For the first time in 41 years, there will be no Foot Locker XC National Championships this Dec.
Organizers pulled the plug today in a tweet that cited the usual safety concerns but was scant on detail. There was hope that Foot Locker would persevere after the Nike Cross Nationals for teams pulled the plug in July.
Held at Balboa Park in California, Foot Locker only hosts a field of 40 boys and 40 girls that have survived regional qualifying championships by placing in the top 10.
To speculate, hosting the championships would probably mean moving the championships along with the West Regional qualifier, both held in California with stringent COVID restrictions and where the state’s high school XC season has already been cancelled until 2021.
Add to that the qualifiers with much higher participation. To wit: the 2019 Northeast Region qualifier included 11 states plus DC with a combined field of 536.
Unfortunate for everyone, including a trio of Nutmeg returnees who would have had national aspirations.
A native of Northbridge, MA, but attending Marianappolis Prep in CT, Sydney Masciarelli won the 2018 Foot Locker girls race in 17-flat as a sophomore. Last year she placed 7th in 17:19.
Conard sophomore Gavin Sherry, the 2019 CT state and New England champion, placed 14th last year at Foot Locker in 15:36 as a sophomore.
Statemate and fellow soph Aidan Puffer(Manchester) was 21st in 15:45.
Considered by many as the only true high school national championships, Foot Locker has produced a slew of future champions. One of them—2011 girls champion Molly Seidel—will be running the London Marathon tomorrow.