Now Playing

Darren Fahy
Darren Fahy ruled the Stanford Invite with a 14:54 5k.






It's "Status Quo" for top contenders

Zeinasellassie holds on to #1 over Cheserek

The annual DyeStat XC Top 25 series are national and regional rankings of cross-country runners based on distance-running accomplishments to date, with an emphasis on XC and 3200/2M track results, rather than a projection of how the Foot Locker Finals or NXN Finals will turn out (predictions run later in the season).


If you were going to give a title to last weekend’s national top 25 individual boys action – you know, the kind you hear with certain slates of college football or basketball games, like “Super Saturday” or “Rivalry Saturday” – you would have to play on the fact on how little change there was and how almost all of the ranked runners who competed got the job done about like what you’d have expected.

Call it “Status Quo Saturday.”

Of the 13 runners in the top 25 who raced, 12 had solid victories (none over other ranked runners) and, well, each of those dozen ran well, but not quite well enough to move above the guy ahead of him.

The spot that is most worthy of debate is the highest one. US#2 St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) jr Edward Cheserek was displaced from the top spot after Futsum Zeinasellassie’s 50-second destruction of a state championship-quality field at the Flashrock in Indiana with a 14:36 5k on September 17. When Cheserek finally made his 2011 debut last Saturday, the result was nearly as impressive. On a challenging Garrett Mountain 5k course at the Passaic Invitational, he blasted a 14:53, beating Mohamed Khadrouhi’s 2004 CR by 22 seconds.

Outstanding, yes, and a solo effort in a race (in a meet with 4 varsity races, actually) where no one else came close to breaking 16:00. Still, Futsum’s domination the previous week over a far superior field – he didn’t race last Saturday, missing a meet due to a family wedding – was too much to overcome.

However, if Cheserek achieves his goal this coming Saturday at the Shore Coaches Invite at Holmdel Park, he will almost certainly regain the top spot. Another course record is in his sights, and it’s no less than the eye-popping 14:56 5k that now-graduated Joe Rosa clocked on Holmdel in 2009. Beat that, Ed, and you deserve No. 1.

So who else upheld his ranking in style last Saturday?

** US#6 La Costa Canyon (Encinitas, Calif.) senior Darren Fahy stayed unbeaten after his biggest test yet, the mammoth Stanford Invite. In the seeded race, he powered to a decisive 13-second win over Stockdale’s up-and-coming star Cameron Miller, 14:54-15:07.

** US#8 Bismarck (Bismarck, N.D.) junior Jake Leingang, with little competition in his home state, went east to St. Paul, Minn., for the Roy Griak and a chance to redeem a somewhat disappointing 8th-place finish in 2010. 15 minutes and 33 seconds later, Leingang had the biggest win of his still-young career and no questions he belongs in the top ten.

** US#10 Mead (Spokane, Wash.) junior Andrew Gardner hasn’t been tested yet this fall – that will change this week at the Sunfair Invite – but looked ready to take on all comers with a 14:38 3M course record triumph at the Mountain West Invite in Missoula, Mont.

** US#16 Chantilly (Chantilly, Va.) junior Sean McGorty was coming off two wars with returning Foot Locker All-American Ahmed Bile, so a letdown with lighter competition on the rugged Bull Run course would have been understandable. But McGorty hauled to a 15:53 3M, just 7 seconds off the 2008 CR of Foot Locker champ Solomon Haile. It’s tough to move up, though, when the guys ahead of you have been steamrolling courses, too.

** US#17 Chariho (Wood River Junction, R.I.) senior Mike Marsella rolled to a 31-second victory at the Manchester Invite in New Hampshire, continuing a breakout harrier campaign.

** US#18 Wenatchee (Wenatchee, Wash.) senior Jacob Smith and #20 Highland (Pocatello, Id.) senior Dallin Farnsworth both claimed closely fought titles in two of the Northwest’s biggest meets all fall. Smith outkicked Ramona (Ramona, Calif.) senior Dylan Blankenbacker by two seconds at the Nike Pre-Nationals at Portland Meadows, while Farnsworth won by five ticks over Davis (Utah) senior Brad Nye at the Firman Invitational in Idaho. Very good competitive victories, but not justification to displace those listed ahead of them.

This Week’s Newcomers

** US#21 Knight (Palmdale, Calif.) senior Bryan Guijarro, after his swift runner-up finish at Woodbridge (behind US#9 C.J. Albertson), debuts by ripping a 14:10 2.9M course record victory in the Bell/Jeff Invite. Elias Gedyon held the old mark. Guijarro was 23rd at D1 state last fall, then ran 9:06.70 for 3200 in the spring.

** US#25 American Fork (American Fork, Utah) senior Clayton Young rolled a 14:52 3M course record at the Nebo Invite, six seconds faster than graduated former teammate Austin West, earning him the last spot. Young was a state champ last fall and 5th at NXN SW.

Athlete - School (City, State)
1 Futsum Zeinasellassie - North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) Senior 1
2 Edward Cheserek - St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) Junior 2
3 Tony Smoragiewicz - Rapid City Central (Rapid City, S.D.) Senior 3
4 Jacob Burcham - Cabell-Midland (Ona, W.Va.) Junior 4
5 Anthony Armstrong - Kamiakin (Kennewick, Wash.) Senior 5
6 Darren Fahy - La Costa Canyon (Encinitas, Calif.) Senior 6
7 Thomas Graham - Cary Acad. (Raleigh, N.C.) Senior 7
8 Jake Leingang - Bismarck (Bismarck, N.D.) Junior 8
9 C.J. Albertson - Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.) Senior 9
10 Andrew Gardner - Mead (Spokane, Wash.) Junior 10
11 Nathan Weitz - Shadle Park (Spokane, Wash.) Senior 11
12 Daniel Vertiz - Reagan (San Antonio, Texas) Senior 12
13 Brock Baker - Oakland (Mufreesboro, Tenn.) Junior 13
14 Dustin Wilson - Chesnut Hill, (Philadelphia) Senior 14
15 Ahmed Bile - Annandale (Annandale, Va.) Senior 15
16 Sean McGorty - Chantilly (Chantilly, Va.) Junior 16
17 Mike Marsella - Chariho (Wood River Junction, R.I.) Senior 18
18 Jacob Smith - Wenatchee (Wenatchee, Wash.) Senior 19
19 Danny Martinez, Jr. - St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) Senior 20
20 Dallin Farnsworth - Highland (Pocatello, Idaho) Senior 21
21 Bryan Guijarro - Knight (Palmdale, Calif.) Senior NR
22 Garrett Sweatt - Edwardsville (Edwardsville, Ill.) Senior 22
23 Malachy Schrobilgen - River Forest (Oak Park, Ill.) Senior 23
24 Tsehaye Hiluf - Reynoldsburg (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) Senior 24
25 Clayton Young - American Fork (American Fork, Utah) Senior NR
Honorable Mention
Chris Allen MA, Elijah Armstrong ID, Thomas Awad NY, Tim Ball NJ, Kevin Bishop CA, Dylan Blankenbacker CA, Luke Brahm IN, Miguel Bautista CA, Danny Carney CO, Evan Chiplock MI, Nick Christeansen MA, Elliot Clemente FL, Michael Clevenger IL, Jason Crist IN, Jonah Diaz CA, Andrew Diehn IN, Brad Dohner TX, Robert Domanic TX, Josh Evans IA, Todd Ford IL, Christian Freeman CA, Chris Godwin FL, Sergio Gonzalez CA, Erik Harris ID, Nick Hartle UT Griffin Hay CO, Zach Herriott MO, Sam Hibbs PA, Tanner Hinkle MI, Kevin Hoyos TX, Muad Hrezi CT, George Kelly NJ, Alex Kimsey WA, Korey Krotzer WA, Leland Later IL, Alfredo Lebron CO, Dyeson Lends His Horse SD, Dan Lennon NY, Luis Luna CA, Virgilio Martinez TX, Tommy Meister WI, Cameron Miller CA, Bernie Montoya AZ, Jacob Morgan KS, Tyeson Mundy IN, Craig Nowak TX, Brad Nye UT, Cole O'Brien MN, Erik Peterson IL, Brandon Pugh CA, Connor Rog CT, Jordan Rushing CA, Nick Ryan NY, Ben Saarel UT, Russell Sandvold WI, Joe Sansone TX, Tate Schienbein IN, Carl Smith IN, Will Templeton TN, Jacob Thomson KY, Josh Thorson MN, Ryan Vargas CA, Drew White MO, Isiak Yorks WA

Exlpore ESPNHS Guy
Explore ESPNHS Girl