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After a blazing fast girls race at the 2019 Foot Locker National Cross Country Championship, excitement was building around what the boys race could provide.
It didn't disappoint.
Hersey (IL) High School senior Josh Methner did a good job taking control midway through, as the NXN runner-up made a move at 2K and never looked back, winning his first Foot Locker Nationals title in 15:08.8.
At the mile, there was still no significant separation as all 40 boys crossed the line between 4:48-4:53.
But 600 meters later, Nike Cross Nationals runner-up Methner made his move to the front. Carter Solomon (MI), Patrick Anderson (PA), and Morris led a star-studded chase pack, but Methner's lead would grow with every step.
As they crossed two miles, the race was in the palms of Methner's hands. The Notre Dame commit stunned his home state of Illinois when he broke Olympian Craig Virgin's 47-year-old state 3-mile record five weeks ago. He has since cruised to wins at the Nike and Foot Locker Midwest Regional meets to go along with his second place finish at last weekend's NXN meet.
Methner's lead was four seconds at the 2-mile mark, but with each passing meter, it grew and grew. Methner darted quickly around the turns, running perfect tangents, and seemingly gaining strength with every step. A strong take up the final hill sealed the deal and his downhill march to the finish line all but locked up the victory.
Strong finishes from Solomon, Anderson, Morris, and Greer made Methner's victory look much less dominant than it was. Methner's final time of 15:08.80 was eight seconds ahead of Solomon's 15:16.90. Anderson (15:18.0) out-leaned Morris (15:18.10) at the line and Greer came across in fifth in 15:22.20.