Dateline: November 17, 2012 – The Woodlands, TX @ the Nike South Regional Championship: MXC closed out a fantastic 2012 season today at the Nike South Cross Country Regional. Or did it? We know the season was fantastic, but what we don’t know is whether it’s over for the MXC Boys’ Varsity. What a great quandary to have! – please read on…
The Nike South Regional is a qualifier for Nike’s Cross Country National Championship (coming up December 1st in Portland, OR). Nike holds eight Regional Championships around the country, with each Region’s top two boys’ and girls’ teams, and top five runners not members of the top two teams, advancing to the Nike National Championship.
At today’s Nike South Regional, the best HS cross country teams from a five state area (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas) toed the line in The Woodlands, just North of Houston, to qualify for the right to compete at Nike Nationals.
Marcus has been fortunate to have had a prior individual winner of the Nike National Championship (Craig Lutz (MHS ’11) in December 2009), and the last Marcus team to travel to Portland to compete for the Nike National Championship was the 2010 MXC Boys’ Varsity Team that finished 10th nationally.
Last year, the MXC Girls Varsity made the cut after a lay-off of a few years from competing at the Nike Regional, finishing 8th, with the Boys just missing the cut to participate. This year, both MXC teams qualified to compete. And after a long, extremely successful season for both teams, but one marked by some unfortunate late season injuries impacting both teams, the MXC Boys’ Varsity placed 3rd and the Girls’ Varsity placed 5th. In addition, Sophomore Logan Hendrix placed 12th overall in the Elite Boys’ division, earning 2nd Team All South Region honors, and Freshman Maddy Reed placed 18th overall in the Elite Girls’ division, earning 3rd Team All South Region honors. Click here to see Meet Results.
Pretty great day, pretty great season, pretty great all around performances, but that’s not all! Nike will pick four at-large “wildcard” teams to join the eight region’s top two teams. So, since the MXC Boys’ Varsity finished 3rd, the team has a theoretical 50% shot of being extended an at large bid to the Nike Nationals, with the decision to be made after the final Regional to be held next Saturday, with a Nike selection committee reviewing all wildcard candidate teams. Per the Nike NXN Guidelines: “four at large clubs will also be selected to compete using these guidelines:”
At-Large qualifiers into Nike Cross Nationals from the NXN Regionals: A total of four at-large club berths per gender will be awarded. Clubs placing either third or fourth in the Championship Division race at each NXN regional will move into a pool of clubs receiving consideration for advancing to NXN as an at-large qualifier. A committee of experts will determine the at-large qualifiers. Greatest weighting by the committee will be given to third-place clubs from the Championship Division race at each NXN Regional who defeated any eventual NXN Regional Champion in prior weeks. In order for this weighting to be employed for the third-place clubs, the victory must have occurred when at least five club members from the eventual NXN regional championship club competed in the same race as the aforementioned loss.
So, if you’re sensing some excitement for the Boys’ Team, you’re right. We await word from Nike this time next week as to whether the MXC Boys’ will be packing their bags for a trip to Portlandia and a shot at a HS XC National Championship.
And if you’re sensing an uptick in MXC’s overall performance from last year to this season, you’re right again! That’s got all MXCers, coaches, fans and team members, excited and raising hopes for an even better season next year given that the entire MXC Girls’ Varsity and its entire 2nd Team backing up the Varsity will all be back next year, and the MXC Varsity Boys will only be graduating a few seniors.
While the Boy’s Varsity’s season may not yet be over, we celebrate both teams’ great performances throughout this 2012 season. Let’s congratulate these teams for achieving the following major accomplishments:
five meet sweeps (i.e., 1st place finishes by the both the boys and girls varsity and junior varsity teams);
sweep of the District 5-5A Championship (including three of four individual championships Girls’ Varsity (Sydney Brown), Boys’ JV (Drew Guenther), Girls’ JV (Emma Blair), and a Boys’ Varsity 2nd place finish (Logan Hendrix) behind the State and Nike South Regional Champion;
both Varsity teams taking 2nd at the Region I Championship;
the Varsity Girls’ medaling at the TX State Championship taking 3rd, and the Boys’ finishing a very respectable 5th;
an individual State top 10 finish by Sophomore Logan Hendrix;
Logan, Junior Sydney Brown and Freshman Maddy Reed each receiving Texas All State honors by finishing in the top 15 runners at State;
the Varsity Boys’ medaling at the Nike South Regional taking 3rd, and the Girls’ finishing a very respectable 5th; and
Logan taking 12th, Maddy taking 18th, for 2nd Team and 3rd Team All-South Region honors at the Nike South Regional, and Sophomore Luke Page taking 4th and medaling in the Boys’ 5K Open Division.
Not a bad season, not bad season at all! And maybe, just maybe, not done yet!
Also a BIG THANK U to our incredible MXC Booster Club Board Members, Committee Chairs and other parent volunteers for their selfless dedication to the MXC team and program, and their can do effort and attitude helping to continue the long running championship legacy that is MARCUS CROSS COUNTRY!
With this past season’s accomplishments in mind, we can’t help but think that the future is bright indeed. We duly note the potential for MXC to build on this year’s hard work and year-end vindicating success and poetic justice by achieving future poetry in motion next year. That is, if, and only if, our returning MXC team members are willing to pay the necessary off-season and summer dues to make dreams a reality. Perhaps even Portlandia Dreaming!!! On that note, we wrap this season’s meet beat reporting with a final “forward thinking” poem:
Anything Is Possible (by Melissa Underwood)
Anything is possible, if you think it is worthwhile
if you’re willing to go the distance, to go the extra mile.
With determination and effort, you can often achieve more
because you don’t always get what you wish, but what you work for.
Dreams can become challenging, but no matter what the cost
strive to complete the task before you, and you’ll never end up lost.
So bring with you your goals, and leave your doubts behind
whether you think you can or can’t, you certainly will find
you’ll be right either way–so never quit, and this is why:
You’ll never become a failure, until you fail to try.
We hope every MXCer has a BIG SMILE 🙂 on his/her face, because you sure made the MXC Boosters smile today and all season long! 🙂 Three cheers to each MXCer – thanks for the memories, and thanks for all MXCers being and Running Like Champions.
Finally, the official Nike event photographer took some photos of MXCers at today’s event: (1) LH: http://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=304&do=photos&photo_id=298556; (2) MR: http://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=304&do=photos&photo_id=298567; (3) Boys’ Elite Start: http://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=304&do=photos&photo_id=298532; and (4) Girls’ Elite Huddle: http://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=304&do=photos&photo_id=298511
UPDATE NOVEMBER 25TH: Alas, the MXC Boys missed out on an At Large Bid this year. More motivation for next year! To see the at large winners, click on this link:
Mini Gallery follows: