Rese Ammons was charged this weekend not with shooting the races, but with capturing the crowd, festival, and heart of the flrunners.com Invitational. Here is her take and her photos from the sidelines.
Timothy Nguyen, Nathan Dekrey, Matthew Streich
The Boys ROC was basically a replay of last year except that it was Jimmy Clark and Ryan Pickering both going sub 15 and 20 went under 16. The Girls ROC was fantastic with Kathryn Fluehr making a gutsy effort laying it on the line trying to get Brasovan's meet record, she was big in 17:04... five more with a crazy battle around 17:45 lead by (surprise!) Bridget Blake, then Kathryn Fluehr, Kacy Smith, Nicole Carpio, and Shelby Davidson.
The always entertaining Ralph Epifanio gives his take on the flrunners.com Invitational's Friday night happenings. He has also uploaded about 1000 photos from the Friday night events.
Check them at out also on http://www.andrewsphotogallery.com/. Available for purchase there.
These programs will NOT be available at the meet for sale or otherwise. So be sure to print your copy off today or before you leave for the meet. It is packed with information about the meet, records and history, race preview, team entry list, Chris Solinsky bio, etc. Download the PDF
With the string of amazing classes of Florida girls over the past five or so years, this race has seen some killer showdowns. This year should be no different with a stellar class and the perhaps top five girls in the state going head-to-head. The Fluehr sisters, Kathryn and Erika, are the odds-on favorite to repeat the 1-2 finish they had at FLR 10 last year. Returning superstar Stephanie Schappert hopes to mix it up, as do new starlets Kacy Smith and Shelby Davidson! Top teams including Lakewood Ranch, Estero, Lourdes, and Plant aim to lay a claim to "state's best" title as well. Can't wait!
Last year's Boys ROC saw 24 athletes dip under 16-minutes. Will we see those kind of numbers again despite a few key teams competing out of state? The boys individual race just got a bit more interesting with a last minute entry from Jimmy Clark. Following Ryan Pickering's big win last week, bragging rights for Florida's top male are on the line in this battle! And can anyone touch Elliot Clemente led Belen Jesuit in the team race?
Later this week will have an updated list of race seedings, a preview of the competition, and a printable meet program for you to have all of the info in a concise place. But here, for your perusal, is a look at what we've got going on this year and the AMAZING stuff that Nike is doing with us. Seriously, props to Nike, because they are hooking you guys up with some amazing free stuff.
I have compiled the team entries and seeded them into their appropriate races. Please have a look and see if there are any problems or anyone missing. The entry deadline is Sunday at midnight. Our Saturday high school races are completely full, but the other races are still accepting entries.
The entry deadline is coming up in less than a week (Sunday, September 26) and so far we have 175 schools signed up! Here is the "final" list of the Race of Champions teams.
We are very happy to announce that the flrunners.com Invitational 11 Presented by Nike will be webcast live here on flrunners.com and will also be rebroadcast on TV in a 30 minute highlight package on BrightHouse Networks in the Central Florida area.
Thank you to everyone for your great feedback after our first round of ROC invitations. Here is the second round that reflects feedback we received and early season results. The final round of invitations will go out next week after we have another week of meet results to review. Please send your feedback and any questions you have. If you haven't entered already please do so!! The deadline is coming quick.
Over the past decade, the flrunners.com Invitational has showcased the top teams and individuals in Florida with some legendary battles. This year is no different and our elite field is packed. If you are unfamiliar with how our meet works, teams request which day they want to race on (elite races are on Saturday) and then we seed those choosing to compete on Saturday by strength: the ROC, the Invitational, or the Open. Based on the entries so far that have selected Saturday, here are the teams invited to race in the R-O-C!
Check out the beautiful new course map that Robert Brown just sent me! I didn't even ask him to do it, but I love it... this is perfect if you want to print something out. Robert is a t-shirt designer near Ft. Myers and does a lot of the work for meets down there. He can hook you up with a map and/or some shirts for your meet (his designs are out of this world and good prices to). Check out his shiny new web site. And click on this article for a larger, printable view of the map.
Nike and flrunners.com are partnering again this year to bring you the FLRUNNERS.COM INVITATIONAL 11 PRESENTED BY NIKE. We are excited to renew our vow to bring you a high-quality meet that is among the largest, more competitive, and well-run cross country meets in the country. As part of that announcement, we are pumped to be able to finally tell you that our special guest this year will be newly-minted American 10K record-holder and Nike athlete CHRIS SOLINKSY. We hope it will be the meet you circle on your calendar and look back on fondly for years to come!