Commentary

ESPN RISE Athletes of the Week

Updated: November 12, 2009, 12:07 PM ET
By Mark Tennis | ESPN RISE

Han Kim, a senior at Lake Mary (Lake Mary, Fla.) who shot a sensational round of golf in a state open, and Megan Goethals, a senior at Rochester (Rochester Hills, Mich.) who showed her paces in a state championship race held at a venue famous for speed, are the ESPN RISE National Boys & Girls Athletes of the Week.

[+] EnlargeGoethals
ESPN RISE MagazineRochester (Rochester Hills, Mich.) senior Megan Goethals is the No. 2-rated runner in the country.

After shooting a 2-under 70 in the first round, Kim entered the second and final round of last week's Florida High School Athletic Association Class 2A individual championships locked in a tight field of competitors. On his game, he shot a 7-under 65 and won medalist honors by six strokes. Kim capped his round by chipping in for a birdie and sending the gallery into a frenzy. He also helped Lake Mary win the Class 2A state team title, the school's third in the last six years.

Goethals and the rest of her state's top cross country runners descended on the course at Michigan International Speedway for last weekend's state finals. She withstood 20-30 mph winds and showed why she's worthy of the No. 2 ranking in the U.S. and is a top candidate to make it back to San Diego and win the Foot Locker Finals. Goethals continued her unbeaten season by pulling away early and winning in 16:54.8. The performance improved her 2008 record from 17:10 and left her a jaw-dropping 1:15 ahead of the field, a margin unprecedented in any D1 or Class A meet in state history.

Goethals is the top returning performer from last year's Foot Locker Finals, having taken third in 2008, and considered one of a small handful of runners -- along with 2008 Nike Cross Nationals champ Chelsey Sveinsson -- who could win in December.

This week's ESPN RISE Regional Athletes of the Week for fall sports (not including football):

East Boys
Dave Oster
Verona (Verona, N.J.), Cross Country
Like most runners in New Jersey and the Northeast, Oster has labored in the shadow of the titanic performances by the Rosa twins this fall. But two weeks ago, the senior showed he might also be a player on the regional and national stage this fall with an Essex County Meet course-record 14:56 over 5k against a great field. This past week, he set another course mark with a 15:48.8 over 5k on a tougher course to win the New Jersey Sectional North II, Group 4 meet.

East Girls
Alexa Sikalis
Acton-Boxboro (Acton, Mass.), Field Hockey
It's a battle at Acton-Boxboro between the field hockey and girls soccer teams over which will lose first. For the 19-0 field hockey team, this senior captain has been the top player. Sikalis had one goal and one assist in a 2-0 win last week against Masconomet (Masconomet, Mass.), modest totals for her this season. She ranked among the state leaders with 24 goals and 11 assists in her first 17 games. Sikalis is headed for UMass after turning down offers from other major college programs including Michigan.

Southeast Boys
Han Kim
Lake Mary (Lake Mary, Fla.), Golf
Also chosen as the ESPN RISE National Athlete of the Week.

Southeast Girls
Megan Ferowich
Knoxville Catholic (Knoxville, Tenn.), Cross Country
With a dominant performance that surely reminded some in Tennessee of the just-ended four-year reign of Kathy Kroeger, Ferowich claimed the AAA crown at the Tennessee State Meet in Nashville last Saturday. Her time of 17:47.76 was victorious by 1:29 and the fastest time in the four classifications. Just a sophomore, Ferowich is unbeaten this year and is a top candidate to qualify for either of the top two national meets.

Midwest Boys
Joe Kalt
St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio), Soccer
The senior goalie set an Ohio record with his 43rd career shutout in a 2-0 Division 1 regional tournament championship win over Massillon Jackson. The Wildcats (21-0), sitting at No. 1 in the ESPN RISE FAB 50 rankings, outshot Jackson 14-8 and Kalt made five tough saves. He also recorded a regular-season shutout against Jackson. St. Ignatius will play Strongsville in the state semifinals.

Midwest Girls
Megan Goethals
Rochester (Rochester Hills, Mich.) Cross Country
Also chosen as the ESPN RISE National Athlete of the Week.

Southwest Boys
Kyle Pittman
Los Alamos (Los Alamos, N.M.) Cross Country
As he has all fall, Pittman remained just out of reach of nationally-ranked Albuquerque Academy's finest in a tight battle for state superiority. In the 4A state meet, Pittman won a close race with AA's Pat Zacharias, clocking a 14:59.60 for five kilometers. It was Pittman's second straight 4A state title.

Southwest Girls
Emily Sisson
Parkway Central (Chesterfield, Mo.), Cross Country
After missing a few meets and getting off to a slow start in her final season, the three-time Foot Locker Finalist is showing she's back in top form. She pulled away early in the Missouri 4A state meet and left a strong field far behind. Her 17:56 was 1:03 ahead of second place and the best time of the four classifications. Sisson was the Nike Outdoor National 5k champion last spring. Her best finish in three previous Foot Locker Finals appearances has been third as a freshman.

West Boys
Austin Crook
Bend (Bend, Ore.), Soccer
An all-state forward on the soccer pitch, Crook scored a game-winning goal in overtime last week and basically did it again Tuesday. In a road contest against Portland Interscholastic League 5A champion Cleveland, he broke a 1-1 tie with 12 seconds remaining for a 2-1 win in a second-round playoff thriller. Crook was honorable mention all-state in football last year, and this season for Bend (7-2) he has made 38 extra-points and one field goal.

West Girls
Danica Mendivil
Pleasant Grove (Pleasant Grove, Utah), Volleyball
Pleasant Grove won in straight sets in Class 5A state finals against two-time defending champion Lone Peak as Mendivil, the tournament MVP, recorded 19 kills and 15 digs. An Arizona State commit, Mendivil moved to Minnesota earlier this year for seven months to live with a friend, go to school and compete on a club team that would go on to finish second in the national club finals. She returned to Utah for her senior season.

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), Kristin Olsen (volleyball), Sheldon Shealer (soccer), Mark Tennis (multi-sports) and Steve Underwood (track and cross country).

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