GIRLS NIKE HEARTLAND PREVIEW
Last season, the girl’s division had a distinct Minnesota flavor, as half of the top twenty runners and both girl’s qualifying teams hailed from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
With the graduation of 2012 Heartland Champion, Maria Hauger (U. of Virginia), the girl’s field will have a new athlete break the tape in 2013.
Who that will be is a story all in itself, as there are several runners who will vie for the win.
The female elites are led by US #11 Stephanie Jenks from Linn-Mar High School. Jenks, who does not run cross country for her high school, competed in the World Jr. Triathlon this past fall with Rapid City, SD’s Tamara Gorman (article cover photo), who won the World Championships. Jenks went on to post a 16:57 at the Dellinger Invite in Oregon this fall to finish 7th in a field of established collegiate runners.
As for the team battle for the NXN tickets, can anyone stop US #5 Wayzata, MN?
Wayzata won their state meet by placing seven girls in the Top 20. Yah, so that’s probably happened quite a few times before, however has any team had a 1-7 split of just SEVEN SECONDS?! That’s a Dr. Joe Vigil, Adams State-like performance (kind of).
Now for the fine-print.
The general surprise at the South Dakota State Meet was Yankton’s Annie Kruse. Kruse ran 14:03 to Tamara Gorman’s 14:24 to win the state individual title. What makes those marks more impressive is the fact that 27 trailer-loads of woodchips covered up soggy and uneven ground, making the course anything but fast.
Tamara Gorman- Rapid City Stevens HS; 2nd Class AA; Season best of 14:10; World Jr. Triathlon Champion
Annie Kruse- Yankton HS; Class AA Champion; 14:03 at the State Meet (do not see her in the Box Assignments, however)
Look no further than Rapid City. Rapid City Stevens won the Class AA State Championship with 58 points, and were followed by crosstown rival, Rapid City Central, who posted 99 points.
Last season Brittany Brown Otter and Lexi Zeis were both in the Top 21 at the Nike Heartland meet, but this season they are joined by up-and-comer Jordan Jacob and her teammate Kelby Anderson, who will be contenders for Top 10 positions and possibly a trip to Portland.
Brittany Brown Otter- Bismarck HS; 2nd Class A (14:17)
Alexis Zeis- Bismarck HS; 4th Class A (14:28); posted a 14:08 early in the season at Mandan
Kelby Anderson- Bismarck Century HS; 3rd Class A (14:18)
Jordan Jacob- Bismarck Century HS; Class A State Champion (14:02)
At the North Dakota State Meet, Bismarck and Century were only separated by six points. However, Century’s 3-4-5 were only within a single second (15:32-15:33) which, depending on where they are in the field, can really help a team score in a large meet like Nike Heartland.
Much of what you need to know about Minnesota was mentioned in the introduction, but I’ll just repeat it for good measure. Wayzata is good and if they are even remotely close to being on their game, they will take the #1 Heartland spot to Portland. If we’re being truthful here, East Ridge, who was ~100 points behind Wayzata at the Minnesota State Meet for runner-up honors…is a good team that will be in the hunt for the Heartland’s other NXN birth.
Anna French- fourth last heat at the Heartland, was 14th at the state meet; has gone 13:38 in 2013
Jenna Truedson-third in Class AA at the state meet (14:19); has gone 14:00 this season
Emi Trost- Class A Champion, who has also run 4:50 for 1600 meters will also be in the hunt for a Top 5 position, as she was 11th last season
Dowling Catholic and Ames are the two teams that stand-out in Iowa. Dowling Catholic won the Class 4A title this season by 14 points over Ames, however, Ames had just a 46 second split at the state meet, which is an advantageous number in a large meet like the Nike Heartland Championships.
There are several classifications in Iowa, and interestingly enough, there are some very good runners at the top in each of the classes. Literally, every class has a one or two girls with Top 10 potential at the Nike Heartland Meet.
Grace Gibbons- dominated Class 2A by over 30 seconds, soloing a 14:28
Rebekah Topham- Class 1A Champion, clocking a 13:56
Leah Seivert- 2nd in Class 1A in 14:10
McKenzie Yanek- Class 4A Champion in 14:00 (19th at Nike Heartland in 2012)
Karissa Schweizer- Class 4A Runner-Up (14:09), has run 4:37 for 1500m
Elizabeth Flatley- State Champion (DI)and fastest time at the WI State Meet (14:11)
Jessica Parker- Runner-up in DI (14:20)
Camille Davre- 3rd in DI (14:22)
Delaney Sinnen- DIII Champion by over 40 seconds (14:22)
Arrowhead is interesting in that they didn’t have a superstar at their state meet, but what they did have was a 28 second 1-5 split. Although Neenah was considerably behind Arrowhead in the team scores at the state meet, it’s conceivable that they will be closer due to the Parker Sisters, Jennifer and Jessica, who will likely be Top 20 at the Nike Heartland Meet. However, Arrowhead’s #5 was way in front of Neenah’s at the state meet, so maybe it’s a toss-up. I do not believe Whitefish Bay has a team entered in Nike Heartland, although they were 2nd at the state meet.
Millard South looks to be the only Nebraska team entered. They were 4th in the Class A division, which was dominated by Lincoln Southwest.
Jeralyn Poe- She is familiar with the Nike Heartland course, as she’s won the “Pre-Region” meet two years running; she is the Nebraska Class A State Champion, running 18:14 for 5,000m
Katie Spencer- 2nd at the Class A Meet (18:28)
Taylor Somers- 3rd in Class A, right behind teammate Spencer (18:29)
Kansas has six classifications for high school cross country, with Class 6A being the largest. Out of Class 6A, Lawrence Free State is the best, as they were state champions and placed three in the top five at the state meet. However, Class 5A’s St. Thomas Aquinas scored just 15 points to dominate Class 5A and averaged 15:37, which was the best at the Kansas state meet.
Emily Venters- Kansas 6A State Champion (14:57)
Alex Miller- Kanas 6A Runner-Up (15:08)
Bailee Cofer- Class 5A Champion (15:28), leads St. Thomas Aquinas