ArmoryTrack.com team is all set to bring you the best coverage of the Marine Corps Holiday Classic.
Carlton Lavong (24-05 LJ), Emily Lipari (2:13.58 800), Pat Schellberg (4:16.82 Mile), Melissa Kurzdorfer (48-9.75 SP), John Thomas (21.85 200 & 50.30 400), and Camille Thomas (37-9.5 TJ) highlight the individual US#1's set this weekend through Monday. Photo by Brandon Miles, MileStat.com
For Immediate Release Tuesday, December 22, 2009 Contact: Vicky Oddi USA Track & Field Communications Coordinator 317-713-4670; Vicky.Oddi@usatf.org Vena named Athlete of the Week INDIANAPOLIS - High School standout Nick Vena has been named USA Track & Field's Athlete of the Week after setting the national junior class record in the boys shot put Saturday at the 25th Gardiner Relays at Drew University in Madison, N.J. A junior at Morristown (N.J.) High School, Vena won the boys shot put with a heave of 20.63 meters/67 feet 8.25 inches, bettering the 40-year-old national junior class record of 20.42m/67-0 set by Jesse Stuart of Glasgow, Ky. in 1969. Vena now owns the national freshman, sophomore and junior class marks. Now in its eighth year, USATF's Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on the USATF website. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week. Winners: January 6, Mason Finley; January 13, Amber Campbell; January 20, Josh Cox; January 27, German Fernandez; February 3, Ashton Eaton; February 10, Shalane Flanagan; February 17, Galen Rupp; February 24, Dexter Faulk; March 3, Terrence Trammell; March 10, Diana Pickler; March 17, Galen Rupp; March 24, Sumi Onodera-Leonard; March 31, German Fernandez; April 7, Cyrus Hostetler; April 14, Curtis Beach; April 21, Kara Goucher; April 28, Mason Finley; May 5, Chris Derrick; May 12, Natalie Willer; May 19, Will Claye; May 26, Nadine O'Connor; June 2, Tyson Gay; June 9, Dwight Phillips; June 16, Galen Rupp; June 23, Kami Semick; June 30, Dawn Harper; July 7, Raevyn Rogers; July 14, Ryan Crouser; July 28, Anton Krupicka; August 11, Rita Hanscom; August 19, Christian Cantwell; August 26, Trey Hardee; September 1, Dathan Ritzenhein; September 9, Sanya Richards; September 15, Carmelita Jeter; September 23, Tyson Gay; Jamie Donaldson; October 7, Meb Keflezighi; October 14, Dathan Ritzenhein; October 21, Amy Palmiero-Winters; October 27, Sean Quigley; November 3 Meb Keflezighi; November 11, Max King; November 18, Chris Derrick; December 8, Craig Lutz; December 16, Natalie Rathjen; December 22, Nick Vena. About USA Track & Field USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org
Mark Thomas US#1 16-6 vault | Hendricken rolls 3k in RI | Vena Jr mark 67-8.25 | Francis AT#12 38.52
Photo Courtesy of Van Weygandt
Photo by Margie Swart
Lukas Verzbicas (IL) is a student of the sport. Despite how busy he must be winning World Duathlon Championships, National titles and setting U.S. records, Lukas still finds the time to study the history of the sports he competes in. That history is currently being rewritten by Lukas, but he doesn't get caught up in all the hype. "I am the age of a junior so I can't disrespect all the great history here and the runners before me", he said when asked about having the opportunity to be the first boys champion to win three titles in a row. (Photo by Don Rich)
I love how a race can be a profound metaphor for life in a broader sense. And just like a good Biblical parable, it can teach you a lot about yourself, others, and the way to be successful and happy. I decided to pick out a few anecdotes that some of the girls that I covered this weekend taught me.
Megan Goethals and Chelsey Sveinsson battle to the line, Lukas Verzbicas dominates front-to-back in the boys race. Tons of coverage from our on-site team...
Photo by Don Rich
Photo by Margot Kelly, AZTrackXC.com
Ashlie Decker and Dowling Catholic High School (IA) teammate Katie Flood have the opportunity this weekend to be one of the greatest duos ever from the same school in meet history at the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships. Decker and Flood are both past Foot Locker finalists, but will be racing for the first time together at Balboa Park. Decker has ran in the shadows often of teammate and NXN champion Flood often, but is certainly a star runner in her own right with the ability to finish among the top 10 in a talented field assembled for Saturday's national championship race.
Welcome to this season’s “new” Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden. You may ask what’s new about them. I would say you can expect a very different track & field experience when you come to the Garden, January 29th, 2010. It’s no secret that the presentation of this meet has declined in recent years.
Photo by Don Rich
Photo by Don Rich US# 3 Aisling Cuffe (NY) may be small in size, and gentle in demeanor, but she sure packs an aggressive punch on the cross country course. Cuffe was undefeated on the year, winning a NY state championship, a Federation championship, and the Foot Locker Northeast championship. The last was her most impressive, taking down a 28 year old mark held by 1982 Foot Locker National Champion Christine Curtin and becoming the first harrier ever under the 18:00 barrier on the course. And she did it solo into a 50mph headwind on the finishing straight. Cuffe will be looking to mix it up with Goethals and Sveinsson up front in San Diego.
After "choking" at the Illinois State Meet with an eighth place finish in his own words, Fenwick High School senior Martin Grady has done nothing but perform in the post-season as he became part of a select few individuals who qualified for both Nike Cross Nationals and Foot Locker Nationals. Grady gained valuable national race experience last weekend with his 20th place finish at NXN, which he will use in a quick second opportunity to race against the nation's best on Saturday in San Diego for the Foot Locker Nationals.
Photos by Paul Everett and Vitctah Sailor, PhotoRun.net
Emily Sisson returns to San Diego this weekend for her fourth consecutive Foot Locker Nationals berth as she looks to wrap up her fantastic high school career with a strong showing in her final race at Balboa Park. After a sensational third place debut as a freshmen, Sisson had struggled in her last two trips to Foot Locker finals finishing outside of the top 20. Overcoming a diagnosis of Graves disease (overactivity of the thyroid gland) last year, Sisson has bounced back to top form as shown with her Nike Outdoor Nationals 5K victory last June and strong cross country this season fall including most recently a runner-up finish at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional. She joins an elite and small club of four-time Foot Locker Finalist, but looks to do more than just appear in a fourth straight national race. She wants to compete with the best and become an All-American once again.
This year’s Foot Locker Nationals will still crown the best cross country runner in the country and continue its rich 30 year tradition on Saturday as two champions will face off in Craig Lutz from Texas and Lukas Verzbicas from Illinois. Lutz is fresh off his win last weekend at Nike Cross Nationals in Oregon, while Verzbicas earlier this fall won the World Dualthon junior title. Along with battling it out with each other for the win, both Lutz and Verzbicas will be racing against history as the South region has not had a Foot Locker champion since 1985 (Lutz), while an underclassmen has never won the boys race at Foot Locker Nationals (Verzbicas).
Winning a Foot Locker Nationals cross country title on Saturday would not be that big of a deal for Sandburg (IL) sophomore Lukas Verzbicas. After all, Verzbicas has already the title of World Champion this fall when he claimed the World Dualthon Junior title in late September. The young distance running phenom has followed a much different path to San Diego than all of the other 39 boys qualifiers, but there is no disputing the results as Verzbicas enters as the Midwest Regional champion and one of the race favorites along with NXN individual champion Craig Lutz of Texas. The only thing which kept Verzbicas from racing Lutz and the other top ranked harriers in Portland last weekend were a few nagging injuries which slowed him down from a course record attempt in the Illinois State Meet and withdrawing from competing in the NXN Midwest Regional. Healthy now, Verzbicas is ready to storm through Balboa Park (40% chance of showers on race day) similar to his jaw dropping 14:18 high school national record indoor 5K performance as a freshmen last March at Nike Indoor.
Megan Ferowich enters this weekend's Foot Locker Nationals as one of the top rising stars in the South region as shown by her undefeated season in her homestate of Tennessee prior to a fourth place and 17:12 5K PR finish in the regional qualifier race in Charlotte. Ferowich, a sophomore at Knoxville Catholic, has earned the trip to San Diego despite this fall being her first season of cross country. However, this is not her first national meet experience as she won the freshmen mile last June at Nike Outdoor Nationals. With a 10:26 3200 time trial under her belt from last month, Ferowich is certainly fit and ready to run with the some of best runners in the country on Saturday.
Photo by Don Rich
Megan Goethals will enter next weekend's Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships as one of a few strong race favorites coming off her decisive win at the Midwest Regional in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The senior from Rochester High School in Michigan is the top returnee from last year's race with her third place run at Balboa Park in 2008 and is the #1 ranked in the country by MileSplit US with one of the fastest 5K performances in the season with her 16:54 course record breaking performance at Michigan State Meet earlier this month. One of her top competitors will be Foot Locker South regional champion Chelsey Sveinsson of Texas, who Goethals beat out for third place in last year's Foot Locker finals and then took two second place finishes in the mile and two mile at Nike Outdoor Nationals last June. Brandon Miles of MileSplit US interview Goethals as she prepares for the national race.
The first of the two national high school cross country championship races were held this past weekend in Portland, Oregon with the Nike Cross Nationals. The boys' race certainly featured many of the nation's best battling it out to the wire, while the girls' race was missing the unofficial "Big 3" in Megan Goethals (MI), Chelsey Sveinsson (TX), and Aisling Cuffe (NY) but stellar depth was found in both races as Foot Locker finalists, All-Americans, and state champions were found deep into the field.
It may not be the happiest day in Gator nation after their loss on the football field to Alabama, but at least there is some very good news for cross country and track fans! Matt Mizereck, the top Florida qualifier at Foot Locker South, has chosen to put on the orange and blue next year. More inside this article...
Photo courtesy of Tim Fulton
With her seventh place finish at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional, Winnebago Lutheran Academy senior Marya Haegler became the first female national qualifier from the state of Wisconsin since Jackie Mulrooney qualified for the Foot Locker finals in 2001. Haegler's biggest role model happens to be one of the all-time greats to ever come out of the state in Suzy Favor Hamilton, while her beginning in running started in grade school when her grandfather timed her in a loop around the block.
Craig Lutz is one of few brave top ranked runners in the nation willing to attempt the Nike Cross Nationals/Foot Locker Nationals double this season. The Marcus High School junior from Dallas, Texas posted the nation's fastest time for 5K this cross country last week in his near course record breaking 14:34 win at Foot Locker South. Lutz will travel to the West Coast in two consecutive weekends as he'll hook horns with Joe Rosa of New Jersey and Zach Wills of Ohio this weekend at NXN and will follow up next week against Lukas Verzbicas of Illinois at Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego. Brandon Miles of MileSplit US interviewed Lutz as he makes the trip to Portland, Oregon for round one of two against the nation's best.
Photo by Don Rich
(Photo Courtesy of Tim Fulton, ArmoryTrack.com)