Williams, Frazier, & Hurysz Ready to Throw it Down in San Diego

Photo: (courtesy of SCRunners.com) Jake Hurysz of Eastern Alamance running to a 3rd place finish at the Foot Locker South Region.

Jake had a 9:48 track 3200m personal best coming into this XC season. His PR for 5k prior to the season was 15:57 . . . now, Jake's records are incredibly faster.

3200m = 9:08
5k = 14:46

Jake's time of 14:46 ties him for the fastest time in NC history. Ryan Hill, formerly of Hickory HS, also ran 14:46 when he won the South Regional.

1) How did your race pan out at Footlocker South?
At the start, I felt very very strong. We took it out at about 4:34ish. Going up the hill I had pretty good pop in my legs so I knew I could keep rolling. Coming through the final mile, I was gaining on Brandon Lord and Parker Stinson. I picked those two guys off and finished 3rd. Great race all around.

2) When you began the season, was qualifying for Nationals a goal?
Well, It was more of a dream! Haha. But after my strong showing at Wolfpack, it deffinately was more of a goal.

3) How does it feel to know you will be representing the South in San Diego at Foot Locker Nationals?
It feels amazing! To know that i'm apart of something that special, is an extremely good feeling. It also feels great to know that Blake and I will be teammates!

4) What are you looking forward to the most while participating in the Foot Locker Nationals festivities?
I'm looking forward to the race of course. But deffinately chilling at the hotel saturday afternoon. Hanging out by the pool and the beach. Playing a little beach football, too.

5) After Nationals, will you be taking a break? Any idea on indoor track plans?
Yea, I think i'm going to take off a week or so. Indoor is going to be a fun season for me. I'm going to run the elite mile at the Eastern Indoor challenge, head up to Virginia Tech and hopefully Boston! My team's also got a shot at the 4x8 title.

6) What are your goals for Foot Locker Nationals?
Well, I definitely want to run hard and finish in the top 15. I've made it this far, so why sell myself short?

7) Where are you headed to school next year?
The University of North Carolina! Go Heels!!

Photo: (courtesty of SCRunners.com) Blake Williams, 1933, moved well the 2nd half of the race to qualify.

Blake ran 15:18 on the McAlpine course at the Wendy's Invitational, looking smooth and winning by over 40 seconds. He made an improvement of 26 seconds to run 14:52 and finish 6th at the Foot Locker South meet.

1) How did your race pan out at Foot Locker South?
Before the race I felt great, loose and ready to go. I started right next to Kirubel Erassa and he took it out fast. I decided to sit behind him, unfortunately this didn't work and I was pushed way back into the pack. Slowly I made my way from around 50th up to about 20th at the mile with a 4:39. This was exactly where I was supposed to be and I still felt like I was running smooth and effortlessly. As I hit the hill i put in a small surge putting me in about 12th. But what made my race was the strong move I put on as I hit the lake the first time and moved up to 6th, hitting the two-mile at about 9:31 right behind Jake. In the woods i maintained pace and came out to the lake in an uncomfortable 8th place knowing that I had to move. I held on to whoever was in front of me and when I hit the final straight I gave it everything I could. I began to gain on Parker Stinson and when I passed him I knew I had a great day. I didn't even look at the clock because at the time, time didn't mean anything, I qualified.

2) When you began the season, was qualifying for Nationals a goal?

At the beginning of the season I wrote down a list of goal and put them on my fridge. Qualifying for Foot Locker was definitely on that list. But at the time I didn't really think it was too realistic but I was going to try.

3) How does it feel to know you will be representing the South in San Diego at Foot Locker Nationals?
It's the best feeling in the world! Wayyyy back I used to look at the qualifiers and think that they were gods. Now that I can be recognized with that accomplishment that so many of the greats achieved and during the fastest year in history! Its amazing, plus Jake and I get to be teammates!

4) What are you looking forward to the most while participating in the Foot Locker Nationals festivities?
What aren't I looking forward to in San Diego! Its all so crazy but on the top of my list is probably the race and the beach football I heard so much about.

5) After Nationals, will you be taking a break? Any idea on indoor track plans?
It has been a long season, so I will probably take some days off. I don't have any indoor plans at the moment though. When I asked my coach about indoor he said, "Why are you thinking about indoor you should still have 2 more weeks of xc left!" Of course referring to Nationals before I made it.

6) What are your goals for Foot Locker Nationals?
Top 15 for sure. I know that I have it in me and it's my last race of the season so give it everything.

Photo: (courtesy of SCRunners.com) Ravenscroft's Wesley Frazier has had s superb 9th grade year. She has capped it off with a 6th place finish at the South Regional.

1) How did your race pan out at Foot Locker South?
The first 200 meters was fine but by 400 meters, I was completely "boxed in" and I saw the lead group pulling away. I got into the open at about 1200 meters and mistakenly surged to try and catch the lead pack. I just about caught them at the mile but had used way too much energy, then had to go up the hill. Once we got down to the lake, I decided I would just get myself into a comfortable qualifying position and see how it went from there. The rest of the race felt pretty good. I was just unprepared for the way the first 3/4 of a mile can go at McAlpine.

2) When you began the season, was qualifying for Nationals a goal?
No, not a specific goal. Everybody talks about it, and you know it's there, but I never really set out to get there. I ran my races and maintained my training levels and it just came around.

3) How does it feel to know you will be representing the South in San Diego at Foot Locker Nationals?
I'm VERY proud to represent my Ravenscroft teammates, my school, North Carolina and the South Region.

4) What are you looking forward to the most while participating in the Foot Locker Nationals festivities?

I'm looking forward to getting to know all the girls and boys from the South better and meeting and getting to know as many of the runners from the other regions as I can.

5) After Nationals, will you be taking a break?
Not really. I have exams starting on Monday and lasting all week when I return. (I think my teachers are going to be very helpful and flexible on this though) But I will cut my mileage some and substitute some strength work and cross training.

6) You have managed to hold top form for quite awhile this season. You burst on the scene with your 17:49 on your home course in late August/early September and haven't let up. How have you maintained this elite level for so long?
I try to always analyze my form to achieve maximum efficiency, even though I never feel like I get there. I think it cuts down a lot on fatigue and prevents injuries. I guess it has either worked or I've been lucky.

7) What are your goals for Foot Locker Nationals?
I want to feel like I truly ran my best, made no mistakes and had no regrets. Then, I believe I can have a good idea of how I stack up against the best runners.

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