Photos taken by Larry Rouse at the 2008 Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional
Stan Morgan had just started to coach cross country at Midlothian High School when the Lake Braddock girls were wrapping up their four year streak of Group AAA state team championships. Fast forward 20 years later and Coach Morgan is still at Midlothian and during that time has built a program to a similar statewide and nationally recognized stature of Lake Braddock as shown with the Lady Trojans recently matching the feat of four consecutive state cross country titles last weekend at Great Meadow. With only one senior graduating from their top 7, his team has a strong chance of becoming the first AAA school to win five straight state titles. The former football player and quarter miler on the track has become arguably one of the most successful high school cross country coaches ever from the state of Virginia. Most of Morgan's coaching success has came after the age of 60, but he has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. MileStat.com's Brandon Miles interviewed Coach Morgan following another state championship by the Midlothian girls.
MileSplit is onsite at each of the big meets post-turkey day... at the four Nike Cross Regionals (Southeast, New York, Northeast and California), and the first three of four Foot Locker Regionals (Northeast, South and Midwest)
Last fall the Foot Locker South girls squad ran strong from start to finish in San Diego, scoring a 1-2 finish up top and tying the Northeast girls for the team trophy. This year eight of the ten female Foot Locker qualifiers return, led by defending national champion Ashley Brasovan (FL) and 2006 national champion Kathy Kroeger (TN) (pictured above by John Herzog). The boys side will follow the lead of '07 Foot Locker qualifiers CJ Brown (TX) and Thomas Porter (VA). These could very well be the strongest boys and girls contingents for the South squad in some time.
Two months ago, Patrick Castagno’s Tatnall girls cross country team wrestled the Southeast’s No. 1 ranking away from Collins Hill with a sixth-runner, tie-breaking victory at the McDonald’s X-Country Festival at Maymont Park in Richmond, Va. Tatnall - albeit running as Wilmington (Del.) XC - strengthened its hold on the top spot on Saturday by overwhelming Collins Hill (aka, Suwanee XC), 45-72 for the NXN Southeast championship title. The schools will continue their battle at Nike Cross Nationals this weekend in Portland, Ore.
One week after successfully defending his Florida 4A state title in record time at Little Everglades Ranch, Melbourne junior Brian Atkinson powered his way to the NXN Southeast Regional championship.
Brian Atkinson had a fantastic day to won the race in 15:11 by three seconds. Melbourne upset Belen Jesuit to place as the top Florida boys team in 8th place, Tampa Jesuit was 11th, and Belen Jesuit 12th. Chiles girls were 7th place and Community School Girls 8th place. Erika Fluehr is top Florida girls finisher in 10th place with 18:11. While no Florida teams advance, Brian Atkinson can move on to the national meet in Portland. This is the first year NXN is accepting individuals as well was teams.
Photo by Larry Rouse There are several paths to compete at a national high school cross country championships. Ask Kathleen Lautzenheiser. As a freshmen, she competed alongside her teammates at the Nike Team Nationals in Portland, Oregon as the Midlothian girls were selected by a committee based off their championship season performances as well as big win at the Manhattan Invitational. As a sophomore, Lautzenheiser raced alongside the 40 best high school cross runners in the country in sunny San Diego at Foot Locker Nationals after qualifying from the South regional with a top 10 finish in the seeded race. Now as a junior, Lautzenheiser returns back to Portland Meadows and the Nike Campus, but as an individual qualifier without her team in the new format and new named Nike Cross Nationals (formerly Nike Team Nationals). This weekend in Oregon will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for the other individual qualifiers from Virginia and team qualifier Jamestown, but Lautzenheiser on the other hand is growing quite accustomed to making an annual trip to the West Coast every December for a national championship race. MileStat.com's Brandon Miles caught up with Lautzenheiser as she makes her second trip in three years to test her mud running skills at Portland Meadows.
Photo by Victor Arrieta One month ago, Josh Hardin was fourth in his regional meet in a time of 16:14. The Potomac Falls senior certainly timed his peak perfectly as four weeks later, Hardin is now headed to the Nike Cross Nationals this week in Portland, Oregon after finishing third at the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional with a personal best time of 15:14. Hardin, an 8th place finisher at the state meet in the AA race, was the top finisher from Virginia in the race this past Saturday in Cary, North Carolina and defeated two state champions in the process in Group A champ Ben Veilleux and Group AA champ Andrew Colley. MileStat.com's Brandon Miles caught up with Hardin as he prepares for a experience and race of a lifetime this weekend at NXN.
It seems that most Florida teams who extend their season will continue to do so at their traditional post-season meet of choice: Footlocker South's McAlpine Park in Charlotte, NC . But gathering their hopes of qualifying for NXN Nationals, a few of Florida's very best teams will be headed about 2.5 hours northeast of that destination to Cary, NC for NXN Southeast. Here is the latest list of Florida entries to NXN Southeast.
Photo by Linda D'Amato Girls virtual meet scoring for the championship race at Saturday's Nike Cross Southeast Regional at SAS Park in Cary, North Carolina. Based off the virtual scoring, projected finishes for the Virginia schools are 4th for Midlothian, 7th for Hidden Valley, and 8th for Blacksburg. Kathleen Lautzenheiser of Midlothian, Erica Howes of W.T. Woodson, Kaitlyn Davis of Mountain View, Annie LeHardy of Hidden Valley, and Amy Witt of Midlothian appear to have best chances of qualifying individually for Nike Cross Nationals ranked among the top 20 fastest times among all competitors.
The Kentucky Class AAA State Champion Daviess County Panthers have spent most of the season ranked somewhere in the NXN Southeast Top 10 currently ranked 4th with St. Xavier and Trinity usually listed as teams to watch. Well, tomorrow all three and Lexington Christian Academy are going to get a chance to prove themselves when they compete against 18 other schools/clubs in the NXN Southeast Regional.
In closing 2008 and looking forward to 2009, KYtrackXC.com presents the Top 10 Performances of 2008. These are based on the performances of Kentucky High School athletes only, during the traditional high school seasons and beyond.
Ben Veilleux and the Clarke County boys represented the "little guys" very well by racing and matching up well against the "big boys" and top teams and individuals in the Southeast region this past weekend at the Nike Cross Nationals regional. The Group A state champions finished only six points away from third place in the team standings to conclude the final season and race under the guidance of coach Dustin Sweeney, who has proven himself as one of the best young coaches in the state. Coach Sweeney has coached multiple state cross country and track team and individual champions, so it is only fitting that his top runner Ben Veilleux give him his first national cross country finalist in his meet coaching the Clarke County boys with Veilleux's fourth place and 15:14 personal best finish at the NXN Southeast Regional. MileStat.com's Brandon Miles caught up with Veilleux prior to heading out to Oregon this week for the Nike Cross Nationals.
It was a nasty day in Charlotte for the 30th Foot Locker South Region races, but a beautiful day for the ladies from North Carolina. 2002 was the last year a girl qualified for Nationals, but today two of them did. Kimberly Spano of North Meck finished in 8th place running 17:36 and Adrianne Soo of Durham Academy ran 17:39 for 10th. Kimberly Spano (left) & Adrianne Soo (right) qualify for San Diego. (photo: Hovis) Hovis Photo Gallery Broughton's boys finished 2nd at the Nike Team Regional held at WakeMed Soccer Complex in Cary. They finished behind Jamestown High School from Virginia, 115 to 155. Blake Askin led Broughton with a 10th place finish. (Photo: User BelenXC) Foot Locker Seeded Results: Seeded Boys | Seeded Girls NXN Results: Boys Championship | Girls Championship
Photo by Victor Arrieta Allison Homer of Blacksburg is the comeback story of the year in Virginia high school cross country. Homer's junior year was completely lost due to a hip injury, which doctors had told her that she would never run competitively again and recommended that she should try another sport. With the support of her teammates and faith of her coach, Homer went against the advice from the medical professionals, began training this summer to prepare for this cross country season, and surprised many by her return this fall to lead Blacksburg to another state title as the team's #1 runner throughout the season. The journey of a runner certainly can have its share of highs and lows. There were many lows for Homer last year between all the doctor visits to determine what exactly was wrong with her and being forced to stand on the sidelines and unable to run during the cross country and track seasons. She stuck it out though and was determined to not give up on the sport of running. As a result of persistence and refusal to quit, Homer now finds herself headed to Portland, Oregon this week to compete alongside some of the best high school runners in the country at the Nike Cross Nationals. The Blacksburg senior was the fourth individual finisher at the NXN Southeast Regional this past Saturday in Cary, North Carolina to earn an all expenses paid for trip by Nike to compete at the national cross country meet. There will not be a single runner in the field on Saturday who is more deserving of this trip and experience than the resilient Homer.
Recap of the Kentucky teams at the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional in Cary, North Carolina.
Meet Comment: Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional 2008
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