December 11, 2013—Last Saturday was a landmark day for Spokane’s top high school runners, as North Central teammates Kai Wilmot and Tanner Anderson finished first and third at Nike Cross Nationals in Portland. And on that same day, Mt.Spokane harrier John Dressel was runner-up at the Foot Locker West Regional Cross Country Championships at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt.SAC) in southern California.
Now Dressel will have an opportunity to add to to the luster of Spokane’s distance running tradition as he travels to San Diego this weekend to compete in the prestigious Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships, to be held Saturday at BalboaPark. Dressel qualified for the event by finishing in the top ten at the Foot Locker West Regional Meet in the Boys Seeded race.
This will be the second trip to Foot Locker Nationals for Dressel, a junior, who finished fourteenth in the national meet 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 in 2011. 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 RiverHigh 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 Dressel qualified last weekend was one of four Foot Locker competitions held across the country. For the twentieth 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, including Dressel’s aunt Lisa, who qualified for the race in 1988. More information on the Foot Locker Regionals and Nationals may be obtained by logging on to www.footlockercc.com.
Spokane Foot Locker National Competitors:
1982: Annette Hand, Central Valley H.S.—19th place, 17:58
1983: Christine Slentz, Lewis & Clark H.S.—16th place, 18:08
1987: Chris Lewis, Mead H.S.—12th place, 15:22
1988: Lisa Dressel, Rogers H.S.—25th place, 18:43
1989: Stuart Burnham, Ferris H.S.—7th place, 15:15
Greg Kuntz, Mead H.S.—16th place, 15:31
Sarah Schwald, Mead H.S.—4th place, 17:35
Carrie Moller, Rogers H.S.—14th place, 18:14
1992: Matt Davis, Mead H.S.—31st place, 16:51
Jessica Fry, Rogers H.S.—25th place, 18:58
1993: Matt Davis, Mead H.S.—3rd place, 15:08
Michah Davis, Mead H.S.—10th place, 15:24
1994: Skiy Detray, Mead H.S.—30th place, 16:08
1995: Isaac Hawkins, Ferris H.S.—12th place, 15:33
1996: Isaac Hawkins, Ferris H.S.—26th place, 16:29
2000: Michael Kiter, Shadle Park H.S.—23rd place, 15:41
2001: Jesse Fayant, Mead H.S.—10th place, 15:07
2002: Jamie Geissler, Mead H.S.—11th place, 17:53
2003: Evan Garber, Mead H.S.—15th place, 15:31
2005: Taylor Nepon, Mead H.S.—36th place, 16:14
Megan O’Reilly, Mt. Spokane H.S.—4th place, 17:36
2010: Andrew Gardner, Mead H.S.—4th place, 15:18
Nathan Weitz, Shadle Park H.S.—31st place, 15:52
Kendra Weitz, Shadle Park H.S.—36th place, 18:38
2011: Nathan Weitz, Shadle Park H.S.—3rd place, 15:21
Andrew Gardner, Mead H.S.—6th place, 15:24
2012: Andrew Gardner, Mead H.S.—11th place, 15:34
John Dressel, Mt. Spokane H.S.—14th place, 15:37
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