All-Decade Girls' Cross Country Team
Runners are all listed alphabetically with school and high school graduation year.
Nicole Blood, Class of 2006
Royal (Simi Valley, Calif.)
Before finishing up in California, Blood starred for three years at Saratoga (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.). She led her 2004 Saratoga Springs team to the inaugural Nike Team Nationals title with a 51-point total, which is still the lowest winning score in the history of the meet. She also won three Foot Locker Northeast Regional titles, won New York state titles as a freshman, sophomore,and junior, and broke the 2.5-mile Van Cortlandt Park N.Y. course record as a junior, running 13:57. Although she did not compete for Saratoga Springs during her senior harrier campaign, and moved to California for the spring of 2006, the four-time Foot Locker finalist still ran in the 2006 World Junior Cross Country championships after winning the USATF Junior title. Now a senior at the University of Oregon, Blood is a seven-time All-American and one of the most decorated runners in school history.
Ashley Brasovan, Class of 2009
Wellington (Wellington, Fla.)
The four-time Florida state champion won the 2007 Foot Locker National Championship as a junior in her first year qualifying for the national meet. In 2008, facing two previous national champs in '06 winner Kathy Kroeger and '05 winner Jordan Hasay, Brasovan was winning late before netting a runner-up finish in 17:25, as Hasay's kick was just too much. She continued on to the USATF Junior Cross Country Championships, where she overcame a nagging injury to take second, and then finished 26th at the World Junior Championships in Amman, Jordan. Brasovan now competes for Duke University.
Jordan Hasay, Class of 2009
Mission Prep (San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
Our Girls Cross Country Athlete of the Decade is now a University of Oregon freshman and finished in the top 20 in the NCAA championships in her first try.
Kathy Kroeger, Class of 2009
Independence (Franklin, Tenn.)
The Tennessee standout claimed a Foot Locker National title as a sophomore in 2006, running 17:29 for the victory in San Diego in her second year qualifying for the final. After missing her entire sophomore track campaign, she returned to claim a runner-up Foot Locker finish in 2007, just behind Ashley Brasovan's 17:20 winning effort. In 2008, facing a showdown of three previous Foot Locker National champs, Kroeger finished sixth for an impressive four-year line of 16th, first, second and sixth. She now competes for Stanford University.
Marie Lawrence, Class of 2007
Reno (Reno, Nev.)
No high school runner, boy or girl, had a better four-year average at the Foot Locker National Championships this decade than the Nevada standout. Lawrence was three times a runner-up at the national meet, and then finished fifth at the 2006 championships in the fall of her senior year. Paired with three Mt. SAC Invitational victories and a fourth-place finish at the 2006 USATF Junior National Cross Country Championships to qualify her for the World Junior team's trip to Japan, Lawrence was one of the most consistent harriers of the decade. She's now competing for the University of Washington, where she helped lead the Huskies to the 2008 NCAA Division 1 title.
Aislinn Ryan, Class of 2006
Warwick Valley (Bellvale, N.Y.)
A three-time qualifier for the Foot Locker National Championships, Ryan claimed All-American status in all three trips with finishes of 12th, first and third. The Warwick Valley star had her finest moment on the national stage as a junior, when she surprised for the 2004 Foot Locker title with a 17:31 victory over a field which included 2002 national champ Zoe Nelson and fellow all-decade honoree Marie Lawrence. Ryan returned to the championship meet in San Diego as a senior and ended up third in a stacked race won by Jordan Hasay in her first year of high school competition. Ryan was also a double winner of the Great American Race of Champions and an Eastern States champion at Van Cortlandt Park in New York.
Amber Trotter, Class of 2002
Ukiah (Ukiah, Calif.)
After a seventh-place finish at the 2000 Foot Locker Finals, the Ukiah senior completely dominated the 2001 edition of the meet in a performance which still leaves prep running fans shaking their heads. Trotter blistered a 5:04 first mile, 20 seconds up on the rest of the field, and won as she pleased in an eye-popping course-record 16:24.0, smashing the previous mark by over 30 seconds. She also beat Melody Fairchild's 1990 meet record by 15 seconds and her winning margin was second only to the Colorado standout's mark. Trotter also holds the Mt. SAC course record on that venerable California 3-mile layout with a 16:16 in 2001.
Girls Team of the Decade: Fayetteville-Manlius (Manlius, N.Y.) 2009
Since the Nike Cross Nationals began in 2004, New York schools have dominated the girls race, combining for all six titles. The last four have gone to Fayetteville-Manlius, under coaches Bill and John Aris, and the 2009 edition staked its claim as the best -- and the DyeStat / ESPN RISE Team of the Decade.
First, there was this year's NXN meet, which Manlius won by 74 points -- the second largest margin in meet history -- over runner up Saratoga (N.Y.).
On top of that, F-M won the Class AA state meet in New York with a mind-boggling 15 points -- over the same Saratoga team that finished second in the nation and was ranked No. 2 most of the year.
With an unheard of 11-second spread between the No. 1 and No. 5 runners -- that No. 5 girl, Katie Sischo, would have won many state meets around the nation with her 17:36.7 -- Manlius had perhaps its greatest performance of the year.
Earlier in the fall, the Hornets also won the Eastern States race at Manhattan, scoring 22 points and setting a team course record over the 2004 Saratoga team, another candidate for the decade honor.
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