Reiser qualifies for national meet in San Diego

McHenry junior Jesse Reiser has a Class 3A state runner-up finish and was chosen Northwest Herald Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, but his running season is not yet finished.

Reiser qualified Saturday from the Foot Locker Midwest Cross Country Championships with a third-place finish at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha.

Grant Fisher, of Grand Blanc, Mich., won the race in 15:02, while Addison DeHaven, of Brookings, S.D., was second in 15:09. Reiser finished in 15:11, just ahead of five runners who were at 15:20 or faster.

Reiser qualified previously from the Nike Regional Cross Country Championships and will run the Nike National Meet on Saturday in Portland, Ore. He then will head to San Diego on Dec. 14 for the Foot Locker National Meet.

Jacobs junior Lauren Van Vlierbergen, the Northwest Herald Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, took 20th in the girls race in 18:17, but did not qualify for nationals. Only the top-10 finishers advanced.

“Foot Locker was a little tougher (than Nike) because there were so many more states here,” Reiser said. “For the first two miles, there was a group of about 50 guys, really compacted, so I just tried to stick with the top group and draft off those guys. The last mile about seven of us left and we started rolling.

“I’m ecstatic. It’s an amazing feeling. I can’t wait.”

One of the benefits of going to San Diego will be a trip to the beach. O’Fallon senior Patrick Perrier, the Illinois Class 3A state champion, told Reiser about that from past experience.

“I felt a lot better today than I did at Nike regionals,” Reiser said. “That was a plus.”