Two Spokane runners—Andrew Gardner of Mead High School and John Dressel of Mt. Spokane—are headed to San Diego this weekend to compete in the prestigious Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships, to be held Saturday at Balboa Park. The runners qualified for the national championship by finishing in the top ten at the Foot Locker West Regional Cross Country Championships last weekend at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC). Gardner and Dressel finished fifth and sixth respectively in the Boys Seeded race.
This will be the first trip to Foot Locker Nationals for Dressel, a sophomore, but the third for Gardner, who finished fourth in 2010 and sixth last year. No Spokane runner has ever won the Foot Locker Nationals, which have been held annually since 1979, but Matt Davis of Mead finished third in 1993 and Nathan Weitz of Shadle was third last year. Two Spokane girls have finished fourth—Sarah Schwald of Mead in 1989 and Megan O'Reilly of Mt. Spokane in 2005. The highest finish by any Washington runner was second by Andrew Maris of White River High School (Buckley) in 1989. The highest finish by a Washington female was by Sarna Renfro of Bellarmine Prep, who finished third in 1993.
The West Regional meet where Weitz and Gardner qualified last weekend was one of four Foot Locker competitions held across the country. For the nineteenth straight year, over 30 Spokane-area runners had their airline tickets to the Foot Locker meet donated by the Lilac Bloomsday Association. The Bloomsday Association provides airline tickets and ground transportation to runners based on times at regional cross-country meets held in the fall.
Spokane area runners who have competed in the Foot Locker National Meet are listed below. More information on the Foot Locker Regionals and Nationals may be obtained by logging on to www.footlockercc.com.
Spokane Foot Locker National Competitors:
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