The first major weekend of competition showed some great results across the nation. Big meets in Texas, Colorado and Nevada dotted the calendar, with some surprising and not so surprising performances. See what took place in our weekly "Weekend Highlights" section.
It's rare to see such a great early season match-up take place, but that's what happened Thursday evening in Colorado. The top two ranked Midwest boys, Bobby Nicolls (pictured far right by Ken Regan) and Evan Appel, squared off for the first of what could be a few battles this season, while many other top Colorado teams and individuals took to the 5k spread at the Poudre SD Pre-State Cross Country Invitational in Fort Collins.
With only six of the twenty Foot Locker finalists from last year returning back in 2008, the West seems to be wide open for newcomers to make names for themselves. Leading the way on the girls side is '05 national champion and '07 third placer Jordan Hasay (CA) (pictured above by John Herzog), while Chris Schwartz (CA) is the lone male national returnee.
Last fall the Foot Locker South girls squad ran strong from start to finish in San Diego, scoring a 1-2 finish up top and tying the Northeast girls for the team trophy. This year eight of the ten female Foot Locker qualifiers return, led by defending national champion Ashley Brasovan (FL) and 2006 national champion Kathy Kroeger (TN) (pictured above by John Herzog). The boys side will follow the lead of '07 Foot Locker qualifiers CJ Brown (TX) and Thomas Porter (VA). These could very well be the strongest boys and girls contingents for the South squad in some time.
Every year the Northeast puts out some incredible distance talent, but this fall may be the greatest collection of distance talent seen in some time. Between Doug Smith, Brett Johnson and Solomon Haile, the boys have strong front runners, while the girls follow the lead of Foot Locker veterans Emily Lipari, Emily Jones and Shelby Greany. Come late-November and early-December the Northeast may be looking at national champions at Nike Cross Nationals and Foot Locker Nationals.
2007 showed a distinct disparity between the strength of the Midwest boys and girls at Foot Locker Nationals. While the Midwest boys dominated the team competition at Foot Locker Nationals, the girls finished in fourth. This year the boys look strong, led by the Colorado contingent of Evan Appel, Joseph Manilafasha and Bobby Nicolls (pictured left to right above by John Herzog), while the girls look to rebound and show they can compete with anyone.
The cross country season got underway Saturday, as the Asics Hot Summer Bash took place in Ohio. This annual events hosts many of the top teams from Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky. This time around, Carmel (IN) won the 5k event in convincing fashion, placing their scoring five in the top 14. Medina's Donny Roys won the overall title in 15:58.
From coast to coast, the MileSplit Cross Country Countdown provides state previews of every state in the nation. Perhaps you're curious about Illinois or California, you could even be curious about the tiny state of Rhode Island. Whatever state you're looking for we've got it covered.
With the Olympics kicking off this weekend, WCSN and Universal Sports are posting blogs from some of America's top Olympic track hopefuls. Sprinters Sanya Richards and Lauryn Williams, along with distance runner Ryan Hall (pictured above by Victor Sailor of PhotoRun.net), will have frequent blog postings over the course of the Games. Want to know what it's like to be an Olympian? This is where you'll learn. Sanya Richards / Lauryn Williams / Ryan Hall
Before the '07-'08 track season, North Dakota's Laura Roesler was already a growing legend in her home state. As a freshman Roesler won quadruple gold at her state track and field championships, winning the 100, 200, 400 and 800m dash events. Despite the success, Roesler wasn't as well known outside her state, but it seemed it was only a matter of time. A strong fall led to an ever impressive spring, one that saw Roesler win four more state titles, but then go on a tear at 800m, lowering her time dramatically and reaching into U.S. top ten all-time status. The capping point on the season came at the Olympic Trials, an event that saw Roesler make the semi-finals and become one of the crowd favorites amongst a field of professional runners. This is the story of her season.