After the dust from Foot Locker Northeast settled at Van Cortlandt Park in New York on Saturday there were five New Jersey athletes lined up with tickets to San Diego, California for Foot Locker Nationals.
This is coming off a down to the line second place finish at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions the weekend before. Not only did Stanley finish ahead of Devin Hart, the Meet of Champions winner in that close contest, he also took down the top returner from last year's race Lucas Aramburu of Massachusetts. Aramburu came across the line in second at 15:37 leading a close pack of nine more qualifiers.
Before this meet Stanley had won six of his last seven meets at the invitational or championship level. That impressive run included a Morris County title, Sectional title, his second straight Group 3 State Championship, and that second place finish at MOCs.
Murphy is capping off a great first year of cross country which included a Mercer County Championship, sectional win, top five at Group 3 Championships, and a third place finish at the Meet of Champions. Before this season Murphy played soccer in the fall during his freshmen and sophomore year, needless to say he's very pleased with the decision to switch to cross country.
For Hart this is his second straight qualifying run for Foot Locker Nationals. Last year he finished sixth at FL Regionals before an All-American 10th place finish at FL Nationals with a time of 15:45. He was New Jersey's first All-American at the FL Nationals event since Liam Mullett in 2013, and looks to improved upon that performance this year.
With her fourth place finish at 17:49 this is the second straight Foot Locker Nationals appearance for Loveys, who was undefeated coming into this meet. The weekend prior the Randolph HS senior had won her first cross country Meet of Champions title. Last year she qualified with a ninth place finish at Regionals before a 33rd place finish at FL Nationals.
For Pingry's Vanasse this was sort of a redemption run and a solid way to cap off her season, with a trip to compete in San Diego, California. Unfortunately the weekend prior she had to drop out of the Meet of Champions due to illness but followed that up with this strong run. Not only that but her motivation stemmed all the way from last year when, as a sophomore, she competed in the NXN Northeast Regional and finished sixth just missing the cutoff for NXN in Portland, Oregon.
The 40th annual Foot Locker Nationals is set to take place on December 8th at Balboa Park in San Diego, California.
Past the Advancing Top Ten.
In the boys race Jack Jennings, a junior, finished 14th running 16:00. Kevin Antczak of Mainland Regional, 16:02, Colin Flood of Manasquan, 16:06, Vedang Lad of West Windsor-Plainsboro North, 16:15, and Austin Gabay of Cinnaminson HS, 16:16, all finished top 25.