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LetsRun.com 2008 Footlocker Prediction Contest Recap
by: LetsRun.com
January 8, 2008

While our LetsRun.com prediction contests are a lot of fun one of the coolest things about them is that our writeups on the winners show how passionate and interesting the visitors to LetsRun.com are. We've had national record holders, All-Americans, and a ton of really interesting people win the top prizes in our contest and this time did not disappoint. This time around we have a high school national champion and Team Hanson's runner getting some big bragging rights.

No one won the $208,000 prize for a perfect score but our top 2 overall did win Eastbay gift certificates.

The overall winner of a $150 Eastbay gift certificate was 17 year-old Jamie Rindfuss, a senior from Hamburg, NY who hopes to keep running next year in college. Rindfuss clearly had an unfair advantage in the contest as his teammate, Joe Whelan (who finished 9th) was running at Footlockers. Jamie  said his main strategy was "to put Joe Whelan up high because he is my teammate and I knew he would exceed expectations." It worked to perfection.

Runner-up in the overall contest and winner of a $100 Eastbay gift certificate was Justin Kopunek. Justin's story shows that LetsRun.com is definitely about the love of running. His email to us was so good we're including it below:

    I started High School, Tappan Zee High School, in 2000 and that was when Ritz/Hall/Webb were going into their senior years and I was hooked. That's when I began to love running. Not just doing it, but watching it, reading about it, talking about it etc. That fall a sophomore from my town (a rival HS), Brendan Fennell, made Footlockers and that was my first exposure to the meet. I am not the naturally gifted runner, but I worked hard to get some respectable PR's and helped my team set a records in the 4x8, DMR and win our first xc state championship in 49 years. I was able to walk on to Fordham University's track team, where I had chose to go to school. I loved every second of being a college athlete and was able to lower my PR's and learned so much more about running. I graduated this past May and I got a job working for Turner Broadcasting. I quickly realized that track was still an important part of my life and I am going to transition into coaching shortly. I was always a better with the theories behind running fast, than the practice. Sorry if that is long, I have trouble with brevity.

    My strategies for picking just comes down to knowing the sport and following it. Not just in your region, or on your level. I love it, so it's enjoyable for me to look through results, whether HS, College, or professional. (For the NCAA prediction contest I got 2nd for the individual and 3rd for the individual/team combined). I owe it to sites like letsrun, milesplit, trackshark, flotrack and dyestat.

Ringers Win Individual Contests

And while we only awarded prizes to the top 2 in the overall contest (because our very own Wejo finished 2nd) we need to sing the praises of those who did well in the boys and girls contest. Winning the boys' prediction contest was David Jankowski. Jankowski's running credentials (a sub 28:51 10k runner at Oklahoma State and now a new member of Brooks Team Hansons) and brains (an Academic All-American and winner of an NCAA graduate scholarship) shows that mere mortals do not have a chance in our contests. Jankowski however clearly has the humble working class Hansons roots as he said, "I wish I could say I am just really clever and was confident I would do well with my picks but I just got a bit lucky. I can't resist doing these prediction contests though. I think they're a lot of fun and it makes it more interesting to watch the races since you have something riding on them." Jankowski now also is an assistant coach at Oakland University.

And of course our very own Wejo finished 2nd in the boys contest. Did we say that already?

The winner of the girls' contest, Leon Dean, once again shows what a cool community LetsRun.com is. Leon is a senior at North Central High School in Spokane, WA and is the number two man on the cross country team there. If that doesn't impress you it should. Leon's team won the Nike Team Cross Nationals. Leon is even writing a book "Footprints in Time: The story of the 2008 championship cross country team from North Central High School" on the team's season. Pretty cool.

Leon says he mainly visits Dyestat but he's clearly being groomed into a lifelong Letsrun.com visitor.

*If you want to see the top scores click here , to check your scores click here

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