Grant Fisher Wins Epic Battle With John Dressel – Becomes Just 2nd American 11th Grade Foot Locker Champ
2013 Foot Locker Boys Race Was A Total Thriller
December 14, 2013
What a finish.
Seriously, races don’t get more entertaining than this one (see screen shots at bottom).
After a thrilling stretch run between Midwest and Michigan champ Grant Fisher (grade 11) and Washington’s John Dressel (grade 11), where the lead changed several times and an elbow or two came out, Fisher’s 3:50 1500 speed emerged on top, as Fisher won the 2013 Foot Locker Boys Cross Country Championships in 15:07 to Dressel’s 15:10.
The pace was modest early in this race and a large pack of boys stayed in contention. After an opening 800 of 2:19, mile of 4:53 and 2 miles of 9:53, a pack of 10 boys were still in the lead group. Heading into the final hill with a little more than 800 left, the race was down to four but this immediately became a two person race once they hit the hill.
Dressel pushed hard going up the hill and opened up a gap. Fisher, who said afterwards that he was already hurting at the base of the hill, found a way to respond and keep it close. On the downhill, Fisher really opened up and came back and grabbed the lead from Dressel.
But Dressel wasn’t going away quietly. He was right on Fisher’s shoulder and digging deep. At the 14:20 mark as the two turned left, Dressel tried to take the lead but Fisher held his ground and elbows flew (nothing dirty). Dressel kept charging and as they made a final tiny right turn for home at the 3 mile mark, the lead now belonged to Dressel.
Dressel was totally spent. He had used everything he had to regain the lead and Fisher still had something left which enabled him to pull away over the final .1 and give him enough of a lead that he could throw out a much-deserved fist pump at the finish.
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Behind the top two, there was a big battle for third as six people would finish within five seconds of each other. West regional champ Matthew Maton of Oregon (another 11th grader), who entered the race undefeated on the year, ended up third in 15:19 as 11th graders swept the top three spots. The first senior to cross the line was Northeast champ Mickey Burke of New York in fourth 15:20. Washington state’s Joe Hardy, who had beaten Dressel handily (10 seconds) at the Washington state meet (they were 2nd and third – NXN runner Tanner Anderson was first) was fifth.
Quick takes, results and screen shots from the live broadcast of the race appear below.
Quick Take #1: With his win today, Fisher joins some rarified company. He is just the second ever American boy to win Foot Lockers as a junior, joining fellow Michiganian Dathan Rizenhein (1999).
There have only been three junior foreign winners as well – Abdirizak Mohamud (1996), Lukas Verzbicas (2009) and Edward Cheserek (2011).
Now we know what some of you are thinking, “But it’s watered down with NXN, right?” Yes it’s diluted a little bit but historically the best boy individuals have always run Foot Locker and that seems to be the case again this year. Tullyrunners.com has already produced their speed ratings for this race and Fisher’s winning rating of 203 is way better than the 199 NXN winning rating. 4 points = 12 seconds.
Let there be no doubt about it, Fisher is a stud. He already ran 3:50.30 for 1500 as a 10th grader this summer at the World Youth Games which generated a lot of love the messageboard: US boys Blank Haney and Grant Fisher spank Africans and win 1500 semis at 2013 World Youths.
Quick Take #2: Now we know some of you probably still aren’t convinced that Foot Lockers was stacked this year as their an uninformed thread already up on the messageboard entitled: SLOWEST FOOTLOCKER TIMES IN 15 YEARS. FOOTLOCKER RIP.
While that thread title is incorrect (he winning time today of 15:07 was just as fast as Verzbicas won in 2009 and that’s despite the tactical start), we bet some of you are saying, “But the runner-up today Dressel was only third at the Washington state meet and the winner of the WA state meet Tanner Anderson was only third at NXN so NXN has to be better.”
Well guess what? Did you see who was fourth at the WA state meet? None other than NXN winner Kai Wilmot.
Quick Take #3: Want more proof that this field was stacked? The 9th placer in today’s race Aaron Templeton recently ran an 8:54 on the track for 3200 to get ready for this race.
Quick Take #4: With the top 3 all being juniors, 2014 Foot Lockers should be epic. Equally as interesting might be the 2014 Washington State meet as NXN third placer Tanner Anderson, who won states this year, and Dressel are both juniors.
Quick Take #5: Here’s some words from Fisher to Deena Kastor after the race:
“The plan didn’t go 100% how we wanted it to, but that’s racing. We had to adapt to what was going on. I’m glad everything worked out today. I was hurting pretty bad at the beginning of the hill but I knew had to keep position on the hill or I’d be out of the race. On the donwhill, I really opened it up. I wasn’t feeling great to be honest but you aren’t going to feel great on this course.”
2013 Boys National Finals
Place Time Bib Name Grade Region School City State
1 15:07 71 Grant Fisher 11 Midwest Grand Blanc H.S. Grand Blanc MI
2 15:10 82 John Dressel 11 West Mt. Spokane H.S. Colbert WA
3 15:19 81 Matthew Maton 11 West Summit H.S. Bend OR
4 15:20 51 Mickey Burke 12 Northeast Rush Henrietta H.S. Henrietta NY
5 15:22 90 Joseph Hardy 12 West Seattle Prepartory H.S. Seattle WA
6 15:22 83 Elijah Armstrong 11 West Pocatello H.S. Pocatello ID
7 15:23 84 Conner Mantz 11 West Sky View H.S. Smithfield UT
8 15:24 88 Blair Hurlock 12 West De La Salle H.S. Tracy CA
9 15:29 61 Aaron Templeton 12 South Hardin Valley Academy Knoxville TN
10 15:30 55 Josef Holt-Andrews 12 Northeast Telstar Regional H.S. Bethel ME
11 15:31 53 Alex Ostberg 11 Northeast Darien H.S. Darien CT
12 15:34 85 Trevor Reinhart 11 West Marin Academy Ross CA
13 15:34 77 Thomas Pollard 11 Midwest Gilbert Junior-Senior H.S. Ames IA
14 15:34 89 Garrett Corcoran 12 West Villa Park H.S. Villa Park CA
15 15:36 54 Liam Mullett 12 Northeast Pingry School Madison NJ
16 15:41 86 Levi Thomet 11 West Kodiak H.S. Kodiak AK
17 15:42 74 Toby Hardwick 12 Midwest Newark H.S. Newark OH
18 15:43 72 Addison DeHaven 12 Midwest Brookings H.S. Brookings SD
19 15:44 56 Daniel Curts 12 Northeast Ellsworth H.S. Ellsworth ME
20 15:47 52 Chris Alvarado 12 Northeast Fairfield College Prep. School Fairfield CT
21 15:49 80 Ryan Robinson 11 Midwest Waterford Mott H.S. West Bloomfield MI
22 15:49 62 Ben Huffman 12 South Providence Day School Waxhaw NC
23 15:49 87 Kramer Morton 12 West Alta H.S. Sandy UT
24 15:50 59 Louis Corgliano 12 Northeast Hammonton H.S. Hammonton NJ
25 15:50 63 Ian Milder 12 South Mount Tabor H.S. Winston Salem NC
26 15:51 60 Ross Wilson 12 Northeast Council Rock North H.S. Wycombe PA
27 15:51 58 Tai Dinger 12 Northeast St. Albans School Washington DC
28 15:54 68 Brent Demarest 12 South Porter-Gaud School Charleston SC
29 15:56 66 Ben Barrett 11 South Norman North H.S. Norman OK
30 15:56 70 Patrick Sheehan 12 South Lake Norman H.S. Mooresville NC
31 15:58 67 Tyler Bennett 12 South Fort Myers H.S. Fort Myers FL
32 15:59 64 Louis Colson 12 South Thomas Edison H.S. Alexandria VA
33 16:00 73 Jesse Reiser 11 Midwest McHenry H.S. McHenry IL
34 16:07 65 Mackenzie Haight 12 South George C Marshall H.S. Vienna VA
35 16:10 79 David Dalton 12 Midwest Greenwood Community H.S. Greenwood IN
36 16:13 57 Scott Meehan 12 Northeast Pope John XXIII Regional H.S. Sparta NJ
37 16:20 76 Patrick Perrier 12 Midwest O’Fallon Township H.S. O’Fallon IL
38 16:32 69 Frank Lara 12 South Strake Jesuit College Prep. Houston TX
39 17:30 78 Noah Kauppila 12 Midwest Marquette H.S. Chesterfield MO
dnf 75 Jackson Bertoli 12 Midwest Terre Haute South Vigo H.S. Terre Haute IN
1 West 2 3 2 3 5 6 7 8 12
2 Northeast 5 6 4 10 11 14 17 18 21
3 Midwest 6 4 1 13 15 16 19 27 28
4 South 9 8 9 20 22 23 24 25 26
Better Photo Gallery Here. Race Screen Shots Below