Previewing Foot Locker With Speed Ratings

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How can you compare high schoolers from across the country who haven't raced each other? Speed ratings! We're reposting TullyRunners.com's Foot Locker preview, with Bill Meylan's permission. One point in speed ratings equals roughly three seconds.

Boys General Comment


I suspect the speed ratings for the top finishers at Foot Locker Nationals may be higher than those shown in table above (that's typically the case) ... To finish in top places at Foot Locker Nationals typically requires exceptional performances, usually season-best performances ... Foot Locker is unique because it has a small field of select runners coming to the race expecting to run fast (knowing they have to run fast to place well) ... Top competition on a fast course under good weather conditions yields top performances (season-best performances).

Boys Gr School St Region Overall Rating Foot Locker Region Rating FL Region Place State Meet Rating
Finn Gessner 12 Madison La Follette WI Midwest 197 192 9 193
Sam Worley 12 New Braunfels Canyon TX South 197 193 1 194
Seth Hirsch 12 Millard West NE Midwest 197 193 5 196
Noah Affolder 12 Carlisle PA Northeast 196 196 1 194
Luis Grijalva 12 Armijo High CA West 195 191 4 196
Talon Hull 12 Weber UT West 195 196 1 194
Alexander Maier 10 Flower Mound TX South 195 191 3 194
Dylan Jacobs 11 Sandburg IL Midwest 194 196 1 191
Jack Aho 12 Grayslake Central IL Midwest 194 196 2 190
Reed Brown 12 Southlake Carroll TX South 193 190 6 189
Patrick O'Brien 12 Oyster River NH Northeast 193 193 3 192
Elliot Gindi 12 Ocean Township NJ Northeast 193 192 4 194
Tibebu Proctor 11 The Northwest School WA West 193 194 2 189
Callum Bolger 12 San Luis Obispo CA West 192 190 6 194
Matt Grossman 12 Millburn NJ Northeast 192 190 7 191
Gabe Fendel 11 Hamilton Southeastern IN Midwest 192 194 3 188
Noah Jacobs 12 Corunna MI Midwest 192 193 4 190
Connor Lane 12 Bishop Gibbons NC South 192 192 2 193
Waleed Suliman 12 Douglas Freeman VA South 191 190 5 190
Sam Affolder 10 Carlisle PA Northeast 191 193 2 188
Matt Aho 12 Grayslake Central IL Midwest 191 192 6 185
Matthew Pereira 12 Lake Zurich IL Midwest 191 192 7 186
Mitchell Day 12 Alpena MI Midwest 191 192 8 185
Brian Griffith 12 Grayslake Central IL Midwest 191 192 10 189
Travis Feeny 12 Ogden UT West 191 190 7 184
Dalton Hengst 11 McDonogh School MD Northeast 190 190 5 ~187
Daniel Viegra 12 Pflugerville Hendericks TX South 190 190 4 ---
Jacob McLeod 11 Trinity Christian GA South 190 190 8 ---
Matthew Watkins 12 Henry M Jackson WA West 190 190 5 190
Charles Hicks 10 Bolles FL South 190 190 9 191
Amir Ado 12 Ferris WA West 190 191 3 186
Will Merritt 12 Smithburg MD Northeast 189 190 6 186
Nathan Henderson 12 JP McCaskey PA Northeast 189 189 9 189
Graydon Morris 9 Aledo TX South 189 190 7 183
Matthew Young 12 Jenks OK South 189 189 10 186
Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau 11 Bellarmine CA West 189 189 9 190
Zach Skolnekovich 12 Quaker Valley PA Northeast 188 189 8 181
Drew Thompson 11 Fairfield Prep CT Northeast 188 189 10 185
Joshua Schumacher 11 Jesuit OR West 188 189 8 186
Jiraa Riding 12 Orem UT West 187 187 10 183
Nine of eleven underclassmen from last year's Foot Locker return this year ... The returning runners include (with their finishes last year): Seth Hirsch (9th), Finn Gessner (11th), Noah Affolder (15th), Reed Brown (16th), Matthew Perriera (24th), Tibebu Proctor (28th), Waleed Suliman (29th), Matt Grossman (35th) and Talon Hull (37th)

Seven runners competed at NXN Nationals 2016 ... Sam Worley (2nd), Seth Hirsch (4th), Alex Maier (5th), Reed Brown (6th), Jack Aho (17th), Dylan Jacobs (19th) and Gabe Fendel (28th) ... So 4 of the top 6 finishers at NXN are at Foot Locker.

Based on the speed ratings, as many as 10 guys have a legitimate shot at winning this race depending on who's feeling good ... and that makes the race competitive and interesting.

Selected Individual Runners


Finn Gessner ... Qualified for NXN Nationals by winning the NXN Heartland Regional with a 199 speed rating ... Decided to skip NXN and concentrate on a top performance at Foot Locker ... an extra week of rest over the guys who did run NXN may be an advantage.

Sam Worley ... Has run exceptionally well during the entire 2016 XC season ... Won both the Foot Locker South and NXN South Regionals ... Has good closing speed ... Finished 2nd at NXN Nationals.

Seth Hirsch ... The top returning runner from Foot Locker 2015 ... Finished 4th at NXN Nationals ... Along with Finn Gessner, Seth Hirsch has a best individual speed rating of 199 which is tops in the field.

Noah Affolder ... The Foot Locker Northeast winner ... Finished 15th at Foot Locker 2015 ... A real threat to win this race.

Luis Grijalva ... The California State champion ... Possibly ran Foot Locker West only fast enough to qualify ... A real threat to win this race.

Talon Hull ... The Foot Locker West winner ... Finished 37th at Foot Locker 2015

Alexander Maier ... An exceptionally talented sophomore who has been competitive with top runners all season ... Finished 5th at NXN Nationals

Dylan Jacobs ... The Foot Locker Midwest winner ... Finished 19th at NXN Nationals

Reed Brown ... Finished 6th at NXN Nationals ... Finished 16th at Foot Locker 2015

Girls General Comment


A good field of competitors ... Claudia Lane is the favorite based on excellent seasonal performances ... Nevada Mareno finished 3rd at Foot Locker last year and is expected to be a serious contender for the win.

Seven underclassmen return this year from last year's Foot Locker ... The returning  runners are Nevada Mareno (3rd last year), Jordan Oakes (20th last year), Alyssa Aldrich (23rd last year), Maria Coffin (27th last year), Kate Hunter (31st last year), Kayla Young (33rd last year) and Julia Heymach (36th last year)

Four runners competed at NXN Nationals 2016 ... India Johnson (9th), Anne Forsyth (14th), Lauren Peterson (30th) and Christina Geisler (40th).

Girls Gr School St Region Overall Rating Foot Locker Region Rating FL Region Place State Meet Rating
Claudia Lane 10 Malibu CA West 158 158 1 158
Nevada Mareno 12 Leesville Road NC South 148++ 147 1 148
Alyssa Aldridge 11 Mainland NJ Northeast 153 153 1 153
Anne Forsyth 11 Ann Arbor Pioneer MI Midwest 150 150 1 147
India Johnson 12 Hilliard Davidson OH Midwest 150 144 2 145
Jacqueline Gaughan 11 Exeter NH Northeast 148 148 2 147
Heather Holt 11 George C. Marshall VA South 148 146 2 149
Maria Coffin 11 Annapolis Senior MD Northeast 147 146 3 149
Niamh Schumacher 12 King's Academy TN South 146 146 3 145
Grace Connolly 10 Natick MA Northeast 145 145 4 142
Abigail Green 11 Walter Johnson MD Northeast 145 143 9 147
Olivia Theis 11 Lansing Catholic MI Midwest 144 143 5 145
Julia Heymach 11 Houston Lamar TX South 144 139 8 145
Nicole Fegans 12 Landmark Christian GA South 144 145 4 137
Jordan Oakes 12 Holy Names Academy WA West 144 143 5 143
Kearan Nelson 12 Central Valley Sr WA West 144 146 2 137
Alexandra Beitia 12 Granite Bay CA West 143 144 3 143
Kayla Young 12 Denver North CO Midwest 143 144 3 136
Lauren Peterson 10 Farmington MN Midwest 143 143 4 135
Page Lester 11 National Cathedral DC Northeast 143 144 5 ~140
Hayley Jackson 12 Patuxent MD Northeast 143 144 6 138
Rebecca Story 11 Christian Academy TN South 143 141 6 141
Amanda Beach 12 Melbourne Central FL South 142 144 5 132
Bailey Hertenstein 11 Riverview FL South 142 140 7 142
Taryn Parks 9 Greencastle-Antrim PA Northeast 142 144 7 126
Alison Willingmyre 12 Wilson PA Northeast 142 144 8 137
Mattie Shirley-Fairbairn 10 Bismarck ND Midwest 142 140 7 144
Lindsay Payne 11 Glenbard West IL Midwest 142 140 8 143
Kate Hunter 12 Provo UT West 142 144 4 132
Marea Zlatunich 11 Aptos CA West 141 142 6 139
Kiera Marshall 12 St Joseph Notre Dame CA West 141 141 7 140
Julien Webster 12 Catoctin MD Northeast 141 143 10 118
Sara Platek 12 Ragsdale NC South 140 139 9 142
Sara Musselman 10 American Fork UT West 140 141 8 131
Christina Geisler 12 Carmel IN Midwest 140 141 6 134
Kyla Christopher-Moody 10 West Bloomfield MI Midwest 140 140 10 139
Ava Strenge 12 Battle Creek St Philip MI Midwest 139 140 9 130
Jesselyn Bries 11 Sandra Day O Connor AZ West 138 139 9 137
Katie Thronson 11 Lewis And Clark WA West 138 138 10 140
Anna Marian Block 11 Athens Academy GA South 137 136 10 13

Selected Individual Runners


Claudia Lane ... The Foot Locker West winner and top runner in California ... Has been improving throughout the season ... Popped 158 speed ratings at both Foot Locker West and the California State Meet (3rd fastest time ever at Woodward Park behind only Sarah Baxter and Julia Stamps).

Claudia Lane did race NXN Champion Brie Oakley at the Woodbridge Classic (Sept 17th) with Oakley winning by 23 seconds (153 and 145 speed ratings respectively) ... Both girls have shown improvement since that race nearly two-and-a-half months ago ... It would obviously be interesting to see them race now, but that's not going to happen.

Nevada Mareno ... The top returning runner from last year's Foot Locker where Nevada Mareno finished 3rd with a 160 speed rating ... Entering Foot Locker last year, she had a best speed rating of 157 when she broke the course record at WakeMed (the course used for NXN Southeast and the Great American Festival) ... Nevada Mareno ran a somewhat limited XC schedule this year and has not really been tested competitively ... she won Foot Locker South handily ... I'm guessing she can run significantly faster than this year's speed ratings ... I will not be surprised if she wins.

Alyssa Aldridge ... The Foot Locker Northeast winner ... Ran 153 speed ratings at both Foot Locker Northeast and the New Jersey Meet of Champions ... Finished 23rd at last year's Foot Locker.

Anne Forsyth ... The Foot Locker Midwest winner ... Finished 14th at NXN Nationals after taking 3rd at NXN Midwest.

India Johnson ... Finished 2nd at both Foot Locker Midwest and NXN Midwest ... Finished 9th at NXN Nationals.

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