Well its here! Thanksgiving weekend!!! Nike Cross and Footlocker Northeast Regionals are Saturday! Who has the best shot at punching a ticket to a National Championship??? For those that do not know the difference, Footlocker is just for individuals, no teams, and the top 10 finishers qualify for a trip to the national championship in San Diego, California. Souhegan’s Eli Moskowitz qualified and represented the 603 quite well last year. Nike Cross, NXN, was created to crown a National Team Champion. The top 2 teams in each region automatically qualify for the trip to the national championships in Portland, Oregon, but as Coe-Brown showed us in 2013, 4 teams across the country can nab an at-large bid to the meet as well. Individuals can also qualify from each region by placing in the top 5 individuals who are not on a qualifying team, as Oyster River’s Maegan Doody demonstrated last year.
This year, 4 NH teams are making the trip to Nike Cross Northeast Regional in Wappinger’s Falls, NY where the historical Bowdoin Park runs quite similar to Derryfield. Making their 4th consecutive trip, NH State Champions Coe-Brown girls (NH #1), running as Black Bear XC Club, will be attempting to make their 3rd consecutive trip to NXN. Like last year, when they placed 2nd, they are ranked 4th in the region entering Saturday. With an eye to the future, Souhegan (NH #4) is also making the trip and will run as Sabers Running Club.
Pinkerton boys (NH #1) are entered in the boys race for the first time as the Long Red Line XC Club. While LaSalle of Rhode Island is favored to make a return trip to NXN, Pinkerton showed at New Englands they can run with them, and anyone in the Northeast. Do not rule them out Saturday! Coe-Brown boys (NH #4) are also entered and will run as the Black Bear XC Club.
Top NH individuals making the trip include Exeter’s Violet Sullivan, Bedford’s Leya Salis, Merrimack Valley’s Kristie Schoffield, Londonderry’s Cam Dickson, and Kennett’s Nick Brown.
With NH State Champions Cam Daly and Maegan Doody making the trip to Van Cortlandt Park in NYC, it seems as if NH may have at least 2 representing the Granite State in San Diego this year. Daly the meet’s #4 returner is joined by Timberlane’s Liam Kimball as the meets #8 returner, represents NH’s best shot at punching the ticket to nationals. With additional names of Exeter’s Justin Carbone, Hopkinton’s Dom Repucci, OR’s Patrick O’Brien and Concord’s Alex Saveliev, the 603 team could place very high in the state competition.
While it is very difficult to pick Doody as a favorite to win the Northeast (Hannah DeBalsi is favored to win the whole thing!), it is not difficult to think she will qualify. If she is feeling better from her illness which plagued her at New Englands, Doody should place in at least the top 5 come Saturday. Also joining Doody in the Bronx will be top NH runners, Exeter’s Jackie Gaughan and OR’s Danielle Slavin.
Follow the links below to more information about each meet. Look for pics/recap over the weekend and Dave Scannell’s pics from Nike Northeasts!