Edward Cheserek Defends Title, As Anna Roher Earns First at Foot Locker XC National Championships

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By Chris Lotsbom
December 8, 2012
(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

*Official race site here
*Photos of Footlocker Legends at 2012 Pre Race Dinner
*Boys Photo Gallery 

(08-Dec) — The American high school cross country season came to an end earlier today at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in San Diego, Calif., where Edward Cheserek successfully defended his national title and Anna Rohrer won her first championship after breaking from the field late in their respective races.

The Boy’s Championship race began as a pack affair with nearly all of the 40 qualified athletes together through 800 meters.  With many pre-race favorites playing it safe through the early going, Cheserek was content tucking in behind the leaders as they approached the first mile.

Battling up the largest hill of the 5-kilometer course for the first time, Virginia’s Sean McGorty picked the pace up, creating a lead group of four. Responding to McGorty’s move was Cheserek, who trailed by less than a meter — just what the leader wanted.

Edward Cheserek Wins

Edward Cheserek Wins Again

“Knowing Edward has a great kick, I sort of wanted to do the best I could to take it out of him,” McGorty told Deena Kastorin an interview following the race’s webcast.

Joining McGorty and Cheserek were last week’s Nike Cross Nationals champion Sam Wharton and New Balance Nationals Outdoor 5000m champion Jake Leingang, both of whom wore gold vests as representatives of the Midwest Region.

Nearing halfway, McGorty, whose mother ran at the Foot Locker National Championships, still maintained a one-meter edge on Cheserek, with Leingang and Wharton holding onto the Kenyan’s coat tails.

Still intact at two miles –hit in 9:45– the pack was well ahead of the rest of the field. Ascending the large hill for the second and final time, McGorty led the group of four.

But going downhill was another story, as Cheserek took the lead for the first time. Trying to break McGorty and Leingang, Cheserek injected a burst of speed, causing Wharton to fade from the pack. Barely holding on was Leingang.

“I tried to stay with them and work up the hill, but the downhill is what killed my legs,” said Leingang, who is from North Dakota.

Passing three miles in 14:30, Cheserek again used his 1:48 800-meter speed, ultimately separating from the chasing McGorty.

“I wanted to stay back with these guys and at the last minute kick because that was my strategy,” said Cheserek.

Hands above his head, Cheserek broke the tape in 14:58.3, becoming only the fourth repeat champion in Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships history. He broke 15 minutes both times on the storied Balboa Park course.

“Right now I feel good,” said the quiet champion, who joins Abdirizak Mohamud, Dathan Ritzenhein, and Lukas Verzbicas in the two-time winners club.

In second came McGorty, who was still pleased with his effort.

“I gave it my all trying to beat him, but he’s a great athlete and he deserves this national championship,” said the Stanford-bound McGorty.

Leingang rounded out the top three, a significant improvement from his 59th place showing at last week’s muddy Nike Cross Nationals meet.

Event 2  Boys 5k Run CC
=======================================================================          
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points          
=======================================================================          
Results - Men                                                                    
  1 Edward Cheserek           12 NE, Newark, NJ         14:58.3    1             
  2 Sean McGorty              12 SO, Fairfax, VA        15:04.7    2             
  3 Jake Leingang             12 MW, Bismark, ND        15:06.9    3             
  4 Benjamin Saarel           12 WE, Salt Lake City,    15:12.9    4             
  5 Jacob Thomson             12 SO, Louisville, KY     15:13.5    5             
  6 Sam Wharton               12 MW, Tipp City, OH      15:18.7    6             
  7 Aaron Templeton           11 SO, Knoxville, TN      15:28.1    7             
  8 Ryan Kromer               12 MW, Hudson, WI         15:29.7    8             
  9 John Lawson               12 WE, Forest Knolls,     15:30.3    9             
 10 Zach Perrin               12 WE, Lakeside, MT       15:31.4   10             
 11 Conner Mantz              10 WE, Smithfield, UT     15:33.3   11             
 12 Andrew Gardner            12 WE, Spokane, WA        15:33.6   12             
 13 Quintin McKinnish         11 SO, Talbott, TN        15:35.2   13             
 14 John Dressel              10 WE, Colbert, WA        15:37.0   14             
 15 Robert Domanic            12 SO, Lewisville, TX     15:39.5   15             
 16 Kramer Morton             11 WE, Sandy, UT          15:40.6   16             
 17 Max Norris                12 NE, Narberth, PA       15:40.9   17             
 18 Troy Fraley               12 WE, Kalispell, MT      15:42.0                  
 19 Patrick Perrier           11 MW, O'Fallon, IL       15:42.9   18             
 20 Nicholas Raymond          12 MW, Erie, MI           15:43.7   19             
 21 Brendan Shearn            12 NE, Frackville, PA     15:44.0   20             
 22 Shawn Wilson              12 NE, Marlton, NJ        15:44.2   21             
 23 Jonathan Green            12 NE, Berlin, MA         15:44.2   22             
 24 Patrick Gibson            12 WE, Bellingham, WA     15:45.2                  
 25 Brent Demarest            11 SO, Charleston, SC     15:47.1   23             
 26 Grant Nykaza              12 MW, Beecher, IL        15:50.2   24             
 27 Scott Milling             12 MW, Elmhurst, IL       15:52.6   25             
 28 Kyle Kroon                11 NE, Tomes River, NJ    15:55.6   26             
 29 Connor Mora               12 MW, Cedar Spr., MI     15:57.2                  
 30 Nicholas Elswick          11 MW, Chardon, OH        15:58.7                  
 31 Austin Pondel             12 NE, Columbus, PA       15:59.3   27             
 32 Apolinar Baltazar         12 WE, Aberdeen, WA       15:59.4                  
 33 Samuel Prakel             12 MW, Versailles, OH     16:02.5                  
 34 Brent Kennedy             11 NE, New Kensington,    16:06.2                  
 35 Brad Hort                 12 SO, Peachtree City,    16:08.8   28             
 36 Noah Gade                 12 SO, Stillwater, OK     16:10.7                  
 37 Simon Holden              12 SO, Lookout Mt., GA    16:15.3                  
 38 Trevor Crawley            12 NE, Cumberland, RI     16:18.5                  
 39 Chris Alvarado            11 NE, Fairfield, CT      16:27.4                  
 -- Joshua Brickell           12 SO, Lawrenceville,         DNF                  

                                   Team Scores                                   
=================================================================================
Rank Team                      Total    1    2    3    4    5   *6   *7   *8   *9
=================================================================================
Results - Men                                                                    
   1 South                        42    2    5    7   13   15   23   28          
      Total Time:  1:17:01.00                                                    
         Average:    15:24.20                                                    
   2 West                         46    4    9   10   11   12   14   16          
      Total Time:  1:17:22.50                                                    
         Average:    15:28.50                                                    
   3 Mid West                     54    3    6    8   18   19   24   25          
      Total Time:  1:17:21.90                                                    
         Average:    15:28.38                                                    
   4 North East                   81    1   17   20   21   22   26   27          
      Total Time:  1:17:51.60                                                    
         Average:    15:34.32

Anna Rohrer Overcomes Fall to Win 2012 Foot Locker Title

To begin the Girl’s Championship race, California’s Marissa Williams took the pace out ferociously, just as she did a week ago at the Foot Locker West Regional. Hitting the 400 meter mark in an unofficial 66 seconds according to the web stream announcers, Williams was nearly ten meters up on the field.

The quick pace soon caught up to the sophomore, who would end up finishing eighth. Caught by a slew of Midwest athletes clad in their gold vests, Williams and the lead pack passed the mile in 5:18. In gold were Maria Hauger, Jordyn Colter, and Taylor Werner.

Missing briefly from the lead pack was Midwest Regional champion Anna Rohrer, a sophomore from Mishawaka, Ind., Rohrer had been tripped within the first 400 meters of the race, falling to the ground and scuffing her knee. Despite the spill, she remained calm.

“I got right back up and I knew the race wasn’t over,” Rohrer said minutes after the race. “I just got up and made sure to keep a level head.”

Rejoining her Midwest teammates at the front, Rohrer looked poised through two miles, passed in 11:10. That’s when she knew it was time to go, pulling ahead of the field.

Despite Hauger and Colter’s efforts to gain ground in the final 400 meters, it was all Rohrer. Sprinting around the final bend, Rohrer was all alone in front. Breaking the tape in 17:24.8, Rohrer became the first sophomore since Kathy Kroeger in 2006 to win the Foot Locker National Championship.

Rohrer said running alongside her Midwest teammates helped her immensely during the race.

“It was fantastic, really comforting,” she said. “It was great to be racing with people that I am really good friends with.”

An added edge for Rohrer was her toughness, brought out in a temporary tattoo resembling barbed wire on her left upper arm.

“It’s just something fun that my team did a couple times [during the season],” Rohrer said with a laugh. “It makes you feel a little tougher I guess.”

Behind Rohrer, Massachusetts’s Catarina Rocha finished with a hard charge to catch both Hauger and Cloter in the final meters before the line. Rocha, who is from Peabody, Mass., is coached by her father Joe, also a Foot Locker Cross Country Championship alum.

“I just tried to stay with them,” said Rocha. “The last 200 [meters] I just kinda felt good and started kicking to hopefully catch them and I did.”

Rocha’s time of 17:29.0 was just two-tenths of a second ahead of Hauger (17:29.2) and a half second up on Colter (17:29.5). Rounding out the top five was Karis Jochen of College Station, Texas.

 Flash Results, Inc. - (Don Chadez)
                    2012 Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals                     
                           Morley Field, San Diego, CA                           

Event 1  Girls 5k Run CC
=======================================================================          
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points          
=======================================================================          
Results - Women                                                                  
  1 Anna Rohrer                10 MW, Mishawaka, IN      17:24.8    1             
  2 Catarina Rocha            12 NE, Peabody, MA        17:29.0    2             
  3 Maria Hauger              12 MW, Shakopee, MN       17:29.2    3             
  4 Jordyn Colter             10 MW, Centennial, CO     17:29.5    4             
  5 Karis Jochen              12 SO, College Station    17:35.9    5             
  6 Sophie Chase              12 SO, Burke, VA          17:41.5    6             
  7 Anna Holdiman             12 MW, Waverly, IA        17:42.4    7             
  8 Marissa Williams          10 WE, Los Angeles, CA    17:42.8    8             
  9 Bobbie Burgess            12 MW, W. Lafayette, I    17:45.2    9             
 10 Hannah Long               10 MW, Pacific, MO        17:46.3   10             
 11 Sandie Raines             12 SO, Houston, TX        17:52.3   11             
 12 Carmen Carlos             12 SO, Mobile, AL         17:52.4   12             
 13 Taylor Werner              9 MW, Bloomsdale, MO     17:52.4   13             
 14 Megan Curham              12 NE, Warren, NJ         17:55.2   14             
 15 Bridget Blake             12 SO, Orlando, FL        17:56.0   15             
 16 Caroline Alcorta          10 SO, Springfield, VA    17:56.3   16             
 17 Courtney Ackerman         12 MW, Wilmette, IL       18:01.5                  
 18 Marisa Ruskan             12 NE, Bound Brook, NJ    18:03.4   17             
 19 Regan Rome                11 NE, Dallas, PA         18:03.8   18             
 20 Julia Maxwell             11 WE, Ross, CA           18:03.9   19             
 21 Katie Lembo               11 NE, Penfield, NY       18:04.7   20             
 22 Maggie Drazba             12 SO, Saint Marys, WV    18:05.4   21             
 23 Madeleine Ankhelyi        12 WE, Folsom, CA         18:06.1   22             
 24 Makena Morley             10 WE, Bigfork, MT        18:11.7   23             
 25 Marissa Saenger           11 NE, Clarence, NY       18:17.9   24             
 26 Alex Davis                12 SO, Ardmore, OK        18:19.7                  
 27 MacKenzie Barry           11 NE, Mendham, NJ        18:20.8   25             
 28 Summer Harper             12 WE, Orem, UT           18:21.1   26             
 29 Paige Gilchrist           12 WE, Missoula, MT       18:22.6   27             
 30 Amelia Paladino           11 SO, Morgantown, WV     18:25.2                  
 31 Megan Reilly               9 NE, Warwick, NY        18:25.4                  
 32 Sarah Feeny               11 WE, Ogden, UT          18:30.4   28             
 33 Allie Klimiewicz          10 SO, Oakton, VA         18:33.0                  
 34 Kaylee Flanagan           12 MW, Roselle, IL        18:34.8                  
 35 Melanie Nun               12 MW, Thornton, CO       18:36.1                  
 36 Katelyn Bianchini         12 WE, Snohomish, WA      18:41.7                  
 37 Kennedy Weisner           11 NE, Saint Marys, PA    18:59.2                  
 38 Kayla Ferron              12 WE, Torrance, CA       18:59.2                  
 -- Anoush Shehadeh           10 NE, Larchmont, NY          DNF                  
 -- Fiona O'Keeffe             9 WE, Davis, CA              DNF                  

                                   Team Scores                                   
=================================================================================
Rank Team                      Total    1    2    3    4    5   *6   *7   *8   *9
=================================================================================
Results - Women                                                                  
   1 Mid West                     24    1    3    4    7    9   10   13          
      Total Time:  1:27:51.10                                                    
         Average:    17:34.22                                                    
   2 South                        49    5    6   11   12   15   16   21          
      Total Time:  1:28:58.10                                                    
         Average:    17:47.62                                                    
   3 North East                   71    2   14   17   18   20   24   25          
      Total Time:  1:29:36.11                                                    
         Average:    17:55.22                                                    
   4 West                         98    8   19   22   23   26   27   28          
      Total Time:  1:30:25.60                                                    
         Average:    18:05.12

Anna Rohrer After Winnng 2012 Foot Locker’s

*Photos of Footlocker Legends at 2012 Pre Race Dinner
*Boys Photo Gallery 

Posted in: High School