High-SchoolTrack-and-XC: south dakota

Schultz South DakotaSubmitted photoTyler Schultz broke the one-year-old South Dakota state record in the shot put on April 20, and hit a new US#1 also.
Custer High School senior Tyler Schultz upped the ante in the shot put in South Dakota (all-time) and in the U.S. (2012), uncorking a put of 69-5.75 on Friday at the Custer Invitational.

Schultz broke the South Dakota record set in 2011 by Kyle McKelvey (Beresford, S.D.), who threw 69-3.

It also is the current US#1 -- by more than three feet.

Schultz, who is committed to Colorado State, won a silver medal at last year's World Youth Championships in France.

Splits tell tale of epic Arcadia 3,200

April, 11, 2012
Craig NowakJohn Nepolitan/ESPNHSCraig Nowak (1446) was in the middle of the action during the Arcadia 3,200, mustering up the best kick of anyone for third in 8:49.12, second best in Texas history.

Four laps into the 3,200 meters at the Arcadia Invitational, Craig Nowak had a sinking feeling over what he saw on the clock: 4:33. He and the other runners at Arcadia’s signature event needed to pick up the pace if they wanted to dip under nine minutes.

“I was extremely nervous,” the senior from Cypress Woods (Texas) said. “I knew I was I great shape and I’d heard all the great things about the race at Arcadia. I was thinking ‘I can’t come all this way and not break nine.’”

Collectively, 31 runners went through the midpoint of the eight-lap race between 4:31 and 4:36. Twenty-three of them ran the second half of the race faster than the first. Winner Futsum Zeinasellassie of North Central (Indianapolis) ran 4:33.37 for the first half and 4:14.38 for the second, according to FAT split data compiled by EPI Sports.

And no one closed as hard as Nowak, who ran 27.25 seconds for his final 200 and 56.33 for his final 400.

“I was more excited than any race I’ve ever been in,” he said. “When I saw 7:52 on the clock with one lap to go, I thought if I ran like 63 I’d get my goal time.”

Nowak finished third – behind Zeinasellassie and Cibola (Arizona) junior Bernie Montoya – in 8:49.12. That’s the second-fastest 3,200 time ever by a Texas runner.

And in the wave of runners over the finish line ahead there were a total of six new state records: Indiana (Zeinasellassie), Arizona (Montoya 8:48.25), North Dakota (Jake Leingang 8:51.23), Montana (Zach Perrin 8:55.24), Idaho (Dallin Farnsworth 8:55.28) and Delaware (Sam Parsons 9:00.61).

The pace probably came off perfectly. Zeinasellassie ensured a fast first lap when he bolted out to a 64.77. Then, the entire field slowed down on Lap 2 to 72-73. The third lap picked up to 67-68 for most of the field and the fourth lap was slightly faster.

Jonah Diaz of Palos Verdes (Calif.) was in the lead at the midpoint (4:31.72). And Tony Smorgawiecz of Rapid City Central (S.D). edged into the lead on the fifth and sixth laps as the pace improved a bit more.

“It was a big group, but Jonah picked it up and so did Tony,” Nowak said. “They set up the middle of the race.”

Montoya asserted himself with a seventh lap in 61.54 and Zeinsellassie, back in the lead, ran 61.91. Montoya’s burst propelled him into the lead on the back stretch and he was the first to 3,000 meters (8:18.81), a half-second up on Zeinasellassie and three seconds ahead of Nowak.

Zeinasellassie caught Montoya with about 75 meters left and won it in 8:47.75 for an Indiana record. Montoya (previous PR: 9:22) was next in 8:48.25 for an Arizona record. And on it went.

Nowak feels he could have been in the hunt if he’d gone with the leaders from 600 out, instead of try to reel them back in from 400. It’s a recurring theme for him, because he has finished with similar late flourishes as Nike Cross Nationals and the Brooks PR Invite mile.

But three days later, the afterglow had not worn off.

“It’s boosted my confidence tremendously, in a big way,” Nowak said.

Futsum on college, Cheserek

Zeinasellassie is the one of the top recruits nationally who has not yet made a decision on which scholarship offer to accept.

He said Saturday that he is still weighing the pros and cons of the five schools he has visited: Indiana, Purdue, Butler, Northern Arizona and Oklahoma State. The first three schools are all close to home, in Indiana, and the fourth is where his older brother, Bahlbi Gebreyohanns, runs.

UPDATE (4/12): Zeinasellassie has chosen Northern Arizona, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Zeinasellassie also commented on the absence of Foot Locker champion Edward Cheserek from Arcadia’s 3,200.

“I wish he was in this race, but he would have been 10 seconds or 20 seconds ahead of me,” Zeinasellassie said. “He’s having a great track season, so good luck to him the rest of the season.”

Event 34 Men 3200 Meter Run Invitational (FinishLynx Image)
Name Year School Finals
1 Futsum Zienasellassie 12 Ind. N Cen (In) 8:47.75
64.77 (64.77),2:17.44 (72.67),3:25.83 (68.40),4:33.37 (67.54),5:39.89 (66.53),6:48.75 (68.86),7:50.65 (61.91),3K-8:19.38 (28.73),8:47.75 (28.38)
2 Bernie Montoya 11 Cibola (Az) 8:48.25
67.40 (67.40),2:20.73 (73.33),3:27.77 (67.05),4:35.33 (67.57),5:40.99 (65.66),6:49.33 (68.35),7:50.86 (61.54),3K-8:18.81 (27.95),8:48.25 (29.44)
3 Craig Nowak 12 Houston CyprW(TX 8:49.12
64.85 (64.85),2:17.68 (72.83),3:25.95 (68.28),4:33.04 (67.09),5:39.87 (66.83),6:48.47 (68.61),7:52.80 (64.33),3K-8:21.87 (29.08),8:49.12 (27.25)
4 Jake Leingang 11 Bismarck(ND) 8:51.23
65.83 (65.83),2:19.44 (73.61),3:26.49 (67.06),4:33.91 (67.43),5:40.67 (66.76),6:48.84 (68.18),7:52.66 (63.83),3K-8:22.15 (29.50),8:51.23 (29.08)
5 Michael Clevenger 12 MacArthurGen(IL) 8:54.12
67.14 (67.14),2:19.54 (72.40),3:27.31 (67.78),4:34.49 (67.19),5:41.26 (66.77),6:49.60 (68.34),7:54.97 (65.38),3K-8:25.45 (30.49),8:54.12 (28.67)
6 Darren Fahy 12 La Costa Cnyn/SD 8:54.51
66.94 (66.94),2:18.10 (71.16),3:26.25 (68.16),4:33.86 (67.61),5:40.46 (66.61),6:49.52 (69.06),7:55.12 (65.61),3K-8:26.48 (31.36),8:54.51 (28.04)
7 Blake Haney 10 Stockdale /ce 8:54.65
66.03 (66.03),2:18.69 (72.67),3:26.70 (68.01),4:33.42 (66.73),5:40.32 (66.90),6:49.28 (68.96),7:55.46 (66.19),3K-8:25.61 (30.15),8:54.65 (29.05)
8 Zach Perrin 11 Flathead (Mt) 8:55.24
65.69 (65.69),2:19.07 (73.39),3:26.19 (67.12),4:33.69 (67.50),5:40.19 (66.51),6:49.16 (68.97),7:53.94 (64.78),3K-8:23.90 (29.97),8:55.24 (31.34)
9 Dallin Farnsworth 12 Highland (Id) 8:55.28
65.46 (65.46),2:18.13 (72.67),3:25.90 (67.77),4:32.89 (67.00),5:40.03 (67.14),6:49.30 (69.28),7:54.61 (65.31),3K-8:26.06 (31.45),8:55.28 (29.23)
10 Craig Engels 12 Ronald Reagan(NC 8:55.51
66.11 (66.11),2:18.83 (72.72),3:26.75 (67.92),4:33.95 (67.21),5:40.97 (67.02),6:48.95 (67.99),7:52.92 (63.97),3K-8:24.16 (31.25),8:55.51 (31.35)
11 Leland Later 12 New Trier (Il) 8:55.61
66.08 (66.08),2:18.52 (72.45),3:26.82 (68.30),4:34.68 (67.87),5:41.40 (66.72),6:49.55 (68.15),7:55.45 (65.91),3K-8:26.17 (30.73),8:55.61 (29.44)
12 Jack Keelan 11 St.Ignatius (Il) 8:55.86
66.43 (66.43),2:20.38 (73.95),3:27.96 (67.59),4:35.13 (67.18),5:41.68 (66.55),6:49.76 (68.09),7:55.69 (65.93),3K-8:26.45 (30.77),8:55.86 (29.41)
13 Thomas Graham 12 Cary Acad (Nc) 8:56.21
66.54 (66.54),2:19.20 (72.66),3:26.61 (67.42),4:33.90 (67.29),5:40.53 (66.63),6:49.11 (68.59),7:53.27 (64.16),3K-8:24.76 (31.50),8:56.21 (31.45)
14 Tony Smoragiewicz 12 Rapid City C (Sd 8:57.10
65.64 (65.64),2:18.18 (72.54),3:25.75 (67.57),4:32.64 (66.90),5:39.59 (66.95),6:48.24 (68.65),7:53.14 (64.90),3K-8:24.52 (31.38),8:57.10 (32.58)
15 Jacob Thomson 11 Holy Cross (Ky) 8:58.12
66.89 (66.89),2:18.93 (72.04),3:27.18 (68.26),4:34.99 (67.81),5:43.11 (68.12),6:50.37 (67.27),7:58.10 (67.73),3K-8:29.04 (30.95),8:58.12 (29.09)
16 Brock Baker 11 Oakland (Tn) 8:58.51
67.04 (67.04),2:19.94 (72.91),3:26.97 (67.03),4:34.13 (67.17),5:40.76 (66.63),6:48.96 (68.20),7:53.05 (64.10),3K-8:24.05 (31.00),8:58.51 (34.47)
17 Billy Gaudreau 12 St. Margarets/SS 9:00.24
66.69 (66.69),2:18.80 (72.12),3:27.23 (68.43),4:35.44 (68.22),5:43.24 (67.81),6:51.98 (68.74),7:59.42 (67.44),3K-8:30.67 (31.26),9:00.24 (29.58)
18 Sam Parsons 12 Tatnall (De) 9:00.61
66.34 (66.34),2:20.07 (73.73),3:27.17 (67.11),4:34.53 (67.36),5:41.58 (67.05),6:49.83 (68.25),7:55.83 (66.01),3K-8:28.20 (32.38),9:00.61 (32.42)
19 Korey Krotzer 12 Auburn Riv (Wa) 9:01.11
65.56 (65.56),2:18.77 (73.21),3:27.03 (68.26),4:34.89 (67.87),5:40.75 (65.86),6:49.69 (68.95),7:57.08 (67.39),3K-8:29.12 (32.04),9:01.11 (32.00)
20 Jonah Diaz 12 Palos Verdes /ss 9:01.42
67.01 (67.01),2:18.40 (71.39),3:25.33 (66.93),4:31.72 (66.40),5:39.41 (67.69),6:48.57 (69.17),7:54.96 (66.39),3K-8:27.33 (32.38),9:01.42 (34.09)
21 Tyler Yunk 11 Belvidere N (Il) 9:03.09
66.88 (66.88),2:20.29 (73.42),3:27.62 (67.34),4:34.23 (66.62),5:41.78 (67.55),6:50.70 (68.92),7:59.22 (68.53),3K-8:32.52 (33.30),9:03.09 (30.58)
22 Thomas Joyce 12 Campolindo /nc 9:03.23
66.82 (66.82),2:20.06 (73.24),3:27.43 (67.38),4:35.58 (68.16),5:42.75 (67.17),6:51.68 (68.94),8:00.34 (68.66),3K-8:32.69 (32.35),9:03.23 (30.55)
23 Drew White 12 Festus (Mo) 9:04.08
66.39 (66.39),2:19.06 (72.67),3:26.58 (67.52),4:34.41 (67.83),5:41.95 (67.55),6:50.90 (68.96),7:58.24 (67.34),3K-8:31.27 (33.04),9:04.08 (32.81)
24 Bryan Guijarro 12 Knight /ss 9:07.42
65.04 (65.04),2:17.93 (72.90),3:25.98 (68.05),4:33.14 (67.17),5:40.08 (66.95),6:48.90 (68.82),7:56.41 (67.51),3K-8:30.89 (34.49),9:07.42 (36.54)
25 Cameron Miller 12 Stockdale /ce 9:08.08
65.94 (65.94),2:17.08 (71.14),3:25.10 (68.02),4:33.64 (68.55),5:41.42 (67.79),6:50.46 (69.04),7:59.76 (69.30),3K-8:33.89 (34.14),9:08.08 (34.19)
26 Sam Roberson 12 Needham Br (Nc) 9:08.58
66.64 (66.64),2:20.50 (73.86),3:26.92 (66.42),4:34.15 (67.23),5:41.02 (66.87),6:49.18 (68.17),7:56.47 (67.29),3K-8:31.26 (34.80),9:08.58 (37.32)
27 Keifer Johnson 12 ThunderRidge(CO) 9:11.01
66.61 (66.61),2:20.02 (73.41),3:27.41 (67.40),4:35.07 (67.67),5:42.16 (67.09),6:51.23 (69.08),8:02.70 (71.47),3K-8:37.51 (34.82),9:11.01 (33.50)
28 Kevin Bishop 12 Monta Vista /cc 9:13.24
66.27 (66.27),2:18.49 (72.22),3:26.30 (67.82),4:34.22 (67.92),5:41.84 (67.62),6:51.01 (69.18),8:02.96 (71.95),3K-8:37.88 (34.93),9:13.24 (35.36)
29 Gil Walton 12 McCallie (Tn) 9:18.11
66.63 (66.63),2:19.34 (72.72),3:27.70 (68.36),4:35.23 (67.54),5:43.82 (68.59),6:55.24 (71.43),8:09.07 (73.83),3K-8:43.85 (34.78),9:18.11 (34.26)
30 Troy Fraley 11 Glacier (Mt) 9:26.78
65.95 (65.95),2:19.38 (73.43),3:26.51 (67.14),4:34.86 (68.35),5:43.63 (68.78),6:58.27 (74.64),8:13.73 (75.47),3K-8:50.56 (36.83),9:26.78 (36.23)
DNF Anthony Armstrong 12 Kamiakin (Wa)
65.30 (65.30),2:19.80 (74.50),3:27.76 (67.97),4:36.28 (68.53),5:46.04 (69.76),7:01.58 (75.55),8:20.70 (79.12)
This is a list of reported Division I college commitments updated with news of this week''s signings. It is arranged by home state. Please let us know if any of these non-binding commitments have changed. We know this list is far from complete. Tell us where you are headed next fall and we can add you to the list. After you sign, send us a photo for our gallery and/or Facebook wall. Names in bold are confirmed as signed. The complete listings of college choices is HERE.

Andrew Harris (distance) - Alabama
Kevin Shannon (throws) - Alabama
Quincy Smith (sprints) - Alabama
Jonathan Stiegler (jumps) - Alabama
Lacey Dent (sprints) - Alabama
Joy Maneice-Marbury (sprints) - Alabama
Analisa Patrick (distance) - Alabama

Trae Armstrong (football/sprints) – Idaho
Jasmine Todd (sprints/jumps) - Oregon
Bacall Sterling (hurdles/sprints) - Sacramento State
Ashley Weber (throws) - Arizona State

Sydney Conley (jumps) - Alabama

Trinity Wilson (hurdles) - UCLA
Cami Chapus (distance) – Stanford
Amy Weissenbach (mid-distance) – Stanford
C.J. Albertson (distance) – Arizona State
Carrie Verdon (distance) – Colorado
Darren Fahy (distance) – Georgetown
Dylan Blankenbaker (distance) – Oklahoma
Kevin Mihalik (distance) – Air Force
Savannah Comacho (mid-distance) – Oklahoma State
Allison Sturges (distance) – Duke
Cameron Miller (distance) – Stanford
Kevin Bishop (distance) – Stanford
Cody Crampton (high jump) – UCLA
Rebecca Mehra (distance) – Stanford
Deon Pinder (jumps) – Oklahoma
Lyndsey Mull (distance) – UCLA
Blake Selig (sprints/jumps) – UCLA
Julian Todd-Borden (hurdles) – Drake
Ashlyn Dadkhah (mid-distance) – California
Shea Taylor (jumps and hurdles) – BYU
Kendal Nielsen (jumps) – Cal Poly
Rachel Bush (distance) - Cal Poly
Justin Unno (distance) - UCLA
Annie Grove (distance) - South Carolina
Erika Reddish (distance) - BYU
Adriana Olivas (distance) - Arizona State
Klyvens Delaunay (jumps) - Arkansas
Danica Wyson (distance) - BYU
Ashton Padberg (distance) - San Diego
Steve Michaelson (throws) - Wake Forest
Rashard Clark (sprints) - Arizona State
Alex Conner (distance) - Yale
Melanie Joerger (distance) - Loyola Marymount

Sierra Williams (sprints) - Florida State
Kirk Webb (mid-distance) - Penn
Karina Ernst (distance) - Syracuse

Connor Rog (distance) – Virginia
Matt Klein (distance) - Dartmouth
Clark Shurtleff (distance) - Penn

Julie Macedo (distance) – Florida
Haley Pierce (distance) – Georgetown
Sam Parsons (mid-distance) - N.C. State

Marvin Bracy (football/sprints) – Florida State
Robin Reynolds (sprints) – Florida
Arman Hall (sprints) – Florida
Shayla Sanders (sprints) – Florida
DerRenae Freeman (jumps) – Florida State
Kyri Tabor (sprints) - Alabama
Dwight Davis (sprints) - Alabama
Carly Thomas (distance) - Florida State
Katelyn Greenleaf (distance) - Alabama
Randy Johnson (sprints) - Miami

Cameron Thornton (mid-distance) – Texas A&M
Jonathan Jones (football/hurdles) – Auburn
Reed Hancock (jumps) - Alabama
Caroline Kissel (distance) - Georgia Tech
Sarah Howard (throws) - North Carolina
Avana Story (throws) - North Carolina
Devon Williams (multi) - Georgia

Emily Nist (distance) – Syracuse
Rebecca Lassere (distance) - Seattle

Malachy Schrobilgen (distance) – Wisconsin
Morolake Akinosun (sprints) – Illinois
Trevor Holm (distance) - Western Illinois
Danielle DeVito (distance) - Bradley
Lindsey Rakosnik (distance) - Illinois
Sydni Meunier (mid-distance) - Notre Dame
Jacob Bender (sprints) - Nebraska
Chelsea Blaase (mid-distance) - Tennessee
Zeke Elkins (mid-distance) - Drake
Ali Olson (distance) - Northern Illinois
Ellen Renk (jumps) - Northern Illinois
Olivia Herzog (throws) - Northern Illinois
Leah Raffety (distance) - Northern Illinois
Mallory Abel (distance) - Northwestern
Jacquelyn Thate (distance) - Murray State
Ben Bowers (mid-distance) - Penn
Rebecca Stearns (mid-distance) - Loyola Chicago
Will Crocker (distance) - Missouri
Leland Later (distance) - California
Tom Schutt (throws) - Ohio State
Dan Vitale (hurdles) - Northwestern
Jaylaan Slaughter (hurdles/sprints) - Northern Illinois
Lauren Lindholm (distance) - Illinois-Chicago
Carl Heinz (jumps) - Duke

Mary Davis (distances) - Miami (Ohio)
Maggie Bell (sprints) - Indiana
Meredith Jackson (mid-distance) - Baylor

James Harrington (sprints) – Alabama
Hannah Savage (mid-distance) - Northern Illinois
Taylor Twedt (jumps/multi) - Wisconsin
Tyler Donels (hurdles/jumps) - Missouri

Kavahra Holmes (football/sprints) – Louisiana State
Kelci Lyons (mid-distance) - Columbia

Abbey Leonardi (distance) – Oregon
Matt McClintock (distance) - Purdue

Champ Page (sprints) - Ohio State
Ronald Darby (football/sprints) - Florida State
Justin Ahalt (distance) - Alabama

Jennifer Esposito (sprints/hurdles) - Elon

Tyrus Conley (throws) - Tulsa
Zachary Kughn (distance) - Montana State

Thomas Anderson (throws) - Arizona State
Brandon Clark (distance) - Penn
Riley Macon (distance) - Minnesota
Mark Harries (distance) - North Dakota

Justin Fondren (HJ) - Alabama
Conner Foxworth (jumps) - Alabama
Asia Cooper (sprints) - Ole Miss

Dorial Green-Beckham (sprints/jumps) - Missouri
Brittany Kallenberger (sprints/jumps) - Central Missouri

Morgan Woitzel (mid distance) - Nebraska

New Hampshire
Hillary Holmes (hurdles/jumps) - Cornell

New Jersey
Ajee Wilson (mid-distance) – Florida State
Tim Ball (distance) – Notre Dame
Caroline Kellner (distance) – Cornell
Holly Bischof (distance) – Duke
Blake Udland (distance) – Duke
Najee Glass (sprints) – Florida
Myasia Jacobs (sprints) – Georgia
Samuel Mattis (discus) – Penn
Alicia Osley (sprints) - Northern Illinois
Darrell Bush (sprints) - LSU
Elly Wardle (jumps/multi) - Lehigh
Greg Caldwell (hurdles) - Princeton
Jermaine Collier (hurdles) - South Carolina
George Kelly (distance) - Michigan
Stephen Lewandowski (distance) - Clemson
Theresa Picciallo (throws) - Penn
Everett Price (mid-distance) - Princeton

New York
Samantha Nadel (distance) – Georgetown
Brianna Nerud (distance) – Syracuse
Katie Sischo (distance) – Providence
Kelsey Margey (distance) – Villanova
Alexis Panisse (distance) – Tennessee
Zavon Watkins (mid-distance) - Penn State
Lauren Fontana (mid-distance) - Texas A&M
Olicia Williams (sprints) - Baylor
Giancarlo Sainato (mid-distance) - Georgetown
Thomas Awad, (distance) - Penn
Brendan Smith (distance) - Penn
Valencia Hannon (sprints) - Clemson
Daniel Lennon (distance) - Syracuse
Patrizio Grandinali (distance) - High Point
Cody Israel (sprints/jumps) - Lehigh
Heather Martin (distance) - Georgetown
Christie Rutledge (distance) - Dartmouth

North Carolina
Samantha George (distance) – N.C. State
Thomas Graham (distance) – Stanford
Craig Engels (distance) - N.C. State
Tevin Hester (sprints) - Clemson
Gabrielle Gray (sprints) - South Carolina
Anna Gelbach (sprints) - North Carolina-Charlotte
Alexis Perry (hurdles/jumps) - N.C. State
Hezekiah Ward (hurdles) - North Carolina-Wilmington
Francesca Evans (sprints/jumps) - North Carolina A&T

Destinee Gause (sprints) – Florida
Donovan Robertson (hurdles) – Ohio State
Maddie Morrow (high jump) – Duke
Coy Blair (throws) - Purdue
Taylor Hatfield (distance) - Alabama
Jacob Blankenship (pole vault) - Tennessee
Stephen Lyons (throws) - Eastern Michigan

Isaiah Duke (sprints) - Baylor

Megan Fristoe (distance) - Oregon
Sara Fristoe (distance) - Oregon State
Ashley Maton (distance) - Oregon
Kira Kelly (distance) - Oregon State
Jefferson Jarvis (throws) - BYU

Angel Piccirillo (distance) – Villanova
Tori Gerlach (distance) – Penn State
Drew Magaha (distance) – Penn
Thomas Pitt (HJ) - Penn
Imani Brown (jumps) - Alabama
Kyle Felpel (throws) - Alabama
Chris Williams (hurdles) - Washington
Kyle Long (throws) - Arizona State
Margo Malone (distance) - Syracuse
Ned Willig (mid-distance) - Brown
Meredith Speakman (distance) - Syracuse

South Carolina
Chris Brown (football/jumps) – Notre Dame

South Dakota
Tony Smoragiewicz (distance) – Michigan
Kari Heck (sprints/jumps) - Nebraska

Rebecca Stover (distance) - Alabama
Emily Yarnell (sprints) - Tennessee
Emily Davis (sprints) - Belmont
Will Templeton (distance) - Liberty

Daniel Vertiz (distance) – Texas
Craig Nowak (distance) – Oklahoma State
Cali Roper (distance) – Rice
Jessie Johnson (pole vault) – Auburn
Reese Watson (pole vault) - Texas
Aldrich Bailey (sprints) - Texas A&M
Shelbi Vaughan (volleyball/discus) – Texas A&M
Hector Hernandez (mid-distance) - Texas A&M
Laura Craig (distance) - Texas A&M
India Daniels (sprints) - Texas A&M
LaKesha Jelks (mid-distance) - Texas A&M
Jennifer Madu (sprints/jumps) - Texas A&M
Sierra Patrick (HJ) - Texas A&M
Brittany Wooten (pole vault) - Texas A&M
Samantha Turner (throws) - Jacksonville
Jordan Chavez (distance) - Richmond
Taije Jordan (hurdles) - Baylor
Brianna Richardson (jumps) - Baylor
Richard Gary (sprints) - Baylor
Felix Obi (jumps) - Baylor
Alex Reece (sprints) - Baylor
Chris McElroy (mid-distance) - Baylor
Kristin Smithey (throws) - Baylor
Jonathan Wells (sprints) - Wichita State
Jermaine Authorlee (sprints) - Alabama
Hayden Reed (throws) - Alabama
Susie Kemper (distance) - Alabama
Chance Griffin (jumps) - Columbia
Kierra Hamilton (sprints) - Kansas State
Shelby Poncik (pole vault) - Texas Tech

Ahmed Bile (distance) – Georgetown
Megan Moye (distance) – N.C. State
Shaquera Leach (sprints) - Virginia Tech
Harrison Scharf (sprints) - Penn
Nick Wolfe (distance) - Alabama
Kimberly Ficenec (distance) - Alabama
Hannah Brown (mid-distance) - Stanford
Joel Coleman (sprints) - Virginia Tech

Maddie Meyers (distance) – Washington
Anthony Lee (distance) - Vanderbilt
Andrew Matthews (sprints) - Kansas
Aaron Castle (throws) - Arizona
Jacob Smith (distance) - Portland

Molly Seidel (distance) – Notre Dame
Joshua Dixon (jumps) – Arkansas
Olivia Pratt (distance) - Butler
Andrew Faris (distance) - Alabama
Ali Olson (distance) - Northern Illinois
Taylor Vinhal (distance) - Northern Illinois

Cheserek, Zeinasellassie forge bond

December, 10, 2011
Ed Cheserek and Futsum ZeinasellassieJohn Nepolitan/ESPNHSEd Cheserek and Futsum Zeinasellassie grind up the hill the final time.

Foot Locker Finals Index

Futsum Zeinasellassie didn’t come to San Diego to make friends with Edward Cheserek. He wanted to stay serious, focused and win.

“I was trying not to talk to him all week,” Zeinasellassie said. “I wanted to focus on this race because I wanted to beat him so bad.”

But on Thursday, the entire group of Foot Locker finalists went for a jog outside the Hotel del Coronado. Zeinasellassie was with was surrounded by the other qualifers from the Midwest when another runner approached. It was Cheserek.

“He came up to me and said ‘Are you Futsum?’ And I said, ‘Yeah,’” Zeinasellassie said.

And from that moment, whatever tension might have existed between them evaporated into thin air. Cheserek attached himself to Zeinasellassie and hung out in his hotel room.

The two African-born runners dominated high school cross country this fall for their respective U.S. high schools. And Saturday at Balboa Park, their competition produced one of the best boys finals ever. After trading surge and counter-surge over the final two miles, Zeinasellassie tried to push away up the final ascent of the hill.

Cheserek was unwilling to let Zeinasellassie go. He began sprinting up the hill until he had pulled back to even, and then back into the lead.

They roared down the final hill along Upas Street and it became a sprint to the finish. That favored the 4:03 miler, Cheserek, and he got the finish line in 14:51 – one second ahead of his new friend.

“We’ve become friends and been chillin’ together,” said Cheserek, who came to New Jersey’s St. Benedict’s Prep School a year and a half ago from Kenya’s Rift Valley.

Cheserek has deep connections to Kenya’s running culture and was a national champion for his age group in the 10,000 meters before coming to New Jersey. (He said he has a younger brother, 15, who ran 1:48 for 800 earlier this week).

Zeinasellassie, who was born in Eritrea and moved to the U.S. with his family five years ago, said he feels a bond with Cheserek.

“He’d come to my (hotel) room, but we never talked about the race,” Zeinsellassie said. “He reminds me of myself two years ago. The way he behaved with me, I was just like him.”

Cheserek is no stranger to national level competition in the U.S., but he is still catching up socially and culturally. Zeinasellassie, on the other hand, said he has come to feel more at home in the U.S.

Zeinasellassie was seventh at Foot Locker as freshman in 2008 and second last year to Lukas Verzbicas. He won the Nike Cross Nationals individual title last week in Portland.

The two runners, ranked 1 and 2 virtually all season, followed one another intently on the internet. But until Thursday they had never met in person.

“I had read a lot (about Zeinasellassie),” Cheserek said. “So I wanted to say ‘Nice to meet you.’”

Zeinasellassie tried to prepare for multiple race scenarios. Should he go hard early? Should he try to move late?

Beating a runner who had broken course records each time he raced this year was a riddle that he was not able to solve – at least this time.

“He would run as hard as he (could) for 25 seconds and then slow down,” Zeinasellassie said. “And I would think at the time, ‘OK, he’s done’ and I would pick up the pace and try to move. But it didn’t work because then he would do it again.”

If their budding friendship didn’t cement the bond between them, perhaps Saturday’s engrossing competition did. They will go into history linked by their 2011 clash at Balboa Park.

“Hopefully we’ll stay in touch,” Zeinasellassie said. “And I’ll make my college choice in a little bit and he might come to the same college. We’ll see what happens. But I really like him and I think he likes me, too.”

Cheserek has a short turnaround before starting indoor track next week. But he confirmed that he’d like to stay in touch with his new friend.

Nathan Weitz
John Dye/ESPNHSNathan Weitz takes 3rd at Foot Locker Finals.
“Of course,” he said. “Futsum’s a very nice guy.”

The top two finishers ran out of eyesight of the rest of the field. Behind them, Nathan Weitz of Spokane (who attends the tiny Oaks Classical Christian Academy and competes for Shadle Park), rallied late and edged Bismarck, N.D.’s Jake Leingang for third place. Weitz finished in 15:21 and Leingang was next in 15:22.

Daniel Vertiz of San Antonio, Texas was fifth and led the South to its first-ever region “team” victory.

Andrew Gardner, of Spokane’s Mead High School, nosed out Tony Smoragiewicz of Rapid City (S.D.) Central for sixth. They both ran 15:24.

Vertiz, Leingang and Smoragiewicz joined Zeinasellassie as top-10 finishers one week after running at the Nike meet in Portland.

“They’re both really great events,” Vertiz said. “I’m glad I don’t have to choose because I don’t know what one I’d do. The biggest thing I did to stay fresh and not burn out was to try have fun at both events. I was having fun, enjoying myself.”

Smoragiewicz, who entered his final high school cross country season on the heels of the World Junior Triathlon in China, said he felt like he never felt like he completely recovered from a strenuous competition schedule.

Since Jan. 1, Smoragiewicz has been away from home 96 days.

He’s looking forward to his mom’s home cooking and Christmas in the Black Hills.

“I’m going to take some time off from everything and relax and recover,” he said.
Cross country season still has one more day to go, but already there have been a smattering of indoor track and field meets across the country.

Here are a handful of early highlights and their corresponding meet results pages in TFX and a link to a big meet Saturday at New York's Armory:

In Virginia, Shakeela Saunders, a senior from Nansemond River in Suffolk, Va. popped a 20-0.5 long jump at the first Southeastern District Meet. Also, Kiara Howell of Grassfield in Chesapeake, Va., another senior, threw 46-7 in the shot put.

At the Peninsula Ice Breaker, also held in Virginia, senior Willie Davis from Bethel of Hampton, Va., doubled in the jumps, going 6-6 in the high jump and 44-7 in the triple jump.

Senior Kari Heck from Washington High School in Sioux Falls, S.D., won a college meet in the long jump (19-0) at Mankato State University.

The 100-meet season at the New York Armory starts Saturday with the 61st running of the Catholic High School Athletic Association Relay Carnival.

Foot Locker Boys Predictions and Preview: Ches, Futsum and who's next?

December, 9, 2011
Fahy and WeitzJohn Dye/ESPNHSDarren Fahy and Nathan Weitz, 1-2 at FL West, are great bets to lead finishers after the Ed Ches-Futsum Z. duel.

DyeStat’s SteveU, compiler of the Individual Top 25 rankings all season and an annual predictor of national meets, weighs in with his top 20 for Foot Locker Finals and a race analysis.


1. Edward Cheserek NJ
2. Futsum Zeinasellassie IN
3. Darren Fahy CA
4. Ahmed Bile VA
5. Nathan Weitz WA

6. Tony Smoragiewicz SD
7. Craig Nowak TX
8. Daniel Vertiz TX
9. Jake Leingang ND
10 Tim Ball NJ

11. Andrew Gardner WA
12. Josh Brickell GA
13. Thomas Graham NC
14. Dallin Farnsworth ID
15. Dustin Wilson PA

16. Connor Rog CT
17. Sean McGorty VA
18. Dan Lennon NY
19. Matthew McClintock ME
20. Jacob Thomson KY

Analysis: It’s hard to pick anyone else besides US#1 St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) junior Edward Cheserek for the victory. His string of seven course record victories makes that obvious, not to mention his track and XC creds coming into the fall. All that, plus he’s rested, motivated and healthy.

That said, it would be a mistake to think it will be a slam dunk for him. US#2 prime challenger and North Central (Indianapolis) senior Futsum Zeinasellassie has three things going for him:
** Knowledge of the course and meet: It’s Futsum’s 3rd trip to Foot Locker Finals – he was 7th in ’08 and 2nd last year – and Edward’s first.
** Lack of pressure: Almost no one has been talking all year about Futsum being the favorite here or chasing the record. He can relish in the underdog role.
** His own momentum: He just broke the course record at NXN and, with reasonable course conditions at Portland Meadows, didn’t have to beat himself up too bad to do it.

Cheserek will have to decide how bad he wants the course record and what risks he’s willing to take to go after it. Futsum is not generally a torrid starter – and would be wise to stick with his M.O. here – so Ches will likely have to do the work if he wants to go for it, knowing Futsum is lurking behind. The St. Benedict’s star would be wise to do what’s smartest for the win and see if the record comes to him. He could always chase it again next year.

One more thing, if Futsum is close enough to try and make a winning move in the last mile, he shouldn’t wait too long. Cheserek has the clear advantage in the speed department.

That all said, will Cheserek get the record? The prediction here is that he’ll come close – 14:42 – but not quite. Give Futsum 14:50 in second.

So what about the rest of the field?

It’s likely to be a scenario where there’s one race at the front and another race for the other 38 runners. But there will almost certainly be a few others who will break away from the pack, at least pretending to chase the leaders while putting them in a position to bury the pack themselves – or get eaten up by it.

There are arguably eight other runners with a good chance for getting into the top five. Look for La Costa Canyon (Encinitas, Calif.) senior Darren Fahy to be one of those. The unbeaten FL West champ (plus Mt. SAC, Stanford, and D2 State) will – of course – be running in front of his home crowd. More often than not (there have been exceptions), San Diego-area runners have done well here, led by 2005 and 1986 champions AJ Acosta and Marc Davis. Expect Fahy to make a strong move for third in the second half of the race.

Four of the other key contenders can be looked at in pairs: Washington stars Nathan Weitz and Andrew Gardner, and Dakota dynamos Tony Smoragiewicz and Jake Leingang.

Gardner, a Mead (Spokane) junior, was 4th to Weitz’s 31st here last year, but Weitz – a Shadle Park (Spokane) senior – has had the better year this fall. Amazingly, Foot Locker West was the first time they’d raced all fall, but Weitz has a string of late-season narrow defeats at 3A state, BorderClash, and FL West, while Gardner was 2nd at 4A state in a slower time, did not run BorderClash, and was 4th at FL West. Either or both could be in the top five.

Rapid City Central (Rapid City, S.D.) senior Smoragiewicz was the surprise of the meet here in 2010 with 3rd (after 9th at NXN), and went on to an 8:57 3200 in track, then a summer of triathloning that ended up with 3rd at World Juniors in September. When he won NXN Heartland in November, he looked on track, but since was 5th at FL Midwest and 11th at NXN Finals. Leingang was unbeaten in North Dakota, then 2nd at NXN HL. He beat Smoragiewicz for the first time at FL MW (2nd), then again last weekend at NXN (8th).

Suffice it to say, neither was happy in Portland, with Leingang having been in 3rd at one point late before the final kick. Both look for redemption here, and if they have the wheels left, could also be strong top five contenders.

The top three from the South region should also be right there, with two coming back from Portland and the other fresh. Annandale (Annandale, Va.) senior Ahmed Bile is the fresh one. He was outkicked at FL South for the win, but the Virginia AAA champ has had plenty of rest since. His 14th last year was an impressive surprise and expect him to possibly move early for a top five spot, too.

Texans Craig Nowak and Daniel Vertiz have taken turns beating each other in the last month, with Nowak prevailing at 5A state and FL South, while Vertiz topped him at NXN South and NXN Finals. In the latter race, Vertiz was 2nd and Nowak 3rd, but Nowak topped both Vertiz and Bile in Charlotte. Like the Dakota boys, they will be running on fatigued legs, but will still be factors.

Finally, don’t forget FL Northeast 3rd-place finisher Piscataway (N.J.) senior Tim Ball, who was unbeaten in New Jersey (save Cheserek) and was 2nd in the Eastern States race at Manhattan with an outstanding 12:21. If he runs to that level again, he’s a good top five bet, too.

Every year, a few runners perform well behind their regional finish, national ranking, or predicted finish, and don’t be shocked if Peru (Peru, N.Y.) senior and FL NE runner-up Dan Lennon and FL South 4th-place finisher and Peachtree Ridge (Suwanee, Ga.) senior Josh Brickell fit that mold.

SteveU's NXN Individual Top 10s

December, 2, 2011
Amy-Eloise Neale and Futsum ZeinasellassieGary Paulson and Bob GeigerSteveU's picks to win Saturday: Amy-Eloise Neale WA and Futsum Zeinasellassie IN
1. Futsum Zeinasellassie IN
2. Craig Nowak TX
3. Izaic Yorks WA
4. Anthony Armstrong WA
5. Tony Smoragiewicz SD
6. Jake Leingang ND
7. Elliot Clemente FL
8. Danny Martinez, Jr. CA
9. Daniel Vertiz TX
10. Kevyn Hoyos TX
11. Nick Ryan NY
12. Sergio Gonzalez CA
13. Michael Clevenger IL
14. Malachy Schrobilgen IL
15. Luis Martinez NM
16. Dylan Blankenbacker CA
17. Mike Marsella RI
18. Luis Gutierrez CA
19. Clayton Young UT
20. Josh Thorson MN

Breakdown: If the wind is moderate and the forecast of a dry, 45 degree day holds up, Futsum Zeinasellassie could break Craig Lutz’s 2-year-old course record and become the first-ever to duck under 15:00 in the meet. But regardless of how fast the race is, the North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) senior is a strong favorite. Look for the unbeaten US#2 runner to pull away from the field mid-race and force the rest to fight for second.

And who might win that fight for second? Probably the three contenders with the best kicks are Craig Nowak, Anthony Armstrong and Izaic Yorks. Only Nowak (Cypress Woods, Texas senior) has run as fast as 4:08 for 1600 and has had a strong sprint finish in almost every race this year. Look for him to hang on long enough to use it. Kamiakin (Kennewick, Wash.) senior Anthony Armstrong is a fine kicker, too, and has utilized that weapon effectively, but rival Izaic Yorks (Lakes, Wash.) almost got him at Mike BorderClash 13 and could be primed to finally do so Saturday.

One who could alter the outcome of the race with his racing style is Belen Jesuit (Miami, Fla.) senior Elliot Clemente, who has shown this fall he loves to go out hard. He did so in his near-record 14:58 in NXN SE. He could back off due to the muddy course (yes, still muddy, just dry by comparison to past years) or the elevated completion. But he’ll probably stick to his strategy and force others who’ve never raced him to decide to go with him or not. Futsum will likely lay off for 1-1.5 miles, then make his winning move, and Clemente will probably get passed by a few more before finishing a still-strong 7th.

1. Amy-Eloise Neale WA
2. Julie Macedo DE
3. Sarah Baxter CA
4. Jillian Fanning NY
5. Katie Knight WA
6. Amanda Fox IL
7. Haley Pierce DE
8. Samantha Nadel NY
9. Mary Cain NY
10. Samantha Nightingale MO
11. Brianna Nerud NY
12. Sarah Fakler AZ
13. Maria Hauger MN
14. Karis Jochen TX
15. Erin Hooker CO
16. Elle Purrier VT
17. Madi McLellan TX
18. Katie Sischo NY
19. Hagen Reedy CA
20. Laura Hollander CA

Breakdown: The girls field is very hard to pick, with at least five potential national champions. On paper, very little can clearly separate US#1 NXN NY champ Jillian Fanning (Fayetteville-Manlius, N.Y.), #3 California champ Sarah Baxter (Simi Valley, Calif.), #4 NXN SE champ Julie Macedo (Charter School of Wilmington, Del.), #5 Katie Knight (North Central, Wash.) and #7 Amy-Eloise Neale (Glacier Peak, Wash.) – the latter two having split four big head-to-head clashes.

None of these girls is a notoriously fast starter, so look for them to run together – possibly with others hanging on – for at least a mile. Then the big question will be, who will make a move? Macedo, Baxter and Fanning, in particular, have shown they can make some devastating mid-race moves, but all of these girls will be hard for the other to break.

So figuring on at least four to be in contention with 600 to go, look for a girl with the best mile in the field, with a good kick, and someone who’s strong and knows the course. That would be Neale, who has lost twice, but is pretty hard to beat when she’s on. She is the top returnee from 2010, at 3rd, and it’s easy to picture her hammering the final 250 better than anyone else.

Another to keep an eye on, that could surprise, is uber-talented middle-distance star Mary Cain. She was a distant third behind Fanning at NXN NY, but the week before she had run 17:40 on that same Bowdoin Park course at NY Feds, seven seconds faster than Fanning’s NXN 17:47. No one in the field can run a mile on down like Cain can (4:17 1500, 2:03 800 relay, 55 400), so if she’s there at the end and still has legs, watch out.
Earlier this week, the USTFCCCA (that's the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association) recognized the NCAA Division I all-region teams, revealing cream of the college crop for 2011. It also offered a chance to examine where those athletes went to high school -- and which states are contributing the most Division I talent.

Making the all-region is a byproduct of placing in the top 25 in one of the nine regional meets across the country last Saturday.

That means 450 athletes make the all-region teams, a list that skims the cream off the top of Division I cross country. And while it may not be exactly the 450 best ( because not all of the regions are equal), there is information here that may be eye-opening for high school athletes and coaches thinking about the next level.

The West Regional produced the fastest winning times, the fastest 20th place finishes and fastest 50th place finishes. That could be an indication that it was held on the easiest course, but it also indicates the level of talent in the West. Six women's teams from the West are ranked in the Top 30 nationally as well as four men's teams.

The deepest region for women may be the Great Lakes, where the top 50 finished within 81 seconds. The region with the fewest spaces up front for the men was the Mid-Atlantic Region, where the first and 50th finisher were separated by 84 seconds.

So where do the 450 all-region runners come from? Where is the fertile recruiting ground?

It may not come as a surprise that there are more Kenyans on the list (35) than there are Texans (30) or Californians (27). Additionally, 40 of the runners (or close to one-tenth) come from European countries. And 25 more come from Australia, New Zealand or Canada.

Would you believe that Pennsylvania produced more men on the list (12) than New York (8) or Illinois (8)? It's true. The Keystone state trails only California (15) and Texas (15). Also, 10 come from Indiana and nine hail from Georgia.

The women's list doesn't follow the same pattern. Texas (15) produces the most, which may seem odd because the state only runs 3,200-meter races for high school girls. Twelve of the 15 go to universities within Texas.

Ohio, the source of three of the men on the list, produces the same number of women (12) as California.

After Ohio and California, New York (11) and Michigan (11) are next, followed by New Jersey (10).

Pennsylvania, represented by 12 men, has just five women on the list. Iowa has six women, no men.

Here is a combined (men and women) breakdown by state or country where the athlete went to high school. Five states that did not make this list are Hawaii, Vermont, Delaware, Arkansas and Montana.

Kenya 35, Texas 30, California 27, New York 19, Michigan 17, Pennsylvania 17, Indiana 16, Ohio 15, New Jersey 15, Illinois 15, England 13, Georgia 11, Colorado 10, Utah 10, Virginia 10, Canada 10, Arizona 9, Connecticut 9, Australia 8, Minnesota 8, New Zealand 8, Missouri 7, Massachusetts 7, Florida 7, Tennessee 6, North Carolina 6, Washington 6, Iowa 6, Wisconsin 5, Ireland 5, Maryland 5, New Mexico 4, New Hampshire 4, Alabama 4, Germany 3, Uganda 3, West Virginia 3, Nevada 3, Norway 3, Kansas 3, South Carolina 3, Oregon 3, Wyoming 3, Nebraska 3, Kentucky 3, France 2, Belgium 2, Sweden 2, Idaho 2, Oklahoma 2, South Dakota 2, Mississippi 2, The Netherlands 2, Scotland 1, Maine 1, Czech Rep. 1, Rhode Island 1, Ethiopia 1, Venezuela 1, Zambia 1, Alaska 1, North Dakota 1, Portugal 1, Louisiana 1, South Africa 1, Estonia 1, Serbia 1 , Switzerland 1.
The return of Sarah Baxter was one of the big storylines at the massive Mt. SAC Invitational on Saturday, but how about her Simi Valley teammates?

Simi Valley rose from 24th to 10th last week in the Powerade FAB 50 with Baxter back in the lineup and then put 51 points on the board to win the sweepstakes team title, finishing ahead of US#2 La Costa Canyon CA and US#6 Xavier Prep AZ.

Race recaps, results, photos and videos are all in from a meet that saw 16,000 runners take part. It was also another strong outing from Karlie Garcia, who ran 17:01 on the three-mile course on Friday.

Darren Fahy of La Costa Canyon and the US#4 Rancho Cucamonga boys were also big winners.

In state meet action on Saturday, the nationally ranked Bozeman Hawks dominated the Montana meet in Missoula, sweeping the boys and girls titles.

In North Dakota, Jake Leingang ran the fast 5K time in meet history, going 14:59.8 and leading US#12 Bismarck to a near-perfect 17-point victory.

In South Dakota, US#5 individual Tony Smoragiewicz repeated as individual champion, while sophomore Addison DeHaven (son of marathon great Rod DeHaven) continued to emerge as a future star.

In Nebraska, Lincoln North's standout freshman Jeralyn Poe ran the third-fastest time in state meet history over 4K (14:38.5).

Close team races were the highlight in Wyoming. Two of Oklahoma's small school classifications also vied for titles.

Further east, Bronxville star Mary Cain ran the 10th fastest time ever on the Bowdoin course in New York.
The best 5K of the season by a high school cross country runner (so far) probably came on Sunday. In China. During a triathlon.
Julie Smoragiewicz/ESPNHSTony Smoragiewicz poses with his bronze medal after Sunday's World Junior Triathlon.

Tony Smoragiewicz ran 15:31 for 5,000 meters immediately after swimming as hard as he could for 750 meters and the pedaling his bike as fast as it would go for 20K. He finished with a bronze medal around his neck on Sunday at the World Junior Triathlon Championships. We caught up to Tony and you can read more about him and see additional photos here.

And yet, when he got to the second transition zone, he was 35th. Then the No. 1 runner for Rapid City Central (S.D.) started mowing down runners until only two remained. American Lukas Verzbicas was a half-minute ahead at the finish, where he celebrated the victory he had vowed to win for a teammate with cancer.

Smoragiewicz, ninth last year at NXN and third at Foot Locker, had the silver medalist in his sights and finished only five seconds behind him. He expects to join his cross country teammates on Sept. 23 for the Cobbers' first race of the season. Tony's mom made a really good video of the race and posted it on Youtube.
Dyestat Athlete of the Year Lukas Verzbicas vowed to win a world junior triathlon title for his buddy, Kevin McDowell, who has cancer.

And so, as Verzbicas often does, he went out and achieved his goal. The all-time prep great won a world title on Sunday in Beijing, China.

Next up for Verzbicas is a move-in at the University of Oregon.

Third-place finisher Tony Smoragiewicz, one of the top high school harriers in the U.S., still has another year of high school left.