By John Jarvi
Local Sports Journal
Two West Michigan runners are among the entries for the Foot Locker Cross Country Regional Championship meets set for Saturday.
Chase Barnett, of Mason County Central, is listed as the seventh seed among the returning finishers for the 5K boys’ race. Barnett, bothered by a stress fracture in his foot at the start of the season, had a Michigan Division 3 state meet clocking of 16:00. He finished 29th a year ago with a time of 15:30 in the regional meet. Barnett’s 16:00 time ranks 11th among the 12 Michigan boys entered in this year’s regional.
Among the top entries on the girls side is Ashley Russo, of Kent City. Russo’s time of 18:50 in the Division 3 state meet places her 15th among the Michigan entries for the meet.
The Kenosha regional will have runners from up to 13 states and U.S. citizens living in overseas military installations for its field. Among the other states with runners in the boys’ or girls’ meets will be Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. North Dakota runners also are assigned to the Kenosha regional.
The schedule has the girls’ seeded race starting at 10:40 a.m., Michigan time, and the boys’ race at 11:25 a.m., Michigan time, Saturday. The meet will be using a cross country course at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
Also in the regional meet, the first five finishers from a given state will be combined to make up that state’s “team.” Medals will be awarded to each of the five runners on a state’s team.
All of the runners will be trying to advance to the Foot Locker National Finals meet on Dec. 14 at Morley Field in Balboa Park at San Diego, Calif. The top 10 finishers in the boys’ and girls’ seeded races in one of the four regionals will qualify for the 35th Foot Locker National Finals meet.
The Wisconsin regional races will be one of three meet qualifiers Saturday. The others will be for the Northeast entries in Bronx, N.Y., while the South regional will be at Charlotte, N.C.
The West regional is set for Dec. 7 at Walnut, Calif.