PA poised to launch individuals and teams to 2 national meets

This is the big weekend for athletes and teams from Pennsylvania hoping to advance to Foot Locker Nationals December 8th in San Diego, and to Nike Team Nationals on December 1st in Portland, Oregon. There are two returning Foot Locker finalists, and a few girls who have been close, and this year have a great chance of advancing. And in the first year of the regional race for Nike Team Nationals, the top two PA boys teams and top-ranked girls team are aiming for the 4th NTN. As always, our previews are merely a guide, and NOT predictions. Our sister site of the MileSplit Network will be providing complete coverage of the NTN regional at Wappinger Falls, NY, while the team will cover the Foot Locker regional at Van Cortlandt Park in da Bronx.



Foot Locker Northeast - PA Girls


Neely Spence won Northeast Regionals in 2006, and is running better than ever this season, including the 4th best all-time 5K at Vanny, 17:19. (see her last two workouts below)

In many ways, Pennsylvania is coming into the 2007 Foot Locker Northeast regional with more promise than most years. Part of that is due to the two returning Foot Locker all-Americans, Neely Spence of Shippensburg and Carly Seymour of Central Cambria. As juniors, they went 1 and 3 in the Northeast, and 8th and 9th at nationals. Since then, they have improved their track times by a lot, capturing state championships in outdoor in the 1600 and 3200, respectively, and in cross country. Spence repeated in XC, and Seymour led her team to their school's first-ever team title, and garnered her 2nd state cross title after winning it as a sophomore. Spence and Seymour are in the best shape of their lives, and while their northeast match-up is their first of the season, the point of the day is to advance. Neither of these two can resist the call of competition though, so enjoy every second of the race because it should be under 17:30. 2006 state AA champion Kacey Gibson of Neshannock missed by just two spots last year in this race. She's more experienced, and her race schedule this year indicates she is aiming to improve to the top ten. Those three know they belong at the front of this race, because they've been there. Kara Millhouse of Boiling Springs belongs there as well. After three strong years, she has had a breakthrough season, running times that indicate she is more than ready. More indicative of her conditioning though are her recent workouts with Spence. Training never lies. If Millhouse trusts her training, she's in the race. Two other AAA girls should be in the top 15 most of the race battling for one of the coveted spots. Jess Cygan, Liberty, the fearless freshman who captured 2nd behind Spence at states, and senior Carly Hamond of Henderson, who was 3rd. Seymour, Spence, Gibson, Cygan, Hamond and Millhouse had the top times on November 3rd in Hershey. Also hoping to challenge for a top 10 spot are Megan Lutz, Nazareth Academy, the top PA runner at the Mideast Regional Nov 17, Lauren Zarger, Harbor Creek, who was 51st last year, Kate Ross, Central Bucks East, and Jordan Jenkins, New Oxford.

Carly Seymour was 3rd in 2006, and has been setting courses on fire all season, including an all-time best 2.5 mile at Vanny - 13:56.

Workout Wed 11/7 (Neely Spence & Kara Millhouse)

2 miles at 6 pace
3m rest
2x800 at 2:43  30 secs
3m rest
2x 400 at 73-74 30 second rest
3 minute rest
4x200 35 1 min between

Workout Wed 11/14
(Neely Spence & Kara Millhouse)
2x4 79 78  1 min  1 min
2x8 2:43 2:42 2 min 2 min
1 1200 4:10 3 1 min
2x8 2:43 2:40 2 min
2x4 73 70 (Millhouse: 74 73)

Top PA runners in alphabetical order:

Jenna Arnold, Engineering & Science
Jess Cygan, Liberty
Megan Ecker, Penn Manor
Cedelia Forshee, Phil-Mont Christian
Stephanie Fulmer, St. Pius X
Kacey Gibson, Neshannock
Carly Hamond, West Chester Henderson
Jordan Jenkins, New Oxford
Megan Lutz, Nazareth Academy
Kara Millhouse, Boiling Springs
Kate Ross, Central Bucks East
Carly Seymour, Central Cambria
Neely Spence, Shippensburg
Kasia Taylor, Engineering & Science
Lauren Zarger, Harbor Creek


Foot Locker Northeast - PA Boys

 Vince McNally, Chris Aldrich, Mark Dennin

This is wide open for the boys from PA. The favorite all season was Vince McNally of Conestoga Valley. Those who look at his states performance and read anything into it other than illness, can't read. McNally has been focused on this race for over a year, and never backs down. After getting decked in 2006 by the announcer, McNally will steer clear of people with microphones and should stay clear all the way to San Diego. Despite his 2006 fall, he was still 13th. Also aiming for this race all year was Chris Aldrich of West Chester Henderson. Aldrich is coached by Kevin Kelly, who has done this before with Ian Gottesfeld. Both know what they're doing, and 40th in 2006 is at least 30 places off for Aldrich this year. Not to be discounted, EVER, is a top runner from Boyertown. Mark Dennin showed incredible guts in taking the state AAA title this year, and was 3rd at the Mideast Championships. If anyone can aim for states and pull off a great run three weeks later, it's Dennin. Central Bucks West's Josh Izewski is a late charger, and his 31st place as a junior shows he has the experience to challenge in this race.

Top PA runners in alphabetical order:
Chris Aldrich, West Chester Henderson
Joe Beveridge, Bishop McDevitt
Chris Bodary, Bishop Shanahan
Nick Crits, Wissahickon
Mark Dennin, Boyertown
Josh Izewski, Central Bucks East
Matt Jacob, North Allegheny
Tyler Jones, Central Bucks West (out with stress fracture)
Greg Kareis, Red Lion
John Lacolla, West Chester East
Terence Lee, Engineering & Science
Dan Lowry, LaSalle
Mike Mahoney, Council Rock North
Vince McNally, Conestoga Valley
Justin Taylor, North Allegheny
Trevor Van Ackeren, Liberty



NTN Northeast - PA Teams

Pennsylvania is sending several of its strongest teams to the first regionals for Nike Team Nationals (NTN), now in its fourth year. Those include its #1 and 2 boys' squads, North Penn and Germantown Friends, plus its #1 girls' team, Emmaus. North Penn and Emmaus each captured AAA state titles on November 4th, and Germantown Friends – who finished tied for 2nd with Coatesville in PA's Top 10 –  almost knocked off Northeast #1 Danbury CT earlier in the season. PA#10 Cumberland Valley's boys also make the trip to Wappinger's Falls, along with Downingtown West. The Crestwood girls, who were 2nd in District 2 AAA, are also running in the championship race. Punxsutawney will put a team on the line in the Female Small Schools race.

Germantown Friends' last workout prior to NTN - Nov. 17
Max Kaulbach - Jake McKenzie - Isaac Ortiz
4x200 1 minute rest 35-36
Mile 3-4 minutes  All 3 at 4:59
800 3-4 minutes  2:30
Mile  Max 70-70-68-60 4:28   Isaac 4:45  Jake 4:50
Gus McKenzie  5:09  4:58
Tom Waterman  5:14   5:25
Eddie Einbender-Luks   5:30  5:09
Ross  5:30  5:18

PA#1 North Penn - AAA State Champs
and 2nd fastest Manhattan Invitational 2.5 mile team average



Germantown Friends top five
PA#2 with Coatesville


PA AAA State Champs and PA#1 Emmaus - raced the NTN course in September, and minus one of their top five, performed well.