A Canadian born won the Footlocker U.S. high school cross-country championships over the weekend.
Grant Fisher is a junior (Grade 11) at Grand Blanc high school in Michigan. He holds a dual-citizenship and was born in Calgary to a Canadian father and American mother. His father is from Vancouver and his mother is from Texas. The family moved to Grand Blanc in 2001.
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Fisher won the San Diego, Calif., race battling into the final 100m with John Dressel, another junior from Colbert, Wash.
“I knew if I put myself in good position I had the ability to compete,” Fisher told us. “I didn’t think going in I was a sure shot at winning.”
Winning the American high school cross-country title is a big deal. Other past winners of the race have gone on to be very good collegiate and post-collegiate athletes. Some notable big names are Olympians Adam Goucher ( won in 1993) and Dathan Ritzenhein (won in 1999 and 2000). Chris Solinsky, the American 10,000m record holder, won in 2002, and 2013 NCAA champion Edward Cheserek won last year and in 2011.
Fisher competed for the United States at the world youth championships in Donetsk, Ukraine, in July where he set his PB in the 1500m of 3:50:30, winning his heat and qualifying for the finals. He finished ninth in the final.
“It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had,” said Fisher. “Competing on an international level is something that very few people get to experience. At that point I hadn’t even competed nationally, so competing on an international stage was really a big jump for me. […] You realize that the rest of the world has a lot to offer when you get to race guys from the other side of the world. It’s really humbling to realize that you aren’t quite as good as you think you are, and there’s always better guys out there. It was a very cool experience.”
His family comes back to Vancouver and Whistler to visit relatives in B.C. Grant enjoys skiing when he gets the chance in the rockies, but he’s also kept busy at home with other sports. He’s a competitive soccer player and in the fall he plays soccer with the high school team as well as excelling in cross-country. During track in the spring he plays with a club team. Last year, as a sophomore (Grade 10), he didn’t run in his state cross-country championships because his soccer team made the playoffs.
His accomplishments likely have the 17-year-old on recruitment radars in the U.S. running community and the win marks him as a potential big recruit for NCAA schools, but he says he’s just focusing on the next track season for now and not thinking about university choices just yet.
He does still have another year of high school, which means next fall he could have a shot at repeating as champion. Only four other men have won the race as juniors, Ritzenhein and Cheserek being two of them. Of the four others who won as juniors, all repeated as seniors.