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??? Over the better half of the last decade, NH flexed its ‘per capita’ muscle with teams and individuals qualifying for with Nike Cross Nationals or Footlocker.
For those that do not know the difference, Footlocker is the older sibling for individuals, no teams, and the top 10 finishers qualify for a trip to the national championship in San Diego, California. Nike Cross Nationals, 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 Hanover showed us in 2007 and Coe-Brown showed in 2013, 4 teams across the country can nab an at-large bid to the meet as well. In 2017, Souhegan girls became the third NH program to qualify for a trip to Oregon. Individuals can also qualify from each region by placing in the top 5 individuals who are not on a qualifying team, as Bishop Guertin’s Caroline Fischer demonstrated in 2016, Coe-Brown’s Liz Danis did in 2015 and Oyster River’s Maegan Doody did in 2014.
With 3 weeks in between New Englands and the Northeast Regionals, many Granite Staters have chosen to bypass the regional to prepare for indoor track. However there are a few hearty souls heading down to Footlocker Northeast which will be up first on the famed Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, NY. Portsmouth Christian dynamic duo Liza Corso and Brianna Malone are on the entry list for the girls as is Monadnock’s Delaney Swanson. Windham’s Rohan Rai and his teammates, Trey Gonzalez and Cole Flenniken will also be making the trip to the Bronx. But keep your eye on the peeps from Phillips Exeter with both Will Coogan and Varun Oberai both competing with aspirations to make the trip to San Diego. Both are coming off a great tune-up at the 2-Mile postal last weekend with Coogan rolling to a 9:19 and Oberai to a 9:31,
This year, 6 full NH teams and several individuals are making the trip to Nike Cross Northeast Regional in Wappinger’s Falls, NY where the historical Bowdoin Park runs quite similar to Derryfield. For the girls NH co-#1 Souhegan (Saber Running Club) and Concord (Connolly Running Club) will be competing as will NH#7 Coe-Brown (Black Bear). While Souhegan and Coe-Brown have become perennial participants, Concord makes its debut. All three programs have bright futures with Concord hoping to be eventially the 4th school from NH to gain the experience of qualifying and competing in Oregon. Look for New England Champ Champlain Valley Union, VT to qualify as they are healthy and specifically trained for courses like Bowdoin Park (see Thetford Academy and Derryfield). Good luck to our friends from the Green Mountain State! Cali Coffin and Nashua South are entered in the Northeast Open Race.
On the boys side, NH#1 Coe-Brown and NH#6 Londonderry are slated to compete. Londonderry is young and looking toward the future while Coe-Brown find themselves as contenders for the first time. Although they had a hiccup of sorts at New Englands, Coe-Brown has had an incredible season which saw them set record lows with points and average times on a number of occasions. There have been many times over the course of this event’s history where teams jump up and surprise, and the Black Bears can be one of them.
Individually, look for NH State Champ Caroline Fischer as having a legitimate shot to qualify for her second trip to Portland. She has the experience and Bowdoin Park seems to be made for the Providence College commit. Souhegan’s Chloe Trudel also has a legit shot as well. Look for her over the second half of the race. Never count out Trudel’s teammates Mackenzie Hayden and Georgia Jones either. On the boys’ side, Mascenic’s Landen Vaillancourt joins Coe-Brown boys with hopes of truly competing for an All-Northeast finish in the top 21.
Follow the links below to more information and last year’s results about each meet. Happy Thanksgiving!!!