Top 15 Weekend Wrap-Up: A Look at the MileSplit Nationally Ranked Teams

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Each week from now until the end of the season, we'll provide a Top 15 Weekend Round-Up.  This MileSplit feature will include main highlights of each of the MileSplit nationally ranked squads and their results on the weekend.  See who performed well and who didn't live up to their ranking this week. (Photo of U.S. #2 Albuquerque Academy and U.S. #6 Los Alamos by Gary Murray)

Boys / Girls

Top 15 Weekend Round-Up

Boys

1. North Central (WA) - Did not compete.

2. Albuquerque Academy (NM) - Running without #1 man Pat Zacharias, Academy easily won their home invitational, the Albuquerque Academy Invitational.  Competing against U.S. #6 Los Alamos (NM), Academy ran away from their in-state rivals to take home the team trophy with a 50-80 margin.  The team's top four runners placed 6-8-9-10, while their fifth runner placed 17th overall.  The squad ran a 25 second 1-5 split from lead runner Neil Longenbaugh to fifth man Taylor Murray.

3. Don Bosco Prep (NJ) -Competing at the Warwick Valley Wave Mania Invitational, Don Bosco cruised to a convincing win.  The squad dominated up front as Leighton Spencer, Rafael Vargas and Robert Molke finished 1-2-3, leading the team to a 22-90 victory of Walt Whitman.  Behind their front running trio, Don Bosco placed the rest of their varsity line-up in spots 5, 11, 12, 23. 

4. Naperville North (IL) - Did not compete.

5. York (IL) - Opened up their invitational season with a strong win at the Palatine Invitational (IL).  Led by the 1-2 efforts of seniors Steve Sulkin and Jordan Herbert, York scored 59 points, well ahead of runner-up Lyons Township, who scored 117 points.  The Dukes received further help from junior Andrew Smith, who placed ninth overall and was perhaps the surprise of the field. 

6. Los Alamos (NM) -While showing up front talent and depth this season, Los Alamos simply couldn't match the efforts of host Albuquerque Academy, as the team lost to U.S. #2 Alb. Academy 50-80 at the Albuquerque Academy Invitational.  Senior Gareth Gilna again led the way for Los Alamos, placing second overall in the loaded field with a finishing time of 16:17 over the 5k course.

7. Carmel (IN) - Entering the Culver Invitational as the heavy favorites, Carmel seemed a little flat, as the squad lost to previously ranked Neuqua Valley (IL) 48-94.  Despite running a 19 second split, Carmel simply didn't have the firepower up top to compete with Neuqua Valley.  Carmel's top runner Dan Kinn finished ninth overall in 16:05, finishing behind two of Neuqua's runners and only one spot ahead of Neuqua's third.

8. Dana Hills (CA) -Running at their home invitational, Dana Hills wanted to show that their loss last week to U.S. #9 Loyola (CA) was merely a bump in the road to bigger and better things.  The squad took grab of Saturday's invitational by placing 1-4, 7, 9 for their top six.  Tyler Valdes, Ryan Valdes, Zac Philips and Josh Dean scored an impressive performance up top, while each ran under 14:52.

9. Loyola (CA) -Similar to the dominance U.S. #6 Dana Hills showed, Loyola won the Bell-Jeff Invitational Saturday by a 22-75 margin.  The team rode in on their upset over Dana Hills last weekend, this time placing 1-3, 7, 9, 10 for their top seven.  Elias Geydon again led the way with a first place finish, finishing in 14:42, while JP Slate and Andrew Diaz rounded out the top three.

10. Shenendehowa (NY) - Did not compete.

11. Christian Brothers Academy (NJ) - Did not run their top varsity runners at the Stewart Memorial Invitational.

12. Geneva (IL) -Running at the Rock River Run, a small invitational in Illinois, Geneva tuned up for the exciting second half of their season by easily taking home the title over Belvidere North 24-59.  Led by the 1-2 finish of Andrew Nelson and Kevin McDowell, Geneva placed five in the top eight.  The team ran a 44 second split 1-5.

13. Timpview (UT) - Did not compete.

14. Cedar Park (TX) -Running in a flighted meet, Cedar Park pulled off a narrow 12-13 victory over the host FEAST team.  Winning the second, third and seventh flight, followed by second place efforts in the fourth, fifth and sixth flights, Cedar Park showed why they're considered by many as the top team in Texas currently.

15. Morris Hills (NJ) - Did not race their varsity line-up at the DeWitt Clinton Invitational.

Girls

1. Saugus (CA) - Did not compete in a weekend invitational.

2. Fayetteville-Manlius (NY) - With five runners in the top nine at the McQuaid Invitational (NY), including a dominating first place performance by Courtney Chapman, F-M proved that they are as strong as ever.  Facing U.S. #3 Burnt Hills, the team faced their strongest challenge yet this fall.  However, the team came out on top in a big way, producing a strong 27-61 victory.  While Chapman placed first, Molly Malone placed fourth, Mackenzie Carter placed fifth and Kathryn Buchanan placed ninth.  Perhaps even more impressive was the team's 53 second split from 1-5.

3. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (NY) - With heavy expectations leaning on the team, Burnt Hills faced U.S. #2 Fayetteville-Manlius at the McQuaid Invitational (NY).  Despite a strong up front presence from Sam Roecker and Molly Pezzulo, who placed second and third, Burnt-Hills simply could not match the up front firepower of F-M, dropping to their in-state rival 27-61.  One positive note was the running of number three runner Meaghan Gregory, who placed ninth overall, but only 16 seconds behind Pezzulo.  Gregory's been dealing with health concerns for the past year, so to see her back and running well is a good sign.

4. Collins Hill (GA) - Entering Saturday's McDonald's XC Festival at Maymont with a lot of momentum, Collins Hill ran a solid race, with some thinking it was good enough for a win.  However, Tatnall (DE) had a great race, tying Collins Hill at 69 points, then beating the U.S. #4 squad on the sixth runner rule.  Collins HIll ran a 1:44 1-5 spread and Amanda Winslow led the squad once again, this time finishing second overall in 18:22.

5. Saratoga Springs (NY) - Did not compete.

6. Mountain Brook (AL) - With their home invitational taking place Saturday, Mountain Brook put their best foot forward, dominating the competition by taking first and 4-7.  Front runner Madeline Morgan bounced back from her sub-par performance at the NC State Wolfpack Invitational to win this time around in 18:30, winning by 51 seconds.  Mountain Brook's next four runners packed it up and finished within 11 seconds of one another in spots 4-7.

7. Geneva (IL) - Similar to their male teammates, the Geneva girls squad won the Rock River Run easily.  The team beat Dixon (IL) 30-78 while running a line-up that once again played around with their varsity line-up.  Geneva's number one runner Kelly Whitley won the three mile race in 17:56, while the remainder of the top five placed 4, 6, 9, 10.  The team ran a 1:12 1-5 split.

8. Queensbury (NY) - Despite front runner Danielle Winslow simply crushing the competition with a 17:54 finish at the Queensbury Invitational, the host school had their troubles, edging runner-up Arlington 38-62, but having a big two minute 1-5 split.  On the upside, Queensbury placed three in the top six and their top five in the first 15 finishing spots.

9. Dowling Catholic (IA) - Despite Katie Flood and Ashlie Decker finishing 1-2 overall in the girls gold race at the Roy Griak Invitational (MN), Dowling Catholic lost to both Sioux Falls Roosevelt (SD) and Lee's Summit West (MO).  Sioux Falls Roosevelt won with 138 points, Lee's Summit West second with 148 points and Dowling Catholic third with 176 points.  The drop back to their 3-5 runners was simply too much to overcome.

10. Fort Collins (CO) - Did not run their varsity squad at the LoboCat Invitational.

11. Davis (UT) - Did not compete.

12. Xavier Prep (AZ) -With only six of their top seven varsity runners ending up in the team scoring, Xavier Prep lost a close battle with Ironwood (AZ), losing 107-109 at the Dave Sanders Invitational.  Jessica Tonn finished first overall again for her team, but the lack of strength at the fourth and fifth positions were not enough to offset the strength of Ironwood's strong fourth runner, which made all the difference.

13. Midlothian (VA) - With second runner Leia Lautzenheiser finishing well over 100th, Midlothian fell hard at the McDonald's XC Festival at Maymont, finishing fourth overall with 169 points.  U.S. #4 Collins Hill (GA) and previously ranked Tatnall (DE) finished in a tie for first with 69 points, while Blacksburg (VA) also beat the squad with 116 points.  One upside came from leader Kathleen Lautzenheiser, who placed third overall in 18:31.

14. Shenendehowa (NY) - Did not compete.

15. Thompson Valley (CO) - Running in the DII varsity race at the Dave Sanders Invitational (CO), Thompson Valley beat in-state rival Mullen (CO) 26-52.  With their scoring varsity runners all finishing in the top ten, the squad showed the dominance that helped propel them into the MileSplit National Rankings last week.  Laura Tremblay led the way with a big win in 19:05, while sister Liz Tremblay finished fourth.  Their 3-5 runners finished 6, 9, 10.

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