Great Outdoor Provision Co. Weekend 17 Preview

Elly Henes (Green Hope) is North Carolina's lone representative in Oregon this year. LIVE webcast begins at 12:30 Eastern.


Nike Cross Nationals (Portland, Oregon)



  • From a North Carolina standpoint, the main focus is whether Elly Henes (Green Hope) can continue the streak of impressive performances that she started with a breakthrough race at the 4A state meet.  After that 17:42 established her as one of the top individuals in the state, she ran her 10:47 in her first 3200 ever (at the Dash for Doobie).  Her next race was at the NXN Southeast Regional, where she finished 3rd against a strong field from states between Delaware and Florida, which is how she earned the trip to Oregon this week.  Now, she faces a different kind of course, one that focuses much more on strength with its hay bales and sharp, fabricated hills.  Just getting there is honor enough, but you get the sense that Elly isn't going to accept that as the end of her season unless she tries for one more big result.  Against this level of competition, any finish in the top 50 of the field would be outstanding; Henes' top 5K time ranks her 93rd in the country, although of course many of the runners ranked in front of her may be headed to Foot Locker, and some decide not to pursue postseason races.

  • From a national standpoint, there are some interesting storylines.  The Fayetteville-Manlius girls are racing for their EIGHTH consecutive national championship, which is absolutely astounding; this year, the F-M boys are also contenders, bringing a double title into play.  Also, the Arcadia boys are the only boys' team ever to repeat, and they have a good shot at a third title (which would be the first ever back-to-back wins in boys' race history).  Individually, 2-time defending champion Sarah Baxter (Simi Valley CA), who defeated Mary Cain last year and is undefeated in her entire high school career, is facing the toughest challenge of her senior season against Alexa Efraimson (WA) and Elise Cranny (CO).