(Photo by Paul Everett) National championship fever is spreading across the country. The world of prep cross country begins its ascent to the national finals. Many will seek individual honors at either the historic Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships or Nike Cross National Championships. Nike Cross Nationals will offer the Team National Championship.
Photo courtesy John Olson, SCRUNNERS
MileSplit US will have on-site coverage at the Nike Cross Southeast Regional in Cary, North Carolina this weekend from Brandon Miles of MileStat.com and various photographers. Expect race videos, photos, interviews, and complete results to be posted soon after the completion of the meet. An in-depth meet preview highlighting the top ten teams and top dozen individuals is now available.
Photo Alan Versaw
Large numbers of North Carolina athletes competed today at one of two meets. The Footlocker South meet was held at McAlpine Park while the NXN Southeast Regional was held at WakeMed Park.
A fun hypothetical virtual meet for this Saturday's Nike Cross Southeast Regional based off current season best 5K times in theh MileSplit database. This should not be taken as educated prediction for the meet as some teams have raced on faster 5K courses than others this season and is simply a team score automatically generated based off times alone. Only includes runners competing on entered teams and no individual entrants.
Maryland state champion Andrew Palmer is the only returning boys individual national qualifier from the Southeast region, while Colin Mearns of Jamestown (VA) was one of the region's top finishers in both the region and national race alongside his team. Mearns is one of several of the top individuals in the race who will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing state meet by earning one of the five individual national qualifier spots reserved for the 12-state region. The Brookwood boys of Georgia are heavy favorites to win the regional title especially after impressing earlier in the season on the same course in a Great American victory. Florida state champions Christopher Columbus and Virginia state champions Mountain View are just two of several teams with hopes of sneaking in behind Brookwood for second place and an automatic berth to the national race in Portland.
Tatnall girls will be attempting to establish themselves as the model program that all teams within the Southeast region strive to become if they are successful on Saturday in qualifying for a fourth straight Nike Cross Nationals race. A trio of Virginia schools (Hidden Valley, Blacksburg, and Midlothian) will attempt to be the spoilers after battling it out with one another throughout the fall including a fourth meeting in five weeks for Hidden Valley and Blacksburg. Florida's top ranked squad Chiles is back to prove they are more than just fast times on flat courses in Cary after a disappointing showing last year NXN Southeast against the Virginia schools and Tatnall, while Green Hope girls of North Carolina are the darkhorse pick and looking fit after an impressive 3200 time trial recently.
After their third place finish yesterday at the Nike Cross Southeast Regional in Cary, the Hidden Valley girls had to play the wait and see game to find out if they would be selected as one of the four at-large berths given out after the automatic top two teams advanced from all of the nine NXN regional qualifiers. With a win against the best from Texas including NXN South team champions Southlake Carroll earlier in the season as well as defeating their district rival and NXN automatic qualifier Blacksburg twice in championship season, the selection committee determined that the girls squad from Roanoke was worthy of an at-large spot in the field of 22. Hidden Valley head coach Daniel King received the phone call on Sunday at noon from a Nike representative bringing the great news for the AA state champion girls team and Coach King (Watch Post-Meet Interview w/ Coach King). A remarkable season for both River Ridge district programs Hidden Valley and Blacksburg to advance onto the national stage and compete this upcoming Saturday at Portland Meadows in Oregon.
Last year the Daviess County boys made the trip to Nike Cross Nationals Southeast in North Carolina and returned with a third place finish. This year the Class AAA Boys Champion St. Xavier will make a run at a top two finish which would earn them a trip to Nike Cross Nationals. The ladies of duPont Manual, fourth place finishers at the Class AAA State Meet, will try for first or second in the Girls Championship Race at 10:20 am.
Video from the championship awards ceremony including the celebrations of winners Tatnall girls and Brookwood boys.
Entry list for the championship races for Saturday's Nike Cross Southeast Regional in Cary, North Carolina. MileStat.com will be on-site with coverage.
Midlothian junior Brayden Burleigh competed this past weekend at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon. The top runner on likely one of the top returning teams for next fall is anxious to make a return trip back to NXN and potentially with his team. His race at Portland Meadows was not spectacular with a 74th place, but the fact that he qualified was an achievement in itself as Burleigh (pictured by Cheryl Treworgy of prettysporty.com) was certainly not on the short list of Virginia runners expected to compete in a national race this season. The former Nike Indoor freshmen mile champion had a breakthrough cross country race at the NXN Southeast Regional with a 15:24 fourth place finish to earn the trip to Portland.
Coach King of Hidden Valley (VA) girls who finished 3rd in the NXX Southeast Regional and will be drawing at-large berth consideration.
Interview with individual runner-up (15:20) and #1 runner for the first place Brookwood (GA) boys, who are headed to the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland.
Kayli Buckley (NC) 20:05.1 and Marvin Ridge (NC) girls win the open race division at NXN Southeast Regional.
The Blacksburg (VA) twins went 1-2 in the championship girls race with Kathleen (1st, 17:14) and Joanna (2nd, 17:24) leading their team to a NXN berth.
D.J. Moniak of Jamestown (VA) won the open boys race in 16:43. Teammate Colin Mearns later won the championship boys race.
Colin Mearns (VA) 15:16 and Brookwood boys (GA) win NXN Southeast regional titles
Coach Castagno of the 2009 NXN Southeast girls champions Tatnall (DE), who will be advancing to their 4th straight NXN.
Kathleen Stevens (VA) 17:14 and the Tatnall girls (DE) win NXN Southeast regional titles
Interview with the #1 runner and 10th overall individual from the 2nd place NXN bound Christopher Columbus squad from Miami, FL.
Jamestown (VA) senior won the championship boys race in a time of 15:16.
D.J. Moniak (VA) 16:46 and the Albemarle boys (VA) won the open division at the NXN Southeast Regional.
Meet Comment: Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional 2009
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