In The Know: The Six Best Meets This Weekend

Great American Cross Country Festival -- Cary, North Carolina

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Breakdown: The boys' Race of Champions will feature a truly epic showdown between No. 2 Great Oak and No. 3 Loudoun Valley, with the winner gaining the first victory of what could be the first of two critical matchups this season -- the other potentially coming at NXN. Each team has incredible depth. But only one (Loudoun Valley) has a meticulous understanding of the course. Great Oak will have to defeat travel fatigue and the disadvantage of racing in Vikings territory. But the Wolfpack are capable here, and as a result the race should produce fireworks. Beyond these two teams, No. 11 Severna Park (MD) shouldn't be slept on -- the Maryland squad, on the right day, could even win -- nor should Bishop Hendricken (RI) and Belen Jesuit (FL). The individual race could be up in the air, with athletes such as Loudoun Valley's Carlos Shultz, Great Oak's Mateo Joseph, Greer's Coen Roberts and Green Hope's Thomas Vo all in contention, among others, for a title. 

Meanwhile, the girls ROC field will feature MileSplit50 No. 1 and two-time defending NXN champion Katelyn Tuohy, who's likely to put down her first big effort of the fall season. She'll go up against nationally ranked foes like No. 7 Jenna Hutchins and No. 24 Carmen Alder. The girls race for the team title will be intriguing as well, with programs like Great Oak (CA), Loudoun Valley (VA), Marietta (GA), North Rockland (NY) and Pine Crest (FL) all vying for the trophy. 

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