Three Spokane runners—Andrew Gardner of Mead High School and Kendra and Nathan Weitz, both of Shadle—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 Nathan Weitz finished second and fifth in the Boys Seeded race, and Kendra Weitz was sixth in the Girls Seeded race.
This is the most qualifiers from Spokane in the Foot Locker Nationals since 1989, when four Spokane runners advanced to the national meet. And this is the first time in the history of the Foot Locker National Championships that a brother and sister have qualified for the national meet in the same 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 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.
Last weekend’s West Regional Championships also saw an impressive number of Spokane area runners named to All West Teams. Daniel Schofield of Mead, Travis Thorne of Ferris, and Brad Weiler of Ferris were named to the Male Frosh/Soph All West Team, and Brooklin Young of Mt. Spokane, Emily Stone of Shadle, and Alex Moore of Central Valley were named to the Female Frosh/Soph All West Team. Dayde Collins of Deer Park, Jake Hombel of U-High, and Conor McCandless of Gonzaga Prep were named to the Junior Boys All West Team, and Jess Mildes of Riverside, Calli VanderWilde of LC, and Cherry Taylor of Gonzaga Prep qualified for the Junior Girls All West Team. Kaden Woolf of Central Valley was named to the Senior All West Team.
The West Regional meet was one of four Foot Locker competitions held across the country. For the eighteenth 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:
1987: Chris Lewis of 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.
Nathan Weitz, Shadle Park H.S.
Kendra Weitz, Shadle Park H.S.