Jesuit's Nationally-Ranked Boys Are Committed To RunningLane

* Jesuit's Michael Vocke after winning the LHSAA Class 5A race in 2021

Photo Credit: Louisiana MileSplit

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New Orleans Jesuit is coming back to the Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championships. 

After finishing 16th a year ago at the year-end national championships -- with their top runner battling through sickness -- Cullen Doody and Co. are chasing after history this time around on the fastest course in America, announcing on Friday that they have committed to the national-title race in Huntsville, Alabama for the 2022 season. 

The Blue Jays, MileSplit's fourth-ranked team in the preseason national rankings, return all seven members from that placement a season ago and also return the second-fastest 3,200m group in the country, based on the most recent outdoor season performances. 

"It will help us put a stamp on the season," Doody said. "The kids would love to go out on a high note and to go out on a bang. They love going out and running fast in the last race of the year and this will give us a chance to do this." 

Last year at the Garmin RunningLane Championships, Newbury Park captured history over 5K at John Hunt Park, running the fastest average ever at a national championship with a team-wide time of 14:14. 

The Road To The Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championships





Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championships Meet Page

MileSplit will be the exclusive home for Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championship stories and content and video. As we get closer to the national championships, check back for more. 

But they weren't the only team to achieve that feat. Cheyenne Mountain (14:49) and Portland Jesuit (14:58) also clocked times under 15-minutes, while Union Catholic (15:02), Grapevine (15:12) and Farmington (15:13) were all under 15:15. 

Doody, New Orleans Jesuit's head coach, has his sights set on his program chasing after that sub-15 team average mark. 

"The best kids in America have run on this course over the last two years, so you'll get to compare on this course," he said. "It's a course that has some history, even if it's recent history, it's history nonetheless and we're excited to go."

    Louisiana's state meet is positioned on the same week as another high-level regional, making scheduling especially difficult. 

    But as RunningLane was the only national championship on the calendar a year ago -- and was one of the few in 2021, when many organizations weren't holding races due to COVID -- and continues to evolve as a national championship race, Doody said he wouldn't have it any other way. 

    "RunningLane is an excellent meet," he said. "The course is probably the nicest course in America. I think there will be great competition, because they've had the national championship there the last two years."

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