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The ESPN RISE National Athletes of the Week are soccer and football player Casey Caronis of Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.) and cross country runner Chelsey Sveinsson of Greenhill (Addison, Texas).
|Chelsey Sveinsson is the top-ranked runner in the DyeStat Elite 25.|
Two goals and three assists make for a decent week for a soccer player, but Caronis gets an extra bump for being a two-sport star.
He is the captain of the soccer team, which is the defending state champ and ranked fourth in North Carolina among Class 4A programs, and last week he played soccer Tuesday and Thursday. On Friday, he suited up for the football team and converted a 51-yard field goal in the first half, a 45-yarder in the second and made all four extra points as Myers Park beat rival East Mecklenburg (Charlotte, N.C.) 34-24.
Caronis became Myers Park's place-kicker after an injury to the team's former kicker. He had never kicked a football until four weeks ago, and since that time is 6-of-7 on field goals and 7-of-7 on extra points. On the soccer field, he has six goals and nine assists from his holding midfield position, helping Myers Park to an 8-2-2 record.
Sveinsson, the 2008 Nike Cross Nationals champ and ranked No. 1 in the DyeStat Elite Top 25, had her first high-profile outing of the year, running a blistering course record that made national waves despite the performance being at a distance few states contest.
Racing over 3,200 meters at the 73rd Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Okla., Sveinsson ran 10:31.9, winning by 53 seconds and topping the course record by 24 seconds. Most tellingly, she beat her own time from the meet last year by 29 seconds, an ominous sign for anyone who has hopes of beating her nationally.
On top of winning NXN last fall, Sveinsson was fourth at the Foot Locker Finals, where she is the nation's No. 2 returnee. She also had nation-leading times at a mile and two miles last spring, winning both events at Nike Outdoor Nationals.
The complete list of this week's ESPN RISE Regional Athletes of the Week for fall sports (not including football):
West Windsor-Plainsboro North (Plainsboro, N.J.), Cross Country
For the second time this season, Rosa set an impressive course record, but this one -- at the massive Shore Coaches Invitational at Holmdel Park -- galvanized attention to the third-ranked runner in the DyeStat Elite Top 25. The Holmdel CR of 15:16 was set by one of the best runners in the country this decade, Colts Neck (Colts Neck, N.J.) grad Craig Forys. But on a warm, humid day, Rosa attacked the course and won in a stunning 15:04. His twin brother Jim was almost as good, tying Forys' record in taking second at 15:16.
Pennington Prep (Pennington, N.J.), Soccer
Kerr just might be the best high school girls soccer player on the East Coast. Last week, she scored twice as Pennington Prep played ESPNRISE FAB 50 No. 1 Downingtown West (Downingtown, Pa.) to a 3-3 draw. Kerr has committed to Duke.
Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.), Soccer and football
Also chosen as the ESPN RISE National Athlete of the Week.
Community School (Naples, Fla.), Cross Country
Continuing to exhibit improvement over last year, Fluehr dominated the flrunners.com meet in Titusville, Fla. After finishing sixth in last year's meet in 18:13.79 -- and third in last fall's 1A Florida state meet -- she blasted to a 17:00.73 time over a 5k course for the Race of Champions title. Her time was 14 seconds off the course record set by 2007 Foot Locker champion Ashley Brasovan.
Quincy (Quincy, Ill.), Soccer
Miller helped Quincy to a second-place finish at the Gateway Soccer Classic in St. Louis, posting two shutouts in three matches. His performance in the semifinals included two saves in a penalty kick shootout that helped Quincy advance to the final. Miller had 12 shutouts in his team's first 15 matches.
Burnsville (Burnsville, Minn.), Volleyball
Dixon had a season-high 27 kills to lead her team to a victory against Rosemount (Minn.). The 6-3 outside hitter, who is headed to the University of Minnesota, had 26 kills last week as Burnsville defeated Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.). Dixon, a two-year all-state selection, is a daughter of former NFL offensive lineman David Dixon.
Christian Brothers (St. Louis, Mo.), Soccer
Kuster had three goals and four assists in three matches as Christian Brothers won its bracket at the Gateway City Soccer Classic in St. Louis. He factored in seven of the team's 11 goals during the event and established himself as not only one of the top players in his region but also the nation.
Greenhill (Addison, Texas), Cross Country
Also chosen as the ESPN RISE National Athlete of the Week.
Sinagua (Flagstaff, Ariz.), Cross Country
Shrader stayed unbeaten and on track to contend for national honors again with a victory at the Desert Twilight Cross Country Festival in Mesa, Ariz. Facing nearly all of the other top runners in the state in the Sweepstakes race, he clocked an eye-popping 14:24.1 for 3 miles, turning back the challenge of fellow 2008 Foot Locker finalist Steve Magnuson. Last year, Shrader was second in the Foot Locker West race and 11th in the Foot Locker Finals, where he is the No. 2 national returnee.
Elsinore (Lake Elsinore, Calif.), Volleyball
The 6-3 middle hitter racked up 48 kills in seven matches at the Cougar Classic and led Elsinore to the title over a stacked field. Waber is one of the highest-rising players in the West and recently committed to NCAA power Hawaii. She was dominant in the championship game against host Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and her team did not lose a game during the event.
For the fall season, the national athlete of the week honors will be given to those who participate in sports other than football. The ESPN RISE Athlete of the Week panel consists of Garland Cooper (softball), Andrew Drennen (baseball), Ronnie Flores (basketball), Doug Huff (multi-sports), Sheldon Shealer (soccer), Mark Tennis (multi-sports) and Steve Underwood (track & cross country).