NXN South Will Be Blunt On Nasta!

MileSplit is on-site with coverage from the Nike Cross Nationals South Regional meet at Bear Branch Soccer Fields in The Woodlands, Texas. Complete results, race videos, photos, and interviews to be posted after Saturday's races. Note that meet management has made changes to the meet schedule in wake of the recent significant rainfall in the area.

The region is often jokingly considered as the Texas regional with the state always dominating the meet on an annual basis in sending the two auto team qualifiers and the majority of the individual qualifiers to nationals, but this year could see a little more variety and real competition from the border states.

In particular, the Jenks boys from Oklahoma are looking to become the first non-Texas team to qualify out of the region after defeating the best in Texas in the 6A state champions from Southlake Carroll twice earlier in the season. Southlake Carroll boys are attempting to win their fourth straight NXN South region title. The Woodlands and College Park boys were second and third to Southlake Carroll in the Texas 6A race and both hope to catch either Jenks or Southlake Carroll slipping it up in the mud or run well enough in the third spot to garner at-large consideration.

The Lewisville Hebron girls saw their boys qualify last year for NXN and the Marcus girls have seen their boys (2010 NXN regional champs) in the past make it to nationals as well, but both programs are looking to this year to be the year their girls get over the hump and move onto Portland. The Marcus girls were considered the top ranked team in Texas for most of the year especially after a win earlier in the season at the Nike South Invite, but the Lewisville Hebron girls overtook them two weeks ago for the 6A state title. 

The boys individual race has several potential winners led by Saucony Flo50 #19 ranked Carter Blunt, who won the Texas 5A state title two weeks ago in Round Rock with the fastest time of the day in 15:22, but the 6A state champion David Strome was just a tick slower at 15:23 and will also be in the race with Blunt on Saturday at Bear Branch Soccer Fields.

Strome raced earlier this season on the same course with a narrow runner-up finish at the Nike South Invite to The Cooper School's Pedro Nasta. Strome lost to fellow junior Blunt early in the season at two invitationals, but Nasta and Blunt have yet to race yet. Being a private school runner, Nasta did not get a chance to race and see the best in the state two weeks ago at the state meet.

New Braunfels junior Paige Hofstad is the defending NXN South Region champ after a 17:38 performance in last year's race and won earlier this season in an identical time on the same course at the Nike South Invite. While Hofstad is certainly capable of a repeat, the favorite for the race will be Devin Clark, who is undefeated this season in Texas including several victories against Hofstad. The recent University of Arkansas commit Clark has one of the fastest 5K times in the nation this fall at 16:40 and set the Texas State Meet course record two weeks ago in 17:10 to win the 6A title (Hofstad was 2nd in 17:18). Clark was 7th in last year's NXN South race. 


Coaches, Athletes, Parents and Fans,

The 2014 Nike Cross South Regional is just around the corner and we are so excited to showcase to the rest of the country what the South can do!  Each year the event has been growing and this year is no different.  In 2014, the Nike Cross Nationals Regional event will host a record number of participants, more state champion individuals and teams than ever before!
As can be the case when putting on events of this size, we are presented with challenges and this year the weather is stepping forward.  I am sure most of you have been monitoring the weather forecast and noticed Saturday looks rather wet.  Our primary goal for all of our participants and spectators is to keep them safe.   At the same time our goal is to provide a premium event and ensure we showcase the best the South has to offer on the National level.  
As a result, we have decided to alter the race schedule on Saturday to ensure our ‘Champions of 2014’ have the best opportunity to face off against each other and our ‘Future Champions’ get a taste of what NXN Regional competition is like!  The storm is looking lighter in in the early hours, so an altered schedule for race day is presented below.  Please know that these changes reflect the determination of Nike and its event management team in providing the safest environment for athletes and spectators alike. Good luck to everyone participating this weekend.  My sincere wish is we all get muddy and have heroic stories to share with our families and friends for the weeks and months to come!!
Juris Green
Meet Director- NXN South
7:30am Championship Boys
Rolling schedule from then…
Championship Girls
Open Boys A race
Open Girls A race
Open Boys B race
Short Course Coed 2mile