Nike Cross Southeast Regional Preview - Girls

Tatnall girls will be attempting to establish themselves as the model program that all teams within the Southeast region strive to become if they are successful on Saturday in qualifying for a fourth straight Nike Cross Nationals race. A trio of Virginia schools (Hidden Valley, Blacksburg, and Midlothian) will attempt to be the spoilers after battling it out with one another throughout the fall including a fourth meeting in five weeks for Hidden Valley and Blacksburg. Florida's top ranked squad Chiles is back to prove they are more than just fast times on flat courses in Cary after a disappointing showing last year NXN Southeast against the Virginia schools and Tatnall, while Green Hope girls of North Carolina are the darkhorse pick and looking fit after an impressive 3200 time trial recently.


NXN Southeast Girls Top Teams



1. Tatnall (DE) - The Tatnall girls are aiming to qualify for a fourth straight NXN berth, which would solidify them as best program consistently in the region since the inception of Nike Cross/Team Nationals. In typical Tatnall fashion under coach Patrick Castagno, the team is hitting their stride in the right time after a slow start to the season. Tatnall suffered a few early season defeats including a loss at the hands of Blacksburg (VA) at the Maymont Festival, but has raced stronger each week including a dominant 17 point team score in another Delaware state title. Tatnall averaged 18:52 as a squad at their state meet with five of the top six finishers in the race. They are the only team in the region which can boast a total of seven runners which have ran under 19 minutes for a 5K this season led by one of the top individuals in Haley Pierce with a 17:48 season best. With plenty of experience from a team which ended up finishing third in Portland for the Nike Cross Nationals, they should perform well in a pressure situation on Saturday.


Girls 5000 Meter Run
17:48.93 Pierce, Haley DIAA Championships 2009-11-14
18:31.00 Salter, Rebecca Joe O'Neill Invitational (formerly Bellevue Inv) 2009-10-16
18:42.00 Parsons, Molly Joe O'Neill Invitational (formerly Bellevue Inv) 2009-10-16
18:46.00 Fehr, Kallie Joe O'Neill Invitational (formerly Bellevue Inv) 2009-10-16
18:53.00 Blackwell, Lauren Joe O'Neill Invitational (formerly Bellevue Inv) 2009-10-16
18:53.70 Anderson, Reagan DIAA Championships 2009-11-14
18:57.00 Calvarese, Allison Joe O'Neill Invitational (formerly Bellevue Inv) 2009-10-16


2. Hidden Valley (VA) - Hidden Valley finished third at last year's regional race and returned their top 5 from that squad. The addition of freshmen Carolyn Bethel has only strengthened this squad and put them over the top in being able to knock off two-time state champions Blacksburg for the Virginia 2A state title two weeks ago. Hidden Valley is led by junior Annie LeHardy, who placed 11th in last year's regional race with a time of 18:13. Along with LeHardy, Claire Sibley and Haley Cutright make up a solid front three capable of running well into the 18's on the WakeMed Soccer Park course. In order to secure an automatic national berth with a top two finish, coach Dan King will be relying on clutch races from Bethel and senior Mary Catherine Sowder as likely both will need to finish further up in the field and with times under 19 minutes as well.


Girls 5000 Meter Run
18:36.40 LeHardy, Annie Greensboro XC Invitational 2009-09-26
18:46.00 Sibley, Claire Great American XC Festival 2009-10-02
18:55.00 Cutright, Haley VHSL State Cross Country Championships 2009-11-14
19:04.00 Sowder, Mary Catherine Great American XC Festival 2009-10-02
19:29.00 Bethel, Carolyn VHSL State Cross Country Championships 2009-11-14
19:50.60 Skolrood, Lindsay Greensboro XC Invitational 2009-09-26
20:10.00 Weidner, Greta Great American XC Festival 2009-10-02


3. Blacksburg (VA) - Blacksburg was riding high after their last trip to Cary when they finished second as a team in the Race of Championships at Great American behind only New York powerhouse Saratoga Springs. After two straight defeats at the hands of their district rival Hidden Valley though, the previous top ranked team in the Southeast region has had its confidence shaken but they certainly cannot be counted out to the redeem themselves with a high finish in the regional race. While the Stevens twins running a minute ahead of the nearest competition at the state meet did not help them too much in the team scoring department against Hidden Valley who took the next two places (albeit a minute later), Blacksburg should see more runners from other teams in between the Stevens twins and Hidden Valley's top runners as well as the first and second runners from other top contending schools to benefit their team cause.


Girls 5000 Meter Run
17:34.00 Stevens, Kathleen VHSL State Cross Country Championships 2009-11-14
17:39.00 Stevens, Joanna VHSL State Cross Country Championships 2009-11-14
18:51.00 Fitchett, Leah Great American XC Festival 2009-10-02
19:09.00 Dorrell, Sarah U.S. Army X-Country at Maymont 2009-09-25
19:36.00 Brown, Hannah Great Meadow Invitational 2009-08-29
19:53.00 Buss, Kate Great American XC Festival 2009-10-02
20:36.00 Kaiser, Tamzin Great American XC Festival 2009-10-02


4. Midlothian (VA) - Midlothian saw their streak of Virginia 3A state titles snapped at a total of 4 by the Lake Braddock girls (who have opted to not compete at Nike Cross), but still believe if they have five runners running well and healthy on the same day that they have a shot at sneaking into the top two on Saturday. At the Virginia state meet, Midlothian got a very subpar race from a returning All-State runner in Amy Witt while healthy issues to their three potential candidates at the #5 spot down the stretch appeared to have cost them greatly in their pursuit of a fifth straight state title. With more time to rest their banged up runners and the senior Witt ready to bounce back for her team, Midlothian (5th in last year's regional race) should excel in an unfamilar underdog role for this program.


Girls 5000 Meter Run
18:14.00 Lautzenheiser, Kathleen Dominion District XC Championships 2009-10-29
18:44.00 Johnston, Marie Dominion District XC Championships 2009-10-29
18:58.00 Witt, Amy Great American XC Festival 2009-10-02
18:59.00 Benjaman, Claire Dominion District XC Championships 2009-10-29
19:12.00 Willard, Krista Great American XC Festival 2009-10-02
19:27.00 Dickerson, Kara Great American XC Festival 2009-10-02
19:50.00 Mulroy, Meghan Dominion District XC Championships 2009-10-29


5. Green Hope (NC) - If their recent performances in a 3200 time trial at Broughton High School are any indication, the darkhorse pick of the field has to be Green Hope from North Carolina. Their times went as followed in the 3200 time trial: Olivia Enright 11:02, Erica Amatori 11:23, Jessica Rossabi 11:26, Lauren Colberg 11:34, and Lauren Riedle 12:02. With almost an entire top five fit enough to run under 12 minutes for 3200 meters, Green Hope should be able to run with the best of them within the Southeast region. The time trial also did not have Maura McDonnell running, who has posted the team's fastest 5K time of the season at 18:32. Green Hope won the North Carolina 4A state title by 13 points against a very formidable T.C. Roberson squad, which expects to be competitive also at the NXN Southeast regional.


Girls 5000 Meter Run
18:32.34 McDonell, Maura Tri-9 Conference Meet 2009-10-21
18:35.56 Enright, Olivia Tri-9 Conference Meet 2009-10-21
18:57.50 Amatori, Erica NCHSAA 4A State Championships 2009-11-07
19:03.50 Rossabi, Jessica NCHSAA 4A State Championships 2009-11-07
19:17.00 Colberg, Lauren Great American XC Festival 2009-10-02
19:55.97 Riedle, Lauren Tri-9 Conference Meet 2009-10-21
20:23.58 Hawthorne, Megan adidas Seahawk Invitational 2009-09-11


6. Chiles (FL) - It is a tough read on the Chiles team as times from Florida generally are skewed to run much faster than many other parts of the region. Especially considering their performance at last year's Nike Cross regional against the Virginia squads and Tatnall as well as the fact that they really have not raced the out-of-state competition this fall to measure themselves up against some stiff competition, Chiles still has a lot to prove despite some strong national rankings recognition this fall by several. This squad will be looking forward to proving the doubters from up north wrong and translate their success on the flat courses on Florida to strong team performance on Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park. Leading their squad up front is a solid 1-2 punch in Carly Thomas and Lily Thomas, who picked up first and second place in their squad's 2A state title win. Chiles has little room for error and off races though as they are decent through five runners with Jodie McGuff as a 11:37 3200 runner and 19:08 season best for 5K, but have a severe drop off after her.


Girls 5000 Meter Run
18:08.06 Williams, Lily Panhandle Cross Country Championship 2009-10-24
18:20.97 Thomas, Carly FHSAA CC State Finals 2009-11-21
18:55.82 Givens, Rachel Little Everglades Pre-State Invitational 2009-10-16
18:55.99 Andrews, Kendall FHSAA CC State Finals 2009-11-21
19:08.30 McGuff, Jodie FHSAA 3A Region 1 2009-11-14
19:55.27 Bahn, Kelly FHSAA CC State Finals 2009-11-21
20:50.00 Pearson, Alex Katie Caples Invitational 2009-09-19


7. T.C. Roberson (NC) - Behind quite possibly the favorite to win the race individually in MileSplit US nationally ranked Laura Hoer, T.C. Roberson is a squad which could leapfrog many of the higher ranked teams in their region as the homestate should be represented well between themselves and their 4A rival Green Hope. Roberson will need someone to step up with a big race in the fifth spot as their squad is fairly solid through four runners with under a minute separating their fourth runner Zoe Dubin (18:44 season best) from their national caliber ace in Laura Hoer (17:49 season best).


Girls 5000 Meter Run
17:49.81 Hoer, Laura United Way Unifour Cross Country Invitational 2009-10-14
18:24.39 Gordon, Brooke United Way Unifour Cross Country Invitational 2009-10-14
18:35.00 Hope, Sarah NCHSAA 4A West Regional 2009-10-31
18:44.74 Dubin, Zoe United Way Unifour Cross Country Invitational 2009-10-14
19:33.00 Arrington, Alyson NCHSAA 4A West Regional 2009-10-31
19:40.00 Harvey, Alexa NCHSAA 4A West Regional 2009-10-31
19:44.30 Mauhar, Marie NCHSAA 4A State Championships 2009-11-07


8. Osbourn Park (VA) - After posing as Midlothian's top challenger for the Virginia 3A state title all season long, the Osbourn Park girls fell apart at the state meet and finished a disappointing fifth place. Their opportunity of redemption is this weekend at the Nike Cross Southeast Regional as they attempt to return to their mid October form when they were hitting on all cylinders and scoring dominant team victories in major invitationals.


Girls 5000 Meter Run
17:52.41 Karabinus, Ariel Invitational 2009-10-17
18:43.30 Wybersky, Ashley Invitational 2009-10-17
19:06.15 Geleta, Natalie Invitational 2009-10-17
19:13.11 Tyrrell, Kayla Invitational 2009-10-17
19:32.84 O'Toole, Kelly Invitational 2009-10-17
19:34.73 Wybersky, Brandy Invitational 2009-10-17
19:48.60 Mulder, Kaitlin Invitational 2009-10-17


9. Collins Hill (GA) - After taking some considerable losses from last year's Nike Cross Nationals qualifying squad, Collins Hill is making a return trip to the regional meet and considered a long shot to repeat in another top 2 finish. Their team has come along well though during the season behind one of the top runners from last year's run to Portland in Nicky Akande, who won the Georgia 4A state title in a season best time of 17:55. Collins Hill was defeated decisively at the state meet by North Gwinnett (not competing at NXN SE), but a top 10 finish on Saturday would be a nice end to their season to build upon towards next fall.


Girls 5000 Meter Run
17:55.01 Akande, Nicky 2009 GHSA State Championships 2009-11-07
18:55.08 Winslow, Vicky 2009 GHSA State Championships 2009-11-07
19:21.98 Whitworth, Chloe 2009 GHSA State Championships 2009-11-07
19:33.36 Williams, Sydney 2009 GHSA State Championships 2009-11-07
20:29.00 Diemer, Ashlyn Great American XC Festival 2009-10-02
20:47.54 Brady, Mackenzie 2009 GHSA State Championships 2009-11-07
20:56.98 Brady, Lauren Mobile Cross Country Challenge of Champions 2009 2009-09-11



10. Charter School of Wilmington (DE) - Delaware's other state team champions from Division 1, Charter School of Wilmington will attempt to give one of the nation's smallest states a second top 10 finishing squad in the regional national qualifier. Charter School easily won their state title with a dual meet-like score of 25 points and posted a 19:39 team average. They have a well rounded squad which does not a standout front runner nor does it have a glaring fifth runner problem, so they are capable of sneaking their way into the top half of the field.


Girls 5000 Meter Run
18:43.00 Macedo, Julie Joe O'Neill Invitational (formerly Bellevue Inv) 2009-10-16
18:50.00 Skinner, Kayleigh Paul Short Run 2009-10-02
19:16.69 Steenkamer, Meredith DIAA Championships 2009-11-14
19:49.00 Santer, Alexandra New Castle County Championships 2009-11-07
19:55.00 Rickert, Amanda Joe O'Neill Invitational (formerly Bellevue Inv) 2009-10-16
20:21.00 Weiher, Kristin Paul Short Run 2009-10-02
20:25.00 Braun, Elise Joe O'Neill Invitational (formerly Bellevue Inv) 2009-10-16



NXN Southeast Girls Top Individuals


1. Laura Hoer (T.C. Roberson NC) 

2. Kathleen Stevens (Blacksburg VA)

3. Joanna Stevens (Blacksburg VA)

4. Nicky Akande (Collins Hill GA)

5. Kaitlyn Davis (Mountain View VA)

6. Kathleen Lautzenheiser (Midlothian VA)

7. Haley Pierce (Tatnall DE)

8. Ariel Karabinus (Osbourn Park VA)

9. Jessie Rubin (Thomas S. Wooton MD)

10. Annie LeHardy (Hidden Valley VA)

11. Carly Thomas (Chiles FL)

12. Lilly Williams (Chiles FL)

13. Haley Cutright (Hidden Valley VA)

14. Kallie Fehr (Tatnall DE)

15. Marie Johnston (Midlothian VA)