Where Your Dreams Become Reality
2008 Foot Locker Girls Cross-Country Recap: Hasay Ends Her Career How She Started It, McLaughlin Nearly Steals The Show
The problem with highly-anticipated showdowns, of course, is that they rarely meet our expectations. Prize fights, the Superbowl, and in particular, 150m match races; they mostly disappoint us. So when people scan the headline for the girls race at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, they think that Jordan Hasay thumped another mediocre field in an over-hyped showdown. And oh, how they missed the story.
Pre-race chatter was
appropriately all about the returning champions; Hasay, the 2005
Champion from California, Kathy Kroeger, the 2006 Champion from
Tennessee, and Ashley Brasovan, the 2007 Champion from Florida. But
for the first 4,700 meters of the 5,000 meter event, the day belonged
entirely to the largely unheralded Allie McLaughlin.
Unknown McLaughlin Only Has Been Running A Year
“I usually go out in about 5:15 at home,” claimed the diminutive Midwesterner, “I like to start fast, and it helps me to finish fast”. The chase pack arrived 6 seconds later and the final contender passed through in 5:40. The hunt was on.
But did anyone know who they were hunting? McLaughlin had finished 4th in the Regional but noted it was a bad day for her. But that’s probably why she wasn’t a familiar face. The reason is she only started running last year. Her sports background? Lacrosse. You can’t make this stuff up.
By chance, this reporter meandered over to the host hotel the day before the race. At 7:30am, he noticed a 4-foot nothing inch girl in a black long-sleeved shirt about to start her run. Like every runner since the dawn of Timex, she clicked her watch and began. Except unlike most runners, she hit the road at what appeared to be low-6 minute per mile pace. An animal. And worth waiting around for. Fifteen minutes later she retuned and meekly mentioned that, “I love to train. I had five weeks after Regionals and I just tried to do the same training as ever”. Whatever that is, Allie, keep it a secret.
McLaughlin quickly showed the pack that she was the real deal by extending her lead coming off the first of two significant climbs.
The Morley Field course is roughly laid out in a figure-eight, which is rounded twice for the 5K distance. As McLaughlin emerged from the third of the four basic loops, approximately 2.2 miles into the race, her lead was unchanged. Hasay was leading the 9-member chase pack, and Brasovan was in position, but still more than 10 seconds back. Things were getting extremely interesting.
Brasovan And Hasay Give Chase
Ahead of the break, McLaughlin was showing signs of mortality: “I was excited to lead, and I wanted to hold it, especially in the last bit because I’m not a kicker.” But she began to notice that the cheers of support had shifted to exhortations of concern. “At the crest of the hill, some Colorado guys said that they [Brasovan and Hasay] were coming for me. That’s when I got scared.”
And so it goes. Soon after the base of the hill, with all of 300m between herself and a fairy tale, Brasovan drew even with the tiring McLaughlin. The resistance she offered was noble, but futile. Brasovan was accelerating; McLaughlin was toast.
Hasay Comes From Out Of Nowhere To Win
“I knew Jordan was behind me,” sighed Brasovan, “It would be a sprint.” Hasay explained, “I know I have a good finish and I was going to have to use it. I just needed to relax down the home stretch.” Notably, Hasay added to her lengthy running resume by becoming the only girl to win Foot Locker as both a freshman and a senior.
Hasay’s time, 17:22, was 3 seconds ahead of Brasovan’s, but not quite among the top 20 all-time for the meet, an indicator of the race’s tactical unfolding. Megan Goethals, from Michigan, and Chelsey Sveinsson, from Texas, also pipped McLaughlin, who gamely hung in for fifth (17:34).
Evidently, the over-hyped showdowns sometimes do deliver.
1 Jordan Hasay (12) West Mission College Prep. Arroyo Grande CA 17:22 2 Ashley Brasovan (12) South Wellington H.S. Wellington FL 17:25 3 Megan Goethals (11) Midwest Rochester H.S. Rochester MI 17:30 4 Chelsey Sveinsson (10) South Greenhill School Dallas TX 17:31 5 Allie McLaughlin (12) Midwest Air Academy Colorado Springs CO 17:34 6 Kathy Kroeger (12) South Independence H.S. Franklin TN 17:42 7 Shelby Greany (12) Northeast Suffern H.S. Suffern NY 17:45 8 Chelsea Ley (11) Northeast Kingsway Regional H.S. Clarksboro NJ 17:49 9 Lindsay Flanagan (12) Midwest Lake Park H.S. Roselle IL 17:50 10 Jessica Tonn (11) West Xavier College Prep. Paradise Valley AZ 17:53 11 Emily Lipari (11) Northeast Roslyn H.S. Greenvale NY 17:53 12 Aisling Cuffe (10) Northeast Cornwall Central H.S. Cornwall On Hudson NY 18:03 13 Emily Jones (12) Northeast The Bromfield School Harvard MA 18:11 14 Chelsea Oswald (12) Midwest Walsh Jesuit H.S. Medina OH 18:11 15 Danielle Menlove (9) West Jordan H.S. Sandy UT 18:14 16 Laura Vigilante (11) Northeast West Morris Mendham H.S. Brookside NJ 18:14 17 Melanie Thompson (12) Northeast Voorhees H.S. High Bridge NJ 18:18 18 Ashlie Decker (11) Midwest Dowling Catholic H.S. Des Moines IA 18:19 19 Alex Dunne (12) West San Clemente H.S. San Clemente CA 18:22 20 Taylor Wallace (12) West Henley H.S. Klamath Falls OR 18:24 21 Becca Addison (12) Midwest Grand Haven H.S. Spring Lake MI 18:24 22 Jordan Tomecek (11) Midwest Milan H.S. Milan MI 18:25 23 Lauren Smith (12) South Brazoswood H.S. Lake Jackson TX 18:27 24 Megan Morgan (11) West Torrey Pines H.S. Del Mar CA 18:30 25 Amanda Russell (11) South Vista Ridge H.S. Cedar Park FL 18:30 26 Jessica Zangmeister (12) Midwest Fairview H.S. Fairview Park OH 18:30 27 Katie Kellner (12) Northeast West Windsor-Plainsboro H.S. West Windsor NJ 18:34 28 Shalaya Kipp (12) West Skyline H.S. Salt Lake City UT 18:37 29 Emily Sisson (11) Midwest Parkway Central H.S. Chesterfield MO 18:37 30 Jacque Taylor (11) West Casa Grande H.S. Petaluma CA 18:38 31 Kirsten Kasper (12) Northeast North Andover H.S. North Andover MA 18:40 32 Kayla Hale (12) South Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy Indialantic FL 18:45 33 Jennifer Lynn Bergman (12) West Valley Christian H.S. San Jose CA 18:47 34 Sheree Juliann Shea (12) West University City H.S. San Diego CA 18:53 35 Adrianne Soo (12) South Durham Academy Chapel Hill NC 18:53 36 Diane Robison (11) Midwest Parkway Central H.S. Chesterfield MO 18:54 37 Ashley Isham (11) South Vista Ridge H.S. Cedar Park TX 19:00 38 Megan Marsico (11) South Glenvar H.S. Salem VA 19:06 39 Kimberly Spano (12) South North Mecklenburg H.S. Huntersville NC 19:07 40 Erin Cawley (12) Northeast Newark Valley H.S. Newark Valley NY 19:08