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This weekend historically marks the start to the cross country season as there are more comprehensive meets with multiple top-ranked teams and individuals matching up. It's the first big weekend where we have an early-season proving ground for many to shine on the big stage.
One of the biggest meets in Texas and the nation that would normally take place this weekend is the Marcus I Invitational. This meet each year is where several of Texas' top teams and athletes race for an early-season proving ground. Many of the athletes who win this meet or place well compete at one or both of the National meets at the end of the season.
The 2016 Marcus I Invitational in Denton, Texas gave us one of those such matchups. The race featured to of the top athletes in the nation at that time; Flower Mound's (TX) Alex Maier, and Southlake Carroll's (TX) Reed Brown.
Brown -- who now runs for the University of Oregon -- was a senior while Maier -- who now runs for Oklahoma State -- was just a sophomore. The race was a close battle throughout but it came down to Brown beating Maier by only two seconds. The showing ultimately turned some heads -- most expected the race to be Brown's from the beginning, as he chased Craig Lutz's course record of14:53.60.
At the end of the season, Brown would go on to become the Team Nationals 6th place finisher and 2016 Foot Locker National Champion, while Maier would finish 5th at both Team Nationals and Foot Locker Nationals.
The course record didn't go down that say, but the race was quite the battle from start to finish. Watch the full race above and check out the results and more below.
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Marcus I Invitational 2016 Top 10 Results
|1||Reed Brown||12||Southlake Carroll||15:14.44||1|
|2||Alex Maier||10||Flower Mound||15:16.44||2|
|3||Wes Mcphail||11||Amarillo Tascosa||15:30.13||3|
|4||Matthew Young||12||Jenks High School||15:31.67||4|
|5||Briggs Wittlake||12||Amarillo Tascosa||15:31.81||5|
|7||Nicholas Fernandes||12||Southlake Carroll||15:40.45||7|
|8||Haftu Knight||10||Tyler Legacy||15:43.14||8|
|9||Conner Miller||12||Lewisville Hebron||15:46.76||9|