Foot Locker Northeast: Shute and Gordon Advance to Nationals

Watch highlights from the boys championship race.

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This past Saturday a few of New Jersey's top athletes took the long trip up to Boston, MA to compete for a chance at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. Liliah Gordon and Peyton Shute both moved on to their first National Championship cross country meet!

After a 10 year run at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, NY the Northeast meet moved to Franklin Park in Boston, MA this year. 

The move certainly shifted the attendance numbers for the Garden State, only seven boys and eight girls out of New Jersey schools competed in the Championship races. Compared to 33 boys and 20 girls from NJ just last year in NY.

The overall championship meet is set to take place in San Diego, CA on December 9th.

Shute Leads NJ Boys in Northeast Regional

Peyton Shute of Gateway Woodbury led New Jersey on the boys side running fifth overall clocked at 15:08.

This is Shute's first qualification for the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. He ran second during the NJSIAA Meet of Champions at Holmdel Park two weeks prior, time of 15:33, and earned a Group 3 State title the week before that.

Shute has one more high school cross country race to go and has committed to Cornell University for next fall.

The race was won overall by Ryan Pajak of Ringold (PA) with a time of 14:51.

Senior Nick Kuenkel of Cherokee finished 12th running 15:40, just outside of top 10 finisher advancement. This was his first Foot Locker Northeast competition, he'll be heading to Monmouth University next fll.

Senior Aiden Williams of Audubon 21st at 15:59, junior Mason Wassell of Highland Regional 60th 16:38, senior Tyler Husar of Montgomery 62nd at 16:38, sophomore Peter Simpson of Moorestown 38th 17:02, and senior Aziz Muhammad-Kane of Highland Regional 125th 18:10.

Boys Top 10 Finishers

Watch highlights from the girls Championship race.

Gordon Punches Ticket to Nationals, NJ Girls

Star junior Liliah Gordon of Northern Burlington ran to seventh recording a 17:51 and will be heading to San Diego for the Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals.

Gordon was 20th during the 2022 Northeast Regionals and 31st as a freshman in 2021. Entering this meet she was coming off a fifth place run at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions and winning her second straight Group 3 State title.

The race was won by New York's Zariel Macchia of William Floyd with a time of 17:13.

Senior Shaelan McNally of Paul VI placed 16th 18:31 and sophomore Blythe Dudley of Villa Walsh Academy 29th 18:48.

Emma  Zawatski of Freehold Township finished out her race 32nd at 18:51. Zawatski, the two-time NJISAA Meet of Champions winning senior, was split at the 2 mile with a time of 11:14 running fifth at the time.

Zawatski was 10th at Northeast Regional last year and finished 23rd at the Foot Locker (Champs) National Cross Country Championships.

This closes out a great high school cross country career for Zawatski who will be heading to the University of Colorado next fall.

Sadie Honig of Manalapan finished 46th at 19:12, Sophia Douglas of Somerville 59th 19:39, Leilani Gibson of Union Catholic 94th 20:50, Sadie Meloro of Northern Highlands 100th 21:08.

Girls Top 10 Finishers

Other Notes

Julian Cannon of Memorial WNY ran 17th in the Freshmen Sophomore race clocked at 17:37.

Samuel Cubides of Memorial WNY was 10th in the Junior Senior race with a 17:41.

In the Youth 3K Robert Dudley was eighth running 11:03.