Eluid Kipchoge was 18 when he won the 2003 World Championships running 12:52 and running against Bekele and El Guerrouj and managed to outkick El Guerrouj, who was one of the best kickers of his time.
Sammy Wanjiru, who got almost absolutely NO Fame until he broke the HM World Record ran 13:12 when he was 17 and then ran 58:55 when he was 18, and his average 5km pace in that 21.1km race was the same as even our best distance runners pace for 5km. At the very least a couple hundred High School Kenyan Kids could easily beat even College kids in the U.S., let alone High School.
Meanwhile, we are touting about how amazing it is Verzbicas ran a 5km race in 14:18 indoors... Or how he won footlocker in..14:59. What's his best time? Somewhere just under 14 minutes?? Considering how much fame we're giving him he'd probably have to run a sub 13 minute or even sub 12:50 5k just to get even half of the fame he is getting in the U.S.A. if he lived in Kenya.
So now, to get to the point. Yeah Verzbicas is talented but with his current performances he would be obliterated by tons of Kenyan Kids his age. So yeah he is a good American Cross Country runner but that isn't gonna get him to World Cross or World Junior Cross, it isn't gonna even let him win a track meet, and he isn't going to accomplsih that much on the track.
So why are we so obsessed with a few High School Cross Country performances when we should look at it more from a World Level?