Finish of the GAXC Nike Boys Race of Champs.
Great American XC Festival:
Fun and fast times
The day may have started damp and foggy, but the 2016 Great American Cross Country Festival was a huge success, returning October 1 after a 1-year hiatus and with new presenting sponsor Nike. As the sun burned the fog off, WakeMed Soccer Park came alive with 2,000+ athletes chasing team and individual goals in 15 races, lining up to purchase Nike/GAXC apparel and get autographs and photos with Nike star Mary Cain, and enjoying a festive atmosphere -- complete with concessions, a bounce house, face painting, hula hoopsters and other entertainment.
The performances at this NXN Southeast Pre-Regional event set the course on fire. The biggest highlights:
- Brodey Hasty (Brentwood, TN) outkicked DJ Principe (La Salle, RI), 14:32.2-14:32.4, as both crushed the meet and course records in a thrilling Nike Boys' Race of Champions duel, establishing themselves as possibly the nation's best. Team-wise, St. Xavier, KY used its depth (16-second 1-5 spread) to overcome Brentwood's front-running and win its first ROC after 3 runner-up finishes.
- The Blacksburg, VA girls were deep, too, with Samantha Marin leading 69-point tally and a defense of their '14 ROC title. With national championship contender Kate Murphy triumphing individually (17:11.8) over Heather Holt (17:21.2), Lake Braddock VA snagged runner-up honors.
In the Shumake/Walker HBCU Challenge, it was North Carolina A&T State winning their 2nd straight men's crown (3rd overall) with 47 points -- holding off Hampton (70) and Morehouse (76).
Then it was Hampton notching their 5th women's title in 6 years with 37 points, ahead of NC A&T (59) and Winston-Salem State (70). Crossing the line first in the two races were Trey Simons of Morehouse in a near meet-record 24:47.2 for 8k and Darroneisha Lott of Coker College in 18:37.0 for 5k.
The NSAF would like to thank Nike for their support as presenting sponsors, including the Nike backpacks and NXN "Golden Tickets" presented to top 10 ROC finishers (with backpacks to top 3s in other races), the Anchor Awards given to each winning team's #5 runner, and the great Nike apparel.
Project Triple Jump: Next clinic rescheduled
We are looking forward next to our Project Triple Jump Clinic, January 12-15, 2017, at a Florida location to be determined, after postponing the Oct. 6-9 weekend due to Hurricane Matthew. While the hurricane did not directly impact the Brandenton/Tampa area, it did hit Nassau, Bahamas, which meant Head Coach Peter Pratt would not have been able to join us. But we eagerly anticipate Coach Pratt and Project Coordinator Macka Jones, as well as Dr. Margaret Ottley, leading us in January.
Our 2016-17 roster includes newcomers Koi Johnson (Dickinson HS (TX) soph) and Jasmine Moore (Mansfield Lake Ridge HS (TX) soph), and returnees Arielle Mack (El Paso Burges HS (TX) senior), Jalen Seals (Fort Worth Boswell HS (TX) senior), Allyson Weiss (East Ridge HS (MN) junior), Jordyn Lesh (Harpeth Hall HS (TN) senior), Marcus Floyd (Middleburg HS (FL) soph) and Saudia James-Heard (Curtis HS (WA) junior).
Over Labor Day weekend, the Project had another tremendous experience training in Nassau and earned a special segment on Bahamas national television.
Project Javelin Gold: Fabulous clinic at ESU
Our NSAF Project Javelin Gold 2016-17 campaign took off late last month at East Stroudsburg U. in PA and we could not have been more thrilled with the weekend. We welcomed five newcomers to the year-round program, joining our three returnees, and had a terrific overall group that grew as large as 40 athletes on Saturday. On top of that, we had elite coaches Jeff Gorski, Tom Putskys, Kimmo Kinnunen and Duncan Atwood all together with us for the first time, as well as the first Project Javelin presentation from Dr. Ottley.
The athletes were wonderfully diverse age/experience-wise, with our program kids mixed with young, middle-school-age neophytes, additional talented preps, a sprinkling of collegians, and '12 Project alum Sean Keller -- a 2012 Olympic Trials finalist as a prep and high school's #2 performer ever!
Our roster includes newcomers Ty Hampton (North Bend (OR) HS soph), Gavin Darcy (Dunmore (PA) HS junior), Joe Nizich (Central Catholic HS (OR) frosh), Lillian Hill (North East HS (PA) junior) and Skylar Ciccolini (Mifflin HS (PA) soph), and returnees Liam Christiansen (Academic Magnet HS (SC) senior), Roman Mitchell (Southeast Raleigh HS (NC) junior) and Meghan Owens (Mercer County HS (KY) soph).
Javelin throwers, coaches and enthusiasts: Plan to join us at our Project Javelin Gold winter clinic at LSU in Baton Rouge, Jan. 26-29, 2017!
NBNI: Countdown underway as indoor looms!
Athletes from around the country will soon start training for the 2016-17 indoor track and field season with the ultimate goal of making it to the 2017 New Balance Nationals Indoor. The annual 3-day championship extravaganza at the New York Armory will take place March 10-12, 2017, with our partners from New Balance, Runnerspace.com and many more.
NBNI was incredible in 2016, with 11 national records set, plus 16 national class records and 35 meet records. Please join us in 2017!
Cedric Walker Development Grant recipients announced
The National Scholastic Athletics Foundation is thrilled to announce its Cedric Walker Development Grant recipients for Fall, 2016. Grants have been awarded to 16 track clubs and high school track teams (see below) in honor of our late board member, coach, mentor and friend, Cedric Walker, who passed in March, 2013. The grants are intended to help teams and clubs purchase equipment, improve facilities, meet the needs of their student-athletes, enable coaches' education and much more. Please go HERE to read about the 16 recipients, more about the grants, and about the life of Cedric Walker.
Please send us your Signing Day photos!
To our Seniors (and parents/coaches, etc.): Many of you have committed to study and compete at your chosen college or university and/or are looking to sign when the Early Signing Period begins Nov. 9. We'd love to post your signing day photos on our social media accounts and would especially love to hear from our CSI and Iron Wood alums, Project Javelin and Project Triple Jump athletes, NBN All-Americans and GAXC standouts! Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or forward to our Facebook and Twitter accounts! Thanks ... and best wishes for your futures from all of us at the NSAF.
News You Can Use
Can you help us get athletes to the starting line this year? Please consider giving today to our 2016 Track and Field Kick-off Campaign. Since 1992, the NSAF has been a tax-exempt 501-c-3 not-for-profit organization with the mission to inspire youth to live active, healthy lifestyles, and to prepare them for future success. With your support at our NetworkForGood.com page, the NSAF can continue to provide funding for thousands of student athletes around the country; many of whom could not afford to do so on their own.
Our partners at NCSA: You can build a FREE recruiting profile with the The National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA), the Official Provider of Recruiting Education and Services of the NSAF. We have partnered together with them since 2010 to help parents and athletes navigate the recruiting process. Make your dream a reality with NCSA!
BULLET BELT™ is the Official Provider of Explosive Speed to the NSAF and Project Triple Jump, our Olympic Podium Elite Performance Program.
Bullet Belt can improve your block starts, build strength and coordination for acceleration, increase efficiency when sprinting and stimulate the neuromuscular system to recruit more fast twitch fibers. Click here to order your Bullet Belt™ today. Enter the code “NSAF” at checkout and Bullet Belt™ will donate 15 percent of the sale to Project Triple Jump. Purchasers will also receive a discount on their shipping costs as a thank you!