The Top Seven Storylines At The Eastbay XC Championships

Natalie Cook Goes For The National Championship Double

With one national title in hand, can Natalie Cook make it two-for-two this cross country season?

After clocking a remarkably fast 16:03 to win the Garmin RunningLane Championship title last week, the Flower Mound (TX) senior shoots for national title No. 2 at Balboa Park.

Cook made it her race at RunningLane. The Texas state champion broke up a big pack of leaders a little after the mile mark and no one had the legs to answer. Cook extended her lead from there, and then turned it into a runaway at John Hunt Park. A few of the girls she ran away from are some of the same top rivals she'll see on the line again this Saturday.

Cook has been seemingly unbeatable for the last two months, dominating in wins at the UIL State Championships (56 second win), Eastbay South (35 second win), and at RunningLane (19 second win). It's not easy trying to keep pace with this Oklahoma State recruit.

Will she employ the same strategy as last week and try and take the legs out of the rest of the field at the midway point?

Could the hills do her in? Maybe someone on fresher legs can stick with her, but Cook has proven her strength time and time again this postseason and has asserted herself as one of the, if not the, favorite entering Saturday.