* An athlete from Lone Peak (UT) High School covers her face during the 2019 installment of NXN
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports
A change of course has been made by organizers of the national individual and team cross country championships.
Months after announcing a date for its Team Nationals Final in July via the organization's website, that date was removed from the website and replaced with a regional schedule.
Then on Friday, organizers announced -- officially -- that they would not be hosting a Team Nationals Final in December of 2021.
Before the cancellation of the year-end high school championship race in 2020 due to COVID-19, the company had held its Team Nationals Final in Portland, Oregon since 2004. The race began at Portland Meadows and since 2014 has been held at Glendoveer Golf Course.
The decision marks the second straight year that the organization's long-tenured High School Team Nationals will not be held in the United States.
It remains a devastating blow for Class of 2022 athletes who will not get a chance to qualify for a national individual or team championship final -- and that's especially so for programs like Newbury Park (CA) High School and Saratoga Springs (NY), the last two boys and girls team champions from the 2019 race.
Both squads continue to be shining examples of exceptional cross country programs.
But while Team Nationals has eliminated its national final race, the organization's regional installments will still take place across the U.S.
A year ago, a sea of alternative options opened up in absence of Team Nationals and Foot Locker Nationals. In November of last year, the RunningLane National Cross Country Championships turned into the fastest race of the season, with two historic boys and girls races held in Alabama. The second iteration of the RunningLane Championships is set on its return in 2021.
Organizers of Team Nationals confirmed on Friday via a statement that they would still be holding regionals in the areas of the Northwest (Boise, ID), Heartland (Sioux Falls, SD), Midwest (Terre Haute, IN), Southwest (Tempe, AZ), South (The Woodlands, TX), Southeast (Cary, NC), Northeast and New York (Wappinger Falls, NY). California will have a stand-alone regional in December, a week after its CIF State Cross Country Championship.
November 13, 2021:
- New York