5 Pennsylvanians Set For Foot Locker Nationals

Patrick Anderson (Mount Lebanon)

Regionals Performance: Anderson dazzled at Foot Locker Northeast, running 15:17 for the win. He battled with strong Connecticut sophomore Gavin Sherry and out-dueled him in the last mile to capture the regional title in the fastest time ever by a PA boy at FLNE. His win was speed rated at 196, the best of his career.

Season Recap: Anderson has been on fire this season. A look on his MileSplit profile shows only first place finishes this fall. He racked up wins at major invites this season and dropped a 5K PR of 15:09 at the Legends Meet in Ohio. He broke the California University course record three times, winning WPIALs in a best of 15:41. At the PIAA State Championships, he rolled to his second straight AAA state title, crushing the course record to run 15:25. 

Nationals Outlook: It's a deep boys field with a number of contenders for the Foot Locker title. Anderson deserves to be mentioned right among the favorites for Saturday. His season-best speed rating from FLNE puts him right near the top.

Many consider Josh Methner to be the one to beat. The senior broke the Illinois state meet record and he won the Foot Locker Midwest title before taking second to record-breaker Nico Young at NXN. Texas stars Graydon Morris and Judson Greer (the FL South champ) will also be up there. New Jersey brings a strong contingent led by NXN eighth place finisher Liam Murphy, along with PTXC champ Jack Jennings and Kevin Antczak. Gavin Sherry, who was second to Anderson at FLNE, will also be in the mix. But make no mistake: PA's regional champ Anderson has the kind of confidence and toughness that few possess.

He was 29th last year at nationals. Anderson wrote about he found out about the death of his grandfather the night before last year's race. That news weighed on the junior Anderson and affected his race.

This year, Anderson just keeps getting better at the right time, and he'll be ready to fly on Saturday in San Diego. No Pennsylvania boy has ever won Foot Locker Nationals, but Anderson has the talent to chance that this weekend.