Pennsylvania’s Tessa Barrett Wins 2013 Foot Locker Cross Country Championships

Barrett Holds Off Early Challenge From Stephanie Jenks, Late Charge by Hannah DeBalsi

December 14, 2013

Pennsylvania state champion and Northeast regional champ Tessa Barrett capped off an amazing senior year by winning the 2013 Foot Locker girls cross country championships today in 17:16.

Barrett displayed her normal bold front-running style and was aggressive from the front. Just seven minutes into the race after an opening 5:20 first mile, Barrett tried to get away from the field. Only Iowa 10th grader Stephanie Jenks (Jenks Using Three-Pronged Approach), who didn’t even run high school for her team this year as she focused on triathlon/swimming, went right with her. The two would hit two miles together in 11:03 before Jenks fell off around the 12:30 mark and she’d fade hard all the way back to 9th.

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Was Barrett now cruising to victory? Far from it. Several runners who had been running in the 3-4-5 position 4-5 seconds behind still were within striking distance. Initially South champ Caroline Alcorta (Springfield, VA) moved into second but the real challenge came from Connecticut sophomore Hannah DeBalsi (3rd at NE). 15:30 into the race on the big downhill, she ran right up behind Barrett with less than 800 to go. Oh no, was all of Barrett’s hard work going to crumble in the heat of San Diego?


Barrett dug deep and found a response and pulled away to win convincingly in 17:16 to DeBalsi’s 17:26.

Quick takes, results and screenshots from the live broadcast appear below.

Tessa Barrett Your Champion (Click on image for photo gallery) Tessa Barrett Your Champion (Click on image for photo gallery)

Quick Take #1: Barrett’s win marks a remarkable turnaround for her. Last year, she didn’t even make the PA state meet. According to, the district meet was a total disaster for Barrett last year. Running in several inches of mud, she struggled with dizziness and passed out. To make matters worse, her leg got stuck in the mud and she suffered a ‘small hair-line’ fracture and was out for six weeks. This year, she more than made up for it by winning states by 36-seconds.

More: PIAA Girls Cross Country: Penn State recruit and Abington Heights senior Tessa Barrett rebounds from old injury to blow away AAA field in title race

Quick Take #2: After the race, Barrett was asked what her race plan was.

“Really my tactic was just to go out and run. I really wanted to enjoy the weather where I’m from it’s pretty cold,” said Barrett.

“It’s surreal. I can’t really believe it happened,” added Barrett who revealed the trip to California was not only her first trip to the West Coast but also her first trip on a plane.

Quik Take #3: Where is Barrett going to college you ask? Penn State. More: Abington Heights’ Tessa Barrett commits to Penn State

Quick Take #4: Seeing Barrett get caught and respond made this race VERY exciting for the fans watching on the Internet. You don’t see that every day but it’s apparently the same tactic she used at the NE regional according to mb poster “bronxite”.

Quick Take #5: The Tully Speed ratings are out for this race. While the “Big 3” girls, Alexa Efraimson, Elise Cranny, and Sarah Baxter, all ran NXN this year, Barrett’s speed rating here 162 indicates she would have been competitive at NXN. Efraimson was 165, Cranny 164, and Baxter 163 at NXN. Each speed rating point equates to 3 seconds.

Grant Fisher and Tessa Barrett 2013 Foot Locker Champions Grant Fisher and Tessa Barrett 2013 Foot Locker Champions

Discuss this race in our forum: MB: Tessa MF Barrett 

Results – 2013 Girls National Finals
Place Time Bib Name Grade Region School City State

1 17:16 11 Tessa Barrett 12 Northeast Abingto Heights H.S. Waverly PA
2 17:26 13 Hannah DeBalsi 10 Northeast Staples H.S. Westport CT
3 17:31 21 Caroline Alcorta 12 South West Springfield H.S. Springfield VA
4 17:35 12 Anoush Shehadeh 11 Northeast Phillips Academy Andover Larchmont NY
5 17:39 47 Anna Maxwell 12 West San Lorenzo Valley H.S. Felton CA
6 17:43 14 Brianna Schwartz 11 Northeast Shaler Area H.S. Pittsburgh PA
7 17:43 43 Lucy Biles 11 West Herriman H.S. Herriman UT
8 17:43 41 Makena Morley 11 West Bigfork H.S. Bigfork MT
9 17:43 32 Stephanie Jenks 10 Midwest Linn-Mar H.S. Aurora IA
10 17:44 34 Taylor Werner 10 Midwest Ste. Genevieve Senior H.S. Bloomsdale MO
11 17:45 22 Millie Paladino 12 South University H.S. Morgantown WV
12 17:46 27 Devin Clark 11 South Smithson Valley H.S. Spring Branch TX
13 17:52 15 Briana Gess 9 Northeast Haddonfield Memorial H.S. Haddonfield NJ
14 17:52 42 Sarah Feeny 12 West Ogden H.S. Ogden UT
15 17:54 44 Samantha Ortega-Hufana 11 West Saugus H.S. Santa Clarita CA
16 18:00 33 Rebekah Topham 11 Midwest Griswold H.S. Griswold IA
17 18:03 31 Kelcy Welch 12 Midwest Carmel H.S. Carmel IN
18 18:04 37 Mailin Struck 11 Midwest Riverside-Brookfield H.S. North Riverside IL
19 18:08 26 Katy Kunc 12 South Lake Braddock Secondary School Burke VA
20 18:08 20 Kirstin Sandreuter 12 Northeast Greely H.S. North Yarmouth ME
21 18:08 25 Hannah Christen 12 South Lake Braddock Secondary School Burke VA
22 18:11 19 Katie Lembo 12 Northeast Penfield H.S. Penfield NY
23 18:12 35 Hannah Long 11 Midwest Eureka H.S. Pacific MO
24 18:13 36 Lauren Brasure 12 Midwest Rockford H.S. Ada MI
25 18:14 24 Gabriella Karas 9 South Martha Layne Collins H.S. Simpsonville KY
26 18:17 39 Rachel Nichwitz 11 Midwest Hamilton Southeastern H.S. Fishers IN
27 18:18 17 Jessica Lawson 9 Northeast Corning Painted Post East H.S. Addison NY
28 18:22 18 Regan Rome 12 Northeast Dallas H.S. Dallas PA
29 18:25 16 Megan Reilly 10 Northeast Warwick Valley H.S. Warwick NY
30 18:27 50 Abigail Hong 12 West Mira Costa H.S. Manhattan Beach CA
31 18:29 38 Kirsten Olling 12 Midwest Breckenridge H.S. Wheeler MI
32 18:35 28 Kathryn Foreman 10 South Landmark Christian School Lithia Springs GA
33 18:35 45 Sara Tsai 11 West South Eugene H.S. Eugene OR
34 18:42 49 Madelaine Criscione 12 West Park City H.S. Park City UT
35 18:43 48 Marlee Mitchell 11 West Bingham H.S. South Jordan UT
36 18:52 46 Mikayla Malaspina 11 West Vallivue H.S. Caldwell ID
37 18:56 30 Karen Xiang 12 South Nease H.S. Ponte Vedra FL
38 19:22 40 Alex Buck 10 Midwest Pendleton Heights H.S. Pendleton IN
39 19:27 29 Molly Breidenbaugh 12 South Trinity Episcopal H.S. Mechanicsville VA
40 23 Natalie Rathien 12 South Highland Park H.S. Dallas TX

Team Results
1 Northeast 2 6 1 2 4 6 13 20 22
2 West 4 9 5 7 8 14 15 26 28
3 South 6 6 3 11 12 19 21 25 27
4 Midwest 7 0 9 10 16 17 18 23 24

Better Photo Gallery Here (Screen Shots below)

Pack still together just after one mile Pack still together just after one mile
Tessa Barrett makes her move Tessa Barrett makes her move
Stephanie Jenks keeps it close Stephanie Jenks keeps it close
Stephanie Jenks (l) and Tessa Barrett (r) Stephanie Jenks (l) and Tessa Barrett (r)
Barrett's got this easily right? Barrett’s got this easily right?
Not so fast, here comes Hannah DeBalsi Not so fast, here comes Hannah DeBalsi
Barrett pulls away Barrett pulls away
Tessa Barrett wins Tessa Barrett wins
Tessa Barrett and Deena Kastor Tessa Barrett and Deena Kastor
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