Always tough, the Northeast girls should perform well at Foot Locker once again. With half the team from last year returning, and a pack of much improved runners from around the region, the Northeast should rise to the challenge once again in San Diego.
MileSplit's Foot Locker Power Rankings - Northeast Girls
1. Neely Spence (Sr., Shippensburg, PA) - Spence enters the 2007 cross country season ranked as one of the top ladies in the land. While some regions might have 2-4 girls who have a shot to win the national title, Spence is the one right now who looks to challenge for the Northeast. Last fall, Spence finished eighth at FL Nationals and is the sixth returnee this year. Her huge 10:20 two-mile effort at Nike Outdoor Nationals was one of the best races of the weekend, where she challenged champion Ashley Higginson the entire way, eventually settling for second. Spence is the star of the region until proven otherwise, and is in line for one of the best seasons we have seen in a while.
2. Carly Seymour (Sr., Central Cambria, PA) - The number seven returnee from Foot Locker Nationals this fall, Seymour will be hard pressed to accomplish the same things she ran in 2006. Seymour stepped into the national fold and proved she was a contender, as she finished a very strong ninth at FL Nationals, after placing third in her regional competition. While Seymour isn't the favorite in the region yet, she should be looking to go after a national title this fall.
3. Hannah Davidson (Sr., Saratoga Springs, NY) - Despite a disappointing end to her cross country season last fall, Davidson will be back in '07 with one last chance to prove she is a top five runner in the nation. Even though she finished second at Foot Locker Regionals last fall, Davidson finished thirty-third at nationals and heard a lot of negative speak from the critics. Jumping back on the track this spring, Davidson put up some good numbers, and should hope to improve in her final high school season.
4. Emily Jones (Jr., Bromfield, MA) - The reigning queen of MA will have her hands full this fall, as every top individual in the state will be trying to knock her off her throne. Jones had a great finale last fall to her already stellar season. She earned a birth to FL Nationals, and finished twenty-fifth overall. After a great track season, in which she ran 10:25 for 3200m, Jones should be ready to push her limits again and shoot for top ten in the country.
5. Shelby Greany (Jr., Suffern, NY) - A sophomore making Foot Locker Nationals is always a great accomplishment, but many don't make it back the following year. This year, Greany will be looking to improve upon her nineteenth place finish at Foot Locker Nationals in '06. With solid 4:54 1600m and 6:44 steeplechase efforts, Greany looks good to go. Her steeplechase effort earned her second place in the event at Nike Outdoor Nationals.
6. Melanie Thompson (Jr., Voorhees, NJ) - The number seven returnee from last year, Thompson is the queen of New Jersey until proven otherwise. She won Group III in cross country last fall and obviously did well in New York at FL Regionals. This time around she should be shooting for a top five finish.
7. Caitlin Lane (Sr., Greenwich, NY) - The two time Foot Locker Nationals qualifier will be looking to get back to San Diego once again. While Lane definitely didn't have the fall she wanted last year, her spring was a bit better, as she ran 10:37 at Nike Outdoor Nationals and ran a great 9:48 3K time. Lane should be quite driven with this year being her last year.
8. Mary Kate Champagne (Sr., Seton, NY) - While not the best harrier in New York last fall, Champagne had a fantastic spring. Her 10:25, third place, two-mile effort at Nike Outdoor Nationals, catapults her into elite company. While it may take Champagne a few races to get the feel for running fast on the grass, she will be one to keep an eye on.
9. Georgia Griffin (Sr., Hanover, NH) - Griffin competed well against New England's top runners during the '06-'07 school year. She proved that she was going to be a strong challenger her senior season. However, the performance that has really earned her a spot on these rankings is the 10:33 two-mile she ran at Nike Outdoor Nationals for eleventh place. That is a Foot Locker Nationals worthy time.
10. Kacey Gibson (Sr., Neshannock, PA) - The defending division II state champion on Pennsylvania, Gibson should feel very confident this fall. She had a huge race last fall at Foot Locker Regionals, where she finished only a few seconds from qualifying for nationals. Now, as the sixth returnee, Gibson should have high expectations!
11. Keely Maguire (Sr., Triton, MA) - Perhaps the least accomplished of the ladies on Power Rankings, Maguire has earned this spot with past success. While she won't be the favorite to win Massachusetts' state meet, she will be in line to be top three and make a strong push to make the Northeast squad.
12. Briana Jackucewkz (Jr., Colts Neck, NJ) - A star since her freshman year, Jackucewkz will be looking to return back to Foot Locker Nationals, after missing the meet last year. While she has not progressed the way her coaches may have wanted up to this point, she had an ok track season, but will be looking for much more when she returns to the courses this fall.
Others To Keep An Eye On:
Heather Stephens (Sr., Ridgefield) - The top returnee in Connecticut will have some big expectations on her. While she doesn't have the big PR's some of the other girls on this list might have, Stephens has competed well when put against other top girls in the New England area.
Juliet Bottorff (Jr., Tatnall) - Coming from the most successful program in Deleware, Bottorff should be looking to repeat as state champ, and make a big push to make Foot Locker Nationals.
Jenna Davidner (So., Oliver Ames) - As the number three returnee in the state, not too far off of FLNE #11 Maguire, Davidner ran 10:50 in the 3200m this past spring. If she can maintain being healthy and take one more step up in her racing/training, she will be another favorite from Massachusetts come late November.
Chelsea Ley (So., Kingsway) - Overlooked and underachieving last fall, Ley ran 10:41 to really take hold of New Jersey. While she won't be the favorite to win the state title quite yet, Ley could sneak up with the top runners right away.
Lauren Penny (Sr., Roxbury) - Leading the Roxbury charge, Penny is healthy and looking to have another big fall. While she didn't have the finish to her '06 season that she would want, she heads into her '07 campaign leading a team ranked in the top five in the region, and a solid 10:44 3200m PR.
Emily Lipari (So., Roslyn) - If you look at Lipari's two mile time (10:59) and mile time (a freshman mile win at NON), those two times don't impress. However, her 3k state title and 9:45 PR are huge! Lipari seemingly knows when to turn it on and should have quite a sophomore year ahead of her.
Suejin Ahn (Sr., Ward Melville) - One of the athletes on this list that could surprise the most, Ahn had a track season to remember. Not only did she finish sixth at NON in the mile, posting a time of 4:53, but she also ran a great 3k mark of 9:51. Ahn was good last fall, but this year she could really turn some heads.
Jullian King (Sr., Scotia-Glenville) - While she didn't run Feds or Foot Locker Regionals last fall, King only lost twice during the regular cross country season. That type of success should have her feeling confident, as should her 9:52 3k PR during this past spring.
Chanelle Price (Sr., Easton) - The star of the '07 track season, Price had a long summer, which saw her jump to nationally elite status (professionally, not high school). While she may not compete early on at the level many expect, she will be there at the end of the season.
Kate Ross (Sr., Central Bucks East) - One of the top cross country returnees this fall, Ross had a solid track season. She ran 10:47 for 3200m and put up good numbers when she had to take on top talent.
Kara Millhouse (Sr., Boiling Springs) - A great track season should help Millhouse's cross country season, with great speed and some consistency added to her growing talents. She is the number four returnee in Pennsylvania.