Digital Mag Issues
VYPE Cross County Beat -- The Nike Event
November 20, 2012By Matt Malatesta of VYPE MAGAZINE - Houston
Cross Country - NXN – South Regional Qualifier
The Woodlands girls and boys teams finished second at the Nike Cross Nationals-South regional competition this weekend at Bear Branch Park in The Woodlands, earning an automatic berth to the national competition December 1st. Madi McLellan led The Woodlands girl’s team with an eighth-place individual finish. The Woodlands boys were led by Brigham Hedges who placed 15th and Adam Davidson who was 16th. Only the top two teams and top five individuals, not on a qualifying team, are awarded automatic berths to the national competition.
Kingwood girls were third and will be considered for an at-large berth. College Park was fourth, Kingwood Park was seventh and Katy was 14th. In a repeat of State 5A competition, Karis Jochen of A&M Consolidated was the female champion and Sandie Raines of Kingwood was second. Katie Jensen of College Park also earned a trip to the national championship by placing fourth. The Woodland’s Ashley Guidot earned All-Team honors by finishing 18th overall.
For the boys, College Park was fifth, Strake Jesuit was seventh, Friendswood was 15th, Seven Lakes was 18th, Conroe Oak Ridge was 19th, and Cypress Woods was 20th. Friendswood’s Ryan Teel, the 4A State Champion, placed fifth and qualified for the national competition as an individual. Other top Houston-area finishers were Brad Dohner of Klein Oak (10th), Frank Lara of Strake Jesuit (13th), and Xavier Jimenez of Freeport Brazoswood (14th).
The race is the largest high school cross country competition in this region of the country and features the best runners and teams from a five-state area. Leo Manzano, the 1500 meter silver medalist in the London Olympic games, was on hand to award the top athletes and sign autographs. Manzano is a native of Marble Falls, Texas, and ran for the University of Texas. He is a multiple Texas state champion and NCAA All-American.
Nike has hosted the national competition, known as NXN, near their corporate headquarters in Portland, Oregon, since 2004. The only other national competition for high school cross country is hosted by Foot Locker. It was started in 1979 and was formerly known as the Kinney Cross Country Championships. While the NXN competition features teams and individuals, the Foot Locker competition highlights individuals only, with four regional races to determine the final forty qualifiers. The Foot Locker South regional competition will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, next weekend. Foot Locker Nationals will be in San Diego, California, December 8th.