Five high school athletes accepted invitations to compete at the North American Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Cross Country Championships in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, on February 16, USA Track and Field announced recently.
In total, the USA Junior team will include 11 athletes, also consisting of collegiate freshman, and athletes were granted invitations following their finishes at the USATF Junior Cross Country Championships on February 2 in Tallahassee, Florida.
A total of 31 Federations within NACAC will compete at the National Championships, including athletes from Mexico, Canada, Hondura, Jamaica and Costa Rica, among others.
The list of high schoolers competing include: Grace Ping (Winona Cotter, MN), Heidi Nielson (Katy Cinco Ranch, TX), Graydon Morris (Aledo, TX), Colin Baker (Academic Magnet, SC), Noelle Adriaens (Pinckney, MI).
Those chosen to compete in the men's 8K race and women's 6K race were selected in team processing at the USA Championships, with the top six athletes in each race receiving invitations first, before deferments led to the team being rounded up.
Ping, who finished fourth at the USA Junior Championships and earned an automatic place at the IAAF U20 Championships in March, was the highest finisher of any high schooler accepting an invitation.
Nielson was sixth in the women's race, while Morris (7th), Baker (15th) and Adriaens (9th) all accepted invitations.
The USA team, which also includes senior men's and women's teams, will be coached by Boise State University volunteer distance coach Dave Mills and University of Wisconsin's Jim Miller, who's the head women's coach at Wisconsin.
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Full USA Team For The NACAC XC Championships
|Senior Men 10km||Reid Buchanan||Manhattan, Kansas|
|Senior Men 10km||Frankline Tonui||Colorado Springs, Colorado|
|Senior Men 10km||Abbabiya Simbassa||Colorado Springs, Colorado|
|Senior Men 10km||Joel Reichow||White Bear Lake, Minnesota|
|Senior Men 10km||David Elliott||Boise, Idaho|
|Senior Men 10km||Evans Kirwa||Daytona Beach, Florida|
|Senior Women 10km||Katrina Spratford||Providence, Rhode Island|
|Senior Women 10km||Hannah Everson||Colorado Springs, Colorado|
|Senior Women 10km||Jessica Tonn||Seattle, Washington|
|Senior Women 10km||Samantha Bluske||Toledo, Ohio|
|Senior Women 10km||Breanna Sieracki||Duluth, Minnesota|
|Senior Women 10km||Grayson Murphy||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Under 20 Men 8km||Graydon Morris||Aledo, Texas|
|Under 20 Men 8km||Reece Donihi||Phoenix, Arizona|
|Under 20 Men 8km||Adam Dayani||Carrollton, Texas|
|Under 20 Men 8km||Colin Baker||North Charleston, South Carolina|
|Under 20 Men 8km||Matthew Scrape||Pickerington, Ohio|
|Under 20 Women 6km||Grace Ping||Winona, Minnesota|
|Under 20 Women 6km||Heidi Nielson||Katy, Texas|
|Under 20 Women 6km||Rachel McCardell||Bloomfield Village, Michigan|
|Under 20 Women 6km||Samantha Corman||Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania|
|Under 20 Women 6km||Noelle Adriaens||Pinckney, Michigan|
|Under 20 Women 6km||Katie Dammer||Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania|