Just three weeks until GAXC Festival and HBCU Challenge
The countdown continues for the 2018 Great American Cross Country Festival and Cedric Walker HBCU Challenge, coming up on Saturday, October 6. We are excited to once again welcome 1000s of runners to WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. for a festive day of top-notch prep and collegiate XC competition!
We are also pleased to have Nike as our main sponsor once again and that the meet will serve for the 3rd straight year as the Official NXN Southeast Pre-Regional. Joining us this year in the Nike tent will be superstar distance Shelby Houlihan (photo at right, courtesy of Nike), signing autographs and meeting athletes and fans! Shelby has had an amazing breakout year: She captured both the USATF 1,500m and 5,000m titles, ran the world’s second-fastest 1,500 time for 2018 (3:57.34), and set an American record at 5,000 (14:34.45)!
We can confirm that our 2017 Nike Boys Race of Champions titlists from Loudoun Valley, Va. will again be in the house! Loudoun Valley captured last year’s title with 62 points and went on to win the NXN Southeast and National titles, setting the lowest score in meet history in Portland. We are also hoping to see defending Nike Girls ROC individual champ Kelsey Chmiel of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., as well as the 3-time defending team champs from Blacksburg, Va.
Meanwhile, the question in the HBCU Challenge is will the North Carolina A&T State men (4 straight titles) and the Hampton University women (5 overall victories) continue their reign of dominance in this meet? We’ll be excited to see if that’s the case or if schools like Morehouse University (men) and Alabama State (women) can return to push them.
Finally, college/university men’s 8,000-meter and women’s 5,000-meter competition is now part of the Festival again for the first time since 2012. These will be run together with the HBCU Challenge 8k and 5k races, but scored separately.
Incredible joint Project clinic set for Phoenix
Our NSAF Project Javelin Gold and Project Triple Jump clinics have been known for not just the outstanding NSAF coaching staff that serves on a year-round basis, but also the legendary guest coaches who have joined us. Now, this coming November at the ALTIS training facilities in Phoenix, Ariz., we will be hosting a joint clinic that will set a new standard for the mentors working with our young Project athletes and any others who wish to participate.
Click on image at right to expand to full PDF!
2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Thomas Rohler and 2-time Olympic finalist Raymond Hecht, both from Germany, will be on hand to work with our javelin throwers. Meanwhile, 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Kenny Harrison and former World-Record holder Willie Banks will be present to mentor our triple jumpers. This, of course, will be in addition to NSAF javelin coaches Tom Pukstys, Barry Krammes and Kim Hamilton, and TJ coaches Peter Pratt and Macka Jones.
And, on top of this, to have the chance to train at the outstanding ALTIS facilties in Phoenix in November makes for a perfect marriage of great coaching, great facilities and great athletes! We hope you'll join us!
Time to submit your Cedric Walker Development Grant application!
Calling all track and field and cross-country team and club coaches: Can your team or club use some $$$ for equipment, and other needed resources? We have extended our 2018 Cedric Walker Development Grant deadline until September 30 – leaving you plenty of time to submit your application for a chance to enhance your team or club. The Cedric Walker Development Grant honors our late, great NSAF board member, coach and mentor.
NSAF/NBN stars highlight Youth Olympic Team
The Youth track and field athletes from the USA that will represent Team Americas in the upcoming 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires have been announced and it’s a group loaded with standouts with NSAF credentials.
- Skylar Ciccolini, Javelin, Mifflin County (Lewistown), PA senior – NSAF Project Javelin and Team NSAF Bahamas, US#1 177-0
- Malcolm Clemons, Long Jump, St. Mary’s (Berkeley), CA junior – NSAF Project Triple Jump, US#1 24-11
- Meghan Hunter, 400m, Provo HS, UT senior, Team NSAF Bahamas, US#5 52.59
- Charles O. McBride II, High Jump, Apex HS, NC senior, Team NSAF Bahamas, US#1 7-2.5
- Athing Mu, 800m, Trenton Central HS, NJ junior, NBN indoor/outdoor 800 champ, US#1 2:04.51
- Nicholas Ramey, 400m, Brookwood HS (Snellville), GA senior, Team NSAF Bahamas, NBNI 400 runner-up, US#2 46.20
- Grace Stark, 100m hurdles, Lakeland HS (White Lake), MI senior, NBNO 100H champ, US#1 13.16
Note: Rank is among prep returnees for 2018-19.
These seven will join other Under-18 athletes from The Americas (Canada, Mexico, South and Central America) to form a team that will compete against other continents. This is the 3rd Youth Olympics, following competitions in Singapore (2010) and Nanjing, China (2014), and includes many other Olympic sports besides track and field.