Here Are Your Eight At-Large NXN Team Selections

Girls No. 1: Portland Jesuit (OR)

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Club Name: Stumptown XC Club

Region: NXR Northwest

Place at Regional: 3rd, 105 points -- 10 point difference from 2nd

The Skinny: It's hard to argue against the merits of Jesuit, which has had the kind of season most teams would have wanted to emulate. The Portland-based squad, which had the luxury of being in the same state classification as No. 1 ranked Bend Summit in Oregon, posted a dominant win at the Nike Twilight Invitational on Oct. 5, then followed it up the very next week with an impressive 1-point victory over Lincoln at the Hole in the Wall Invitational on Oct. 12. The Crusaders finished second to Summit at their Class 6A State Cross Country Championships on Nov. 9 and they were third at NXR Southwest, just 10 points shy of second-place North Central (WA) High School. There's also this: Jesuit placed 11th at NXN in 2018 and it's been to the big dance over the last two seasons. 

Girls No. 2: Niwot (CO)

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Club Name: REAL Training

Region: NXR Southwest

Place at Regional: 3rd, 130 points -- 11 point difference from 2nd

The Skinny: From Sept. 21 up until NXR Southwest, the Niwot girls were undefeated in Colorado and elsewhere. That included a major milestone victory at the Desert Twilight Invitational on Sept. 27, when the Cougars defeated Cherokee Trail (CO), Downers Grove South (IL), Desert Vista (AZ), Air Academy (CO) and NXN-qualifier Valor Christian (CO). A convincing win followed at the team's regional championships and then Niwot put together the fastest overall performance from a girls team at Colorado's State Cross Country Championships on Oct. 26. The Cougars were third at NXR Southwest. 

Girls No. 3: Portland Lincoln (OR)

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Club Name: Red Bird RC

Region: NXR Northwest

Place at Regional: 4th, 128 points -- 23 point difference from 3rd, 33 point difference from 2nd

The Skinny: It's been a good season for Lincoln. There was the second-place performance at Ash Creek in September -- behind Jesuit -- the fifth-place finish at Bob Firman -- ahead of North Central and Bozeman -- and constant battles against nationally-ranked teams. There was the second-place finish to Summit at the Warner Pacific Invitational in October and the second-place finish to Jesuit -- by one-point -- against Jesuit at Nike Hole in the Wall. Lincoln did win its Portland Interscholastic Championship before finishing third at its Class 6A state championship in Oregon. 

Girls No. 4: Newbury Park (CA)

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Club Name: Newbury Park XC

Region: California, 3rd in merge

Place at Regional: 1st in Division 2

The Skinny: Newbury Park scored a CIF Division 2 State Championship win and was third in the merge, behind Buchanan and Great Oak. But beyond that result, the squad performed well at the Southern Section Finals earning a resounding win, and it finished fourth at the Clovis Invitational. 

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