December 2, 2017
Katelyn Tuohy is out of this world.
After laying waste to course record after course record this fall, including historic runs at Van Cortlandt Park and Bowdoin Park, Tuohy entered the 2017 Nike Cross Nationals as the heavy favorite to win the girls’ race. Today, on a cool, rainy day at Portland’s Glendoveer Golf Course, the sophomore from North Rockland (NY) High School did just that, winning in a course-record 16:44.7 in one of the most dominant performances in high school history.
As she has all year, Tuohy tore off the start line and by half a mile, she was already 10 meters clear of the field. By the mile (5:06), her lead was up to 16 seconds, and she would only increase it the rest of the way, padding it to 30 seconds at 2 miles (10:36.6) and a staggering 40.3 at the finish over runner-up Kelsey Chmiel. It marked the fourth time in as many weeks that Tuohy defeated Chmiel — who, again, is one of the top runners in the entire country — by 40 seconds or more. It was a fitting conclusion to perhaps the greatest season ever by a girls’ high school cross country runner.
The other heavy favorite in Portland, Fayetteville-Manlius High School from New York, did not have it as easy. After a week that saw illness strike key runners Becca Walters and Sophia Ryan, F-M was given all it could handle by a tough Naperville North (Illinois) squad. But in the end, the national championship belonged to F-M for the 11th time in 12 years (and the fourth in a row), as F-M edged Naperville North, 89 to 94. After the race, F-M coach Bill Aris gave credit to his runners, particularly Ryan, whom he said had to spend a significant amount of time in the hospital battling food poisoning and was only discharged this morning. Ryan wound up as F-M’s third scorer in 43rd overall.
Analysis below results.
Individual top 25 (Full results here)
|Athlete||Yr.||#||Team||Score||Time||Gap||Avg. Mile||Avg. KM||1Mile||2Mile|
|1||TOUHY, KATELYN||SO||235||NEW YORK-2||—||16:44.7||—||5:23.0||3:20.9||5:06.7 (1)||10:36.6 (1)|
|2||CHMIEL, KELSEY||JR||201||KINETIC||1||17:25.0||0:41.0||5:36.0||3:29.0||5:22.6 (2)||11:06.7 (2)|
|3||CASTILLO, MARIAH||SR||213||CALIFORNIA-5||—||17:36.8||0:52.8||5:39.8||3:31.4||5:32.4 (19)||11:17.3 (4)|
|4||HART, KATELYNNE||SO||221||MIDWEST-3||—||17:41.6||0:57.6||5:41.3||3:32.3||5:22.6 (3)||11:13.4 (3)|
|5||WALTERS, CLAIRE||SO||208||MANLIUS||2||17:55.0||1:11.0||5:45.6||3:35.0||5:27.2 (6)||11:22.9 (5)|
|6||RAUBER, BROOKE||FR||237||NEW YORK-4||—||17:56.7||1:12.7||5:46.2||3:35.3||5:27.0 (5)||11:26.7 (7)|
|7||SARGENT, SADIE||SR||250||SOUTHWEST-2||—||17:57.0||1:13.0||5:46.3||3:35.4||5:32.7 (21)||11:32.2 (21)|
|8||SCHMITT, SARAH||SR||291||N NAPERVILLE||3||17:57.2||1:13.2||5:46.4||3:35.4||5:40.4 (46)||11:28.8 (12)|
|9||THORVALDSON, SYDNEY||FR||233||NORTHWEST-5||—||17:58.7||1:14.7||5:46.8||3:35.7||5:31.8 (16)||11:25.2 (6)|
|10||FENSKE, ANNA||FR||215||HEARTLAND-2||—||17:58.9||1:14.9||5:46.9||3:35.8||5:31.9 (17)||11:29.2 (14)|
|11||PING, LAUREN||7||217||HEARTLAND-4||—||17:58.9||1:15.0||5:46.9||3:35.8||5:28.6 (8)||11:28.0 (8)|
|12||MORRIS, ALEX||JR||289||N NAPERVILLE||4||17:59.4||1:15.4||5:47.1||3:35.9||5:40.2 (45)||11:30.6 (19)|
|13||ROBITAILLE, JULIA||JR||224||NORTHEAST-1||—||18:02.3||1:18.3||5:48.0||3:36.4||5:29.9 (12)||11:28.7 (11)|
|14||WILSON, EMMA||JR||223||MIDWEST-5||—||18:02.6||1:18.6||5:48.1||3:36.5||5:31.1 (15)||11:29.4 (15)|
|15||WHITE, PHOEBE||SO||206||MANLIUS||5||18:05.5||1:21.5||5:49.0||3:37.1||5:29.7 (10)||11:30.3 (17)|
|16||LOWE, MEAGEN||JR||266||CLOVIS||6||18:05.6||1:21.6||5:49.1||3:37.1||5:34.4 (27)||11:39.1 (27)|
|17||HERBERG, HALEY||SR||212||CALIFORNIA-4||—||18:05.7||1:21.7||5:49.1||3:37.1||5:31.9 (18)||11:28.9 (13)|
|18||EWERT, TAYLOR||SO||219||MIDWEST-1||—||18:06.0||1:22.0||5:49.2||3:37.2||5:28.8 (9)||11:28.7 (10)|
|19||SCHULZ, JENNA||SO||331||LIVERPOOL||7||18:08.7||1:24.7||5:50.0||3:37.7||5:35.3 (31)||11:30.4 (18)|
|20||GIGANDET, MORGAN||SR||220||MIDWEST-2||—||18:09.4||1:25.4||5:50.3||3:37.9||5:30.5 (14)||11:30.1 (16)|
|21||SMITH, CORIE||SO||267||CLOVIS||8||18:09.8||1:25.8||5:50.4||3:37.9||5:34.5 (28)||11:37.6 (23)|
|22||MARLER, MACKENZIE||JR||231||NORTHWEST-3||—||18:13.3||1:29.3||5:51.5||3:38.7||5:33.1 (22)||11:38.2 (25)|
|23||DAMMER, KATIE||SR||225||NORTHEAST-2||—||18:13.4||1:29.4||5:51.6||3:38.7||5:27.6 (7)||11:31.4 (20)|
|24||NEGLIA, SASHA||SO||242||SOUTHEAST-4||—||18:14.9||1:30.9||5:52.0||3:39.0||5:33.4 (24)||11:40.1 (29)|
|25||FRENTHEWAY, AUBREY||SR||229||NORTHWEST-1||—||18:16.8||1:32.8||5:52.7||3:39.4||5:32.4 (20)||11:37.8 (24)|
|Final Standings||Score||Scoring Order||Total||Avg.||Spread|
Quick Take: Katelyn Tuohy is simply incredible
If you read our race preview, you got a sense of how incredible Tuohy’s 2017 season has been. Aside from winning all of her races by at least 40 seconds, she torched course records at VCP (lowering the 2.5-mile course record from 13:53.9 to 13:21.8) and Bowdoin Park (17:16.9 to 16:52.4), set the course record at NXN today (16:56.8 to 16:44.7) and registered six of the top 24 speed ratings of all time per Tully Runners (we expect today’s run will give make it seven of the top 25).
And she’s only a sophomore. That sounds like a good thing — think of how good she could be as a senior! — but it should also give pause to anyone who believes Tuohy is on a one-way ticket to professional stardom — remember, Mary Cain finished ninth in the world at 1500 meters before her senior year in high school before tapering off.
What we do know: Tuohy is an absolutely phenomenal runner right now, and regardless of whether she goes on to Olympic success or never improves, her 2017 season will go down in history as one of the best ever by a high school girl.
Quick Take: Do the right thing, Foot Locker. Invite Katelyn Tuohy to FL finals.
Earlier this week, we made the case for why Foot Locker should extend invitations to the top five finishers in the boys’ and girls’ races at NXN. The basis of our argument was that HS XC crowns two individual national champions when it should only be crowning one, and runners like Tuohy, who is from New York, don’t have the option of running both as the NXR and FL regional qualifiers are on the same day.
And after today’s results, we’re even more firmly convinced that this is the right thing to do. Tuohy destroyed the field at NXN, and defending Foot Locker champion Claudia Lane did the same at FL West, running 16:59 to break the course record by 15 seconds and win the race by 72 seconds.
If Tuohy chooses not to run in San Diego, that’s understandable — she has raced nine weeks in a row and a trip to FL would either require missing a significant amount of class or making two West Coast trips in a week.
But why not give her the option? Make it happen, Foot Locker.
Quick Take: You cannot stop the machine
Tuohy may have set the standard for individual greatness in 2017, but F-M has set the standard for team excellence for over a decade. Naperville North ran an incredible race today, scoring 94 points, but even that was not enough to defeat F-M.
What’s amazing is that F-M’s winning score of 89 actually represented a “down” year for them — even though Loudoun Valley scored the same amount in the boys’ race and set a meet record for lowest score. Check out F-M’s scores at NXN through the years:
2013: 120 (2nd place)
Throw out F-M’s results and Naperville North’s 94 points today would be the fourth-lowest score in meet history. Unfortunately, it was only good for second in 2017.
Quick Take: The second placers in this race were terrific as well
Naperville North ran a very patient race. At one mile F-M had 81 points and Naperville had 189. At 2 miles, it was 81 to 120. At the finish it was 89 to 94. Naperville made it super close at the finish largely thanks to the amazing final mile of Junior Megan Driscoll. At mile 2 she was in 107th place and Naperville’s 5th runner. She ended up their fourth runner in 71st place (33rd in the team scoring). Single-handedly she helped Naperville lower its team score around 30 points the final mile. If they race had been another quarter mile longer, Naperville would have likely been your champions. It’s way more advantageous for a team’s fourth or fifth runner to have a banner final mile at NXN because up front not only are the runners more spread out, but so many of the runners are individuals who don’t count in the teams scoring. 30th place individually was 9th place in the team scoring.
We also have to give credit to the individual runner-up, Kelsey Chmiel, on a terrific season. Were it not for Tuohy up front, Chmiel, a junior who was 5th last year, would have won this race handily (she was 11.8 seconds up on third) but, as has been the case all year, Chmiel was overshadowed by Tuohy. Tuohy may be one of the very best runners in the country, but she wasn’t even the best runner in New York this year: she was only second at the NY state meet and second at the NY Feds meet, both times finishing well behind Tuohy.
Today also represented some redemption for Chmiel and her Saratoga Springs (Kinetic) teammates. Chmiel was sick before the NXR NY meet and only finished 15th — were it not for Saratoga receiving an at-large bid to nationals, Chmiel would not even have qualified. In the end, however, both Chmiel and Saratoga (which finished 10th) validated their spots on the start line. Overall, it was a great day for New York as the state accounted for four of the top six finishers in the girls’ individual race.