Sunday, December 4, 2011

Nike National Cross Country Championships

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour

The Nike National Cross Country Championships are not an officially sanctioned high school event, but for the past eight years they've served as a way to crown national champions in the sport.

The teams don't complete as "true" representatives of their schools, but the bottom line is...these are the high school teams, and when you look at's latest rankings you can see that the event in Portland, Oregon, really was able to determine who is the best boys' and girls' cross country team in the nation this year.

Coming into the meeting, had Southlake Carroll (Texas) and Christian Brothers Academy (New Jersey) ranked #1 and #2 respectively.  Both schools were looking to cap perfect seasons.

On the girls' side of the equation, five-time national champ Fayetteville-Manlius (New York) was primed to make it six in a row.

The boys' race was extremely close with Christian Brothers Academy nipping Southlake Carroll 91-95 for the victory.  CBA's point total was a meet record and the 16:00 time was a course record at Portland Meadows Race Track.

The national championship is the first for legendary head coach Tom Heath, whose team was competing in its fifth national meet.  Heath has an CBA is currently on a national-record 315 meet win streak, and his school has won 17 New Jersey Meet of Champions titles.

Futsum Zeinasellassie of North Central High School (Indiana) won the boys' individual crown with a time of 15:03, which broke the course record by seven seconds.

The Fayetteville-Manlius girls won their sixth straight national title by beating-out their in-state rival Saratoga Springs. has the two schools ranked #1 and #2 respectively.

Sarah Baxter of Simi Valley High School in California won the meet with a time of 17:38.

Next-up the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in San Diego next Saturday.

Here's a look at the latest individual rankings from

1. Edward Cheserek, St. Benedict's Prep (NJ)
2. Futsum Zeinasellassie, North Central HS (IN)
3. Jack Leingang, Bismark HS (ND)
4. Darren Fahy, La Costa Canyon HS (CA)
5. Anthony Armstrong, Kamiakin HS (WA)

1. Julie Macedo, Tatnall (DE)
2. Molly Seidel, University Lake School (WI)
3. Carrie Verdon, Campolindo HS (CA)
4. Grace Tinkey, First Presbyterian Day School (GA)
5. Jill Fanning, Fayetteville-Manlius HS (NY)

**Note: CBA head coach Tom Heath and Southlake Carroll head coach Justin Leonard have both appeared on the NHSCA Sports Hour this season.

Click here to listen to interview with Tom Heath.

Click here to listen to interview with Justin Leonard.

No comments:

Post a Comment