The girls of Fayetteville-Manlius (N.Y.), known as Manlius XC here, came into Saturday’s Nike Cross Nationals girls’ championship race in Portland with six consecutive titles under their belt. Yet, there were questions. F-M had, at the Eastern States Championships in October, been beaten for the first time in any meet in six years (by Tatnall DE) – though F-M had been without its #1 Jillian Fanning. Would they finally relinquish the NXN crown? Who would beat them?
The Nike Cross Nationals finally crowned its first two-time boys’ national champion Saturday. But it wasn’t those 2011 titlists that had ruled in record fashion all fall long – from North Carolina to New York – and had been favored, despite nearly stumbling last weekend in their regional. (Photo by Patty Morgan)
It’s fascinating how the history of Nike Cross Nationals has evolved in terms of comparing the girls’ and boys’ championships. With the girls, you had a program in Fayetteville-Manlius which has won six titles in a row -- not to mention another in the same state, Saratoga Springs, which has claimed three consecutive runner-up finishes. For the boys, however, there has not only never been a repeat champion, but no club has won two titles overall in the 8-year history of the event. Eight different NXN boys’ championships, eight different winners.
If you see Nick Ryan going out hard Saturday during the Nike Cross Nationals Boys Championship race at Portland Meadows, perhaps grabbing a sizable lead in the first mile, you best not let him go this time.
They are questions you’ve posed and heard regarding the Nike Cross Nationals girls’ team title every year since 2007. Why? Well, because until the answers change, what other questions are there to ask? Can the Fayetteville-Manlius (Manlius, N.Y.) girls (known here as Manlius XC) win again? And if not, who can beat them? (Photo by Pat Bendzick)
If you’ve watched US#1 Sarah Baxter destroy hallowed course records of Amber Trotter at Mt. SAC and Julia Stamps at Woodward Park during this epic 2012 fall campaign, you might have said, “Wow, she looks like she could be running with the boys.” (File photo by Pat Bendzick)
TERRE HAUTE – Nike Cross National regional titles are often won well beyond the leaders and deep in the packs following. On a day that was dry and mild, but with ferocious 25-30 mph winds, the 2012 NXN Midwest Championships – for the most part – were no exception. (Photo by Ken Moreland)
Six. That was the windchill at the Nike Heatland Regional Meet in Sioux Falls, South Dakota today at the Yankton Trails Park. Cold weather, however, took a backseat to some of the best cross country racing of the year at the Yankton Trails Park.
Steve Underwood previews the action from the Midwest regional in the Nike Cross series! Kroy (York IL) could qualify for their 9th National! (2011 File Photo by Paul Everett)