spring as an eighth grader.

Natalie Rathjen, Senior, Highland Park, TX. Her post season has been solid. She won the 4A State XC Champs in 17:41.78 and then laced up the spikes again to finish a fourth at the NXN South Regional in 17:54.3. The ninth fastest entering Saturday’s meet with her 1734.4, she owns the second fastest 3200m with her 10:19.54 which was good for second place in last spring’s Texas Relays.

Savannah Carnahan, Sophomore, South Forsyth, Cumming, GA. The fastest soph coming in with her 17:36.9 from the Alexander/Asics Invitational. She has a personal best of 5:13.43 in the 1600m and will need to bring that speed to the McAlpine raceway to have a shot at the top ten.

Grace Sullivan, Junior, Providence, Charlotte, NC. She finished 3rd at the Wendy’s Invitational in 18:17 and improved to 17:55.33 to finish fifth at the 4A state meet. She set a personal best of 10:50.28 at the Dash for Doobie to finish sixth.  She seems to be peaking at the right time. Her season best is a 17:40.0.

Julia Heymach, Freshman, Manvel, TX. Another freshman who will look to make the South team. Her season best is 17:40.3 and she nearly bettered that in finishing a superb runner-up in the 5A state champs with her 17:49.50. She looks to be the real deal and in uncharted water, who know what could happen.

Bianca Bishop, Senior, Providence, Charlotte, NC. She was 2nd at the Wendy’s Invitational in a time of 17:50. She followed that with a second place finish at the 4A state championships in a time of 17:40.87. She finished a hair behind her teammate Sullivan at the Dash for Doobie in a personal best of 10:50.36. She too seems to be peaking at the right time and with home course advantage, she and her teammate could earn a trip to San Diego.

Kathryn Foreman, Sophomore, Landmark Christian, Fairburn, GA. She was 13th here last year and has a seasonal best of 17:41.2(Alexander/Asics Invitational) coming in. She won the GHSA 1A Private XC Championships of that mark with her 18:42.18. She ran 17:51 last year and will need to better that to have a shot at the top ten.

Sydney Foreman, Senior, Ardey Kell, Charlotte, NC. The senior finished 7th in the fast 4A state championships in a time of 17:59.01. She capped if off with a 10:52.78 personal best at the Dash for Doobie. Her seasonal best is 17:43 which is 16th best of the field.

Lisa Pieterse, Junior, Carolina Forest, Myrtle Beach, SC. Another runner with a story behind the name. The daughter of Zola Budd Pieterse, has made a name for herself. She has steadily improved over the course of the year and stands 17th ranked with her best of 17:47.9. She finished 5th in the 4A state championships in 18:38.74. She won the 3200m state champs in her current personal best of 11:17.53.

Bailee Dean, Junior, Cane Ridge, Nashville, TN. Last year she won in the sophomore race in 18:27. She had a fine spring season winning the 3200m title in splendid effort of 10:35.22. This fall she added the state DI-AAA title in 18:08.4. She has a best of 17:48.5 this season.

Lily Anderson, Junior, T.C. Roberson, Asheville, NC. She finished sixth at her state meet in a time of 17:58.79. Her best this season is a 17:50.

Whitney O’Bryan, Senior, Daviess County, Owensboro, KY. She finished 36th in last year’s race and has improved to 17:51.9 this season. She won the 3A state champs in 18:09.

 

 

First

Last

2012 Place

Grade

School

Town

State

2013 Best

Caroline

Alcorta

8

12

West Springfield

Springfield

VA

17:10.4

Devin

Clark

 

11

Smithson Valley

Smithson Valley

TX

17:16.0

Hannah

Christen

 

12

Lake Braddock

Burke

VA

17:21.5

Kayla

Montgomery

15

12

Mount Tabor

Winston Salem

NC

17:29.1

Tayler

Tuttle

 

12

Providence Christian Academy

Lilburn

GA

17:32.6

Allie

Klimkiewicz

9

11

Oakton

Vienna

VA

17:34.0

Gabriella

Karas

 

9

Martha Layne Collins

Shelbyville

KY

17:34.3

Natalie

Rathjen

 

12

Highland Park

Highland Park

TX

17:34.4

Amelia

Paladino

10

12

University High

Morgantown

WV

17:36.6

Savannah

Carnahan

 

10

South Forsyth H.S

Cumming

GA

17:36.9

Grace 

Sullivan

 

11

Providence

Charlotte

NC

17:40.0

Julia

Heymach

 

9

Manvel

Manvel

TX

17:40.3

Bianca

Bishop

 

12

Providence 

Charlotte

NC

17:40.9

Kathryn

Foreman

13

10

Landmark Christian

Fairburn

GA

17:41.2

Elly

Henes

 

10

Green Hope

Cary

NC

17:42.9

Sydney

Foreman

 

12

Ardey Kell

Charlotte

NC

17:43.0

Lisa

Pieterse

 

11

Carolina Forest

Myrtle Beach

SC

17:47.9

Bailee

Dean

 

11

Cane Ridge H.S.

Nashville

TN

17:48.5

Lily

Anderson

 

11

T.C. Roberson

Asheville

NC

17:50.0

Whitney

O'Bryan

36

12

Daviess County

Owensboro

KY

17:51.9

Karen

Xiang

 

12

Nease

St. Augustine

FL

17:52.2

Addy

Lippitt

 

10

Peachtree Ridge

Lawrenceville

GA

17:53.6

Eliza

Dekker

 

11

Durham Academy

Durham

NC

17:53.7

Caroline

Barlow

 

12

Gulf Coast

Naples

FL

17:54.0

Mary Grace

Doggett

 

12

Cardinal Gibbons

Raleigh

NC

17:54.8

Lizzy

Kroeger

 

12

Independence H.S.

Thompson Station

TN

17:55.2

Karisa

Nelson

 

12

TR Miller

Brewton

AL

17:55.2

Logan 

Morris

27

10

Spartanburg Christian

Spartanburg

SC

17:56.7

Sophia

Edihara

 

10

Cardinal Gibbons

Raleigh

NC

17:58.9

Katy

Kunc

 

12

Lake Braddock

Burke

VA

17:59.0

Nicole

Gardner

 

11

Siegel H.S.

Murfreesboro

TN

17:59.3

Emily 

Edwards

18

12

Fort Myers H.S.

Fort Myers

FL

18:00.5

Michaela

Reinhart

 

9

Lexington Catholic

Lexington

KY

18:00.8

Alondra

Hoyos

 

12

Lewisville Hebron

Lewisville

TX

18:01.0

Morgan

Ilse

 

9

Marist

Atlanta

GA

18:01.1

Emily 

Headley

 

11

Olympia H.S

Orlando

FL

18:07.4

Allison

Cheeseman

35

12

Brentwood Academy

Brentwood

TN

18:07.6

Grace 

Casagrande

 

12

Cardinal Mooney

Sarasota

FL

18:07.6

Molly

Breidenbaugh

23

12

Trinity Episcopal

Richmond

VA

18:13.0

Katharine

Benfer

 

12

Mills Godwin

Henrico

VA

18:18.0

Grace 

Barber

 

11

Jenks HS

Jenks

OK

18:18.8

Macey

Schweikert

21

12

James W. Robinson

Fairfax

VA

18:19.0

Kyandra

Chandler

 

11

Nettleton

Jonesboro

AR

18:22.0

Katie

Fortner

12

12

Cave Spring H.S

Roanoke

VA

18:28.4

Makenzie

Jones

 

10

Morristown-West H.S.

Morristown

TN

18:28.7

Rebecca

Story

 

8

Christian Academy of Knoxville

Knoxville

TN

18:43.5

Peyton

Panger

 

11

Capital

Charleston

WV

18:47.4

Kate

Mattox

 

9

Starkville H.S

Starkville

MS

18:49.4

Abbey 

Harrison

 

11

University High

Morgantown

WV

18:55.0

Alexandra

Cameron

19

12

Dunwoody

Dunwoody

GA

19:29.5

 

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