12.13.16

The Course To The Championship: Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals

On Dec. 10, high school’s fastest forty boys and forty girls took to the course in the battle royale of cross country races. Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals, held each yeah in Balboa Park in San Diego, California, is a display of true grit and toughness, and the competitors who step onto the line as one of the forty are the best the sport has to offer. These athletes are the future of American distance running, and all eyes were on them on Saturday, eagerly waiting to see who would prevail.

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The top finishers were senior Reed Brown (15:01.8) from Carroll Senior High School in Southlake, Texas and sophomore Claudia Lane (17:04.8) from Malibu High School in Malibu, California. Out of the 257,691 high school boys and 222,516 high school girls who began this cross country season, Brown and Lane are champions.

2016 Foot Locker CC Nationals Champions

That feeling of victory is something Matt Withrow knows all too well. The winner of the 2003 Foot Locker Nationals dropped by Eastbay to tell us a little bit about what makes this race so special.

“The great thing about Foot Locker CCC is that it’s one of the last true national championships,” Matt said. “In no other race are you on the line with just 40 guys. It’s an intimate race where you can really showcase your talent. It’s almost like the All Star Game of cross country in that way.”

“The amount of talent assembled on that line is ridiculous. And it’s a change from other meets in that it truly puts a spotlight on the individual.”
Matt Withrow
2003 Foot Locker Nationals Winner

Matt also gave us some insight into how it felt to be first over that finish line.

“You’re on the line with the best athletes in the country, and on that day, I just had it,” he explained. “I had the kick and I wanted it bad enough, and that was my day.”

“I can’t describe how it feels to go from thousands, to forty, to being the first one across the finish — especially up against the guys I was running with. I think it’s great that Eastbay and Foot Locker continue to make this meet a priority and a celebration of the sport, because there’s nothing quite like competing at the Foot Locker Championships.”
Matt Withrow
2003 Foot Locker Nationals Winner

Eastbay wants to congratulate Brown, Lane, and every other athlete who competed on Saturday.

Keep training. Keep racing. Keep grinding.
2016 Foot Locker CC Nationals Champions

2016 Foot Locker CC Nationals Champions

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