Seidel and Cheserek Claim National Titles at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals

San Diego, Calif., December 10, 2011 – Molly Seidel of Hartland, Wis., and Edward Cheserek of Newark, N.J., won the 2011 Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals (FLCCC) at Morley Field, Balboa Park in San Diego, Calif., today. The runners competed in perfect racing conditions, under clear and sunny skies with a temperature in the mid-60s.

In the girls’ race, Erin Finn of West Bloomfield, Mich., a two-time FLCCC National Finalist, dominated from the start, powering through the field and hitting the first mile in 5:20. Finn continued to push the pace maintaining her lead for the first half of the race.  Midwest Regional Champion Seidel, a senior at University Lake School, started to close the gap approaching the two-mile mark, separating herself from a chase group of runners. For the remainder of the race, the two ran neck-and-neck, until the home stretch, when Seidel was able to overcome Finn to capture the title in 17:22. Finn placed second in 17:24, and Laura Leff of Syracuse, N.Y., finished third in 17:34.

The boys’ race was virtually a two-man show between Cheserek and two-time FLCCC National Finalist Futsum Zeinasellassie of Indianapolis, Ind. The two runners battled for the lead, each unwilling to let go of the top spot. In one of the most epic finishes in the 33-year history of the race, Cheserek, the Northeast FLCCC Regional Champion, surged ahead to claim the National Title in 14:52, with Zeinasellassie, finishing behind him in 14:53. Nathan Weitz of Spokane, Wash., placed third in 15:21.

The Foot Locker Cross Country Championships is comprised of four regional 5K races, which took place across the country in the Midwest (Kenosha, Wis.), Northeast (Kings Park, N.Y.), and South (Charlotte, N.C.) on Nov. 26, and the West (Walnut, Calif.) on Dec. 3, culminating in the National Finals here today. The pre-race and race footage can be viewed online at