by Jim Spier
The Ninth Annual Great American Cross County Festival was favored by great weather and great competition.
Ashley Brasovan of Wellington, Florida set a course record, winning the Girls' Nike Race of Champions in 17:05.6. Second was last year's champ, Kathy Kroeger of Independence, TN.
Mountain Brook, Alabama was the team champ with 75 points. They came into the meet ranked #2 in the Southeast and #7 in the U.S. Second was Collins Hill H.S. of Suwanee, Georgia with 99 points. They were ranked #9 in he U.S. and are sure to move up in the rankings. Southeast 7th ranked Oak Ridge, TN was third with 124 points, with Southeast "bubble" team Assumption (Louisville, KY) fourth with 133 points. Episcopal of Jacksonville, FL, coming into the meet ranked 3rd in the Southeast, coming off a big win against Eleanor Roosevelt of Greenbelt, MD last week, had an off day and finished fifth.
In the boys competition, favorite Sean Keveren won in 15:37.0, a course record.
The team competition saw a bit of a shakeup in the Southeast rankings. Coming into the meet, the ranked teams entered were as follows: 3) Baylor, TN; 5) Hoover, AL; 7) Parkview, GA; 8) Oak Ridge, TN. Also entered was Bishop Kellenberg of Uniondale, NY, the fifth-ranked New York school. Oak Ridge had a great meet, winning the Nike Race of Champions with 101 points. Baylor, missing one of their top 5, was second a 136 with Kellenberg 5th with 148. Close behind in fourth was Hoover with 154 points, followed by Parkview with 173.
Next year's meet is set for October 11, 2008.