Conn. Sophomore Hannah DeBalsi 2nd at Foot Locker

Tessa Barrett & Grant Fisher Capture First Place
Titles at the 35th
Annual Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals


San Diego,
Calif., December 14, 2013
‰ÛÓ Tessa Barrett
of Waverly, Pa., and Grant Fisher of
Grand Blanc, Mich., captured first place titles at the 35th
Foot Locker
Cross Country Championships National
Finals (FLCCC)

at Morley Field, Balboa Park in San Diego, Calif., today. Race
conditions were
ideal, with sunny skies throughout and the temperature
reaching 65 degrees.


the girls’ five-kilometer race, Barrett took control after a
swift opening mile
and never looked back. The boys’ race, however, was undecided
until the last
100 meters when Fisher unleashed his final in a series of
surges to take a heart-pumping
three-second victory, despite a valiant effort by Johnathan
Dressel of Colbert,


the girls’ race, Utah’s Lucy Biles (seventh in 17:43) set a
swift pace early
on, with the pack still bunched as it approached the first
trip through the
hilliest portion of the Balboa course. Just beyond the mile
mark, Barrett used
the downhill to gain her first advantage. 
The only runners to respond to Barrett’s decisive breakaway
move were
Iowa’s Stephanie Jenks (ninth in 17:43), who hugged her
shoulder for a few
moments, Virginia’s Caroline Alcorta (third in 17:31) and
Missouri’s Taylor
Werner (10th in 17:44). From there, however, it was
all Barrett, who
turned the final two miles into her own personal victory tour.
Barrett finished
with splits of 11:03 at the two-mile mark and 16:42 at the
three-mile mark en
route to her Foot Locker national title which she captured in

(Ed. note: Well hold on here. This is the official Foot Locker release, but truth be told, CT & New England champion Hannah DeBalsi, a sophomore at Staples HS in CT, moved into second at the base of the course’s final hill and then caught Barrett on the downhill. The gambit was short-lived as Barrett found another gear. The Penn State bound ace had set course records at every meet heading into states (which she won by 36 seconds) and broke the tape in 17:16 with DeBalsi 10-seconds in arrears. In addition, Phillips-Andover junior Anoush Shehadeh also earned All American honors (top 15), placing 4th in 17:35. You want the real deal, get the next New England Runner, we just went to press today!)

the boys’ race, Fisher won a dramatic back-and-forth duel in
the final half-mile
with Dressel. The race began with a large pack cruising
through modest splits
of 4:53 at the mile and 9:53 at the two-mile mark.  Dressel
made the first move on the uphill
opening up a sizeable gap. Fisher countered quickly on the
downhill portion
that followed. Dressel valiantly fought back, briefly
regaining the lead with
150 meters to go only to see his chances evaporate quickly as
Fisher unleashed
a vicious kick across the final 100 meters to break the tape
in 15:07 and earn
Foot Locker national championship honors.


Foot Locker Cross Country Championships is comprised of four
regional 5K races,
which took place across the country in the Midwest (Kenosha,
Wis.), Northeast
(Bronx, N.Y.), and South (Charlotte, N.C.) on Nov. 28, with
the West (Walnut,
Calif.) on Dec. 7, culminating in the National Finals here
today. The pre-race
and race footage can be viewed online at


Results and Photos are
available online at

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