Another week of full tilt cross country action across the country brought a few more grand entrances into the 2011 season.
You sort of had a feeling that after Futsum Zeinasellassie grabbed headlines with an impressive run last week that Edward Cheserek was not going start the season with a whimper. Quite the contrary. Cheserek broke the Garret Mountain (N.J.) course record by a whopping 22 seconds on Saturday, running 14:53 at the Passaic Coaches Invitational. He won the race by 107 seconds!
Meanwhile, US#1 Christian Brothers Academy (N.J.) also started with a bang, winning the Bowdoin Park Classic in New York, sticking four in the top 10. The girls from US#6 Saratoga Springs, N.Y. got out of the gate fast, too, scoring 17 points at Queensbury.
Out West, reigning national champ Arcadia continued its hot streak by winning the boys title at the Bob Firman Invitational at Eagle Island State Park on the outskirts of Boise, Idaho. Doug Binder's meet story is here details the team wins by Arcadia and the upstart Skyline (UT) girls, plus dominant wins for Dallin Farnsworth and Katie Knight. Special thanks to Gregg Mizuta for sharing his photos.
In Portland, Aloha High School hosted the Nike Pre-Nationals, where Washingtonians Maddie Meyers and Jacob Smith took care of business in the Jim Danner championship races. Gig Harbor of Washington won the boys title and Redondo Beach had its No. 6 runner to thank for breaking a tie with Mountain View (Idaho) for the girls title.
At Stanford, Carrie Verdon of Campolindo ran the fastest time of the day for the girls, a blistering 16:59 in the D3 race. That was faster than Glacier Peak WA's Amy Eloise-Neale's 17:09, which won the seeded race. Darren Fahy of La Costa Canyon was also sensational, running 14:54. Check out the coverage on DyestatCal.
The US#3 Carmel girls (and boys) dominated the action at Culver Academies Invitational.
Julie Macedo of Wilmington Charter (Del.) ran a stunningly fast 16:53 5K to win the Six Flags Wild Safari Invitational in Jackson, N.J., gapping the field by a full minute.
On the three-mile course at Deer Grove (Ill.), host Palatine won the boys meet and Assumption took the girls title. Lake Park's Kaylee Flanagan broke the course record, running 16:51.3.
In New Hampshire, Mike Marsella of Chariho (R.I.) ran 15:35 to win the Manchester Invitational.