Claudia Lane and Reed Brown Capture First Place Titles at the 38th Annual Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals
In the girls' 5K race, Lane won a wire-to-wire victory in 17:05 while Brown took control in the final quarter mile of the boys' 5K which featured more than 10 lead changes, en route to a 15:02 victory.
Lane, a first-time FLCCC national qualifier, took an early lead in the girls' race and cruised through a mile split of 5:18. Anne Forsyth (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was the only competitor to go with her in the early stages. Nevada Mareno (Raleigh, N.C.) closed the gap on the duo, overtook Forsyth, and turned it into a two-girl race between regional winners from the West and South. Mareno eventually caught the pace-setter going uphill two and a half miles into the race, but could not overtake her. Lane responded on the steep, downhill portion of the course and continued to pull away to the finish line. Mareno finished second (17:09) with Rebecca Story (Knoxville, Tenn.) placing third (17:36), India Johnson (Hilliard, Ohio) coming in fourth (17:46) and Forsyth in fifth (17:46).
In the boys' race, two-time FLCCC national qualifier Seth Hirsh (Omaha, Neb.) went out aggressively and continued to pick up the pace cruising through a mile split of 4:46. Brown took his first lead sprinting down the big hill on the first loop. At the two-mile mark, Hirsch and Finn Gessner (Madison, Wis.) were side-by-side (9:44 split) with Reed maintaining pace. From there, the trio of Hirsch, Gessner and Brown jockeyed for the lead numerous times. Brown's speed on the downhill the second time rocketed him to the front once again. Gessner was the last runner to lead before Brown used a final surge to pull away and break the tape (15:02). Gessner finished second (15:05), edging Hirsch (15:05). Talon Hull (Ogden, Utah) was fourth (15:08) and Alexander Maier (Flower Mound, Texas) was fifth (15:11).
The Foot Locker Cross Country Championships are comprised of four regional 5K races, which took place across the country in the Midwest (Kenosha, Wis.), Northeast (Bronx, N.Y.), South (Charlotte, N.C.) and West (Walnut, Calif.), culminating at the National Finals here today. This year's race sponsors are global footwear and athletic brand, New Balance, and Eastbay, a division of Foot Locker, Inc., offering product direct-to-consumer through its e-commerce site.