Track & Field and Cross-Country Bulletin for Oct 21, 2019

by Steve Underwood

Great Oak's victorious teams celebrate on the awards stage with Nike/Bowerman TC guest athlete Grant Fisher after their Nike ROC sweep! Photo by Walter Pinion.

Weather cools; performances heat up for GAXC/HBCU harriers

There were nearly 100 reasons to be concerned about the racing conditions for the 2019 Great American Cross Country Festival and Cedric Walker HBCU Challenge during the final countdown to the NSAF’s annual harrier extravaganza – as Raleigh-area temperatures climbed to 99 and 95 degrees the two days immediately preceding the event.

But Saturday, October 5th’s anticipated 20-plus degree temperature drop came through and blazing times were once again the order of a mild day at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. More than 3,400 athletes competed in the day’s 15 races and, along with their coaches, families, friends and fans, enjoyed the festive atmosphere throughout the morning and afternoon. Check out the highlights below for the record-breaking performances and more!


Tuohy, Great Oak boys establish new GAXC standards

With 2-time NXN Nationals champ Katelyn Tuohy (at right) racing WakeMed for the first time, as well as the return of the Great Oak powerhouse from California, the chances of records falling in the Nike Race of Champions battles was strong indeed.

GAXC and HBCU action photos by Walter Pinion.

HBCU Challenge: Return of NCAT men, 1st time for Fay State women

The Cedric Walker HBCU Challenge featured an intriguing mix of the “old” and the new. The “old” included North Carolina A&T State regaining the men’s team title they lost last year and the Aggies’ G’Jasmyne Butler (at right) winning her 2nd straight individual crown. On the other hand, new to the top of the podium was Fayetteville State U. in the women’s team race and Mathew Chesum (lower right) in the men’s individual battle.

HBCU team photos by Chris Coleman.

At left, the champion Fayetteville State U. women; at right, the victorious North Carolina A&T State men.

Other Highlights

Grant Fisher in the house!

We were thrilled to have Grant Fisher of the Bowerman Track Club as our Nike elite guest athlete. Fisher was a sub-4:00 miler while at Grand Blanc HS in Michigan (Class of 2015) and a 2-time Gatorade National XC Runner of the Year. At Stanford he was a 12-time NCAA All-American, winning the 2017 Outdoor 5,000m title and finishing national runner-up in XC last fall. He has a new 5,000m PR of 13:29.03 after joining the Bowerman TC this past summer.

Fisher signed autographs and posed in photos while handing out Nike swag at a special booth, held the tape for the Nike Race of Champions finishes, and helped hand out awards while posing for more photos. We wish him the best of luck in his professional career!

At right, Grant poses with some of his fans during the GAXC awards. Photo by Walter Pinion.

Grant Fisher profile | Interview with Grant

We love our partners and sponsors

The NSAF is grateful to have had Nike as its title sponsor and partner for the fourth consecutive year and for the GAXC Festival to be the Official NXN Southeast Pre-Regional. Nike provided us with a tremendous amount of outstanding apparel and swag, and we hope you came Friday afternoon or early Saturday to select your favorite items!

And even though the temps cooled down dramatically Saturday, we were very glad to have Gatorade, our Official Sports Fuel Provider, with us all weekend long. Thousands of athletes refreshed and refueled after hard efforts out there on the course.

We hope you also got a chance to try outstanding products from our partners at ElliptiGO, Roll Recovery and Jawku. The first two have been with us for our national class events for several seasons now while Jawku is one of our newest partners.

Finally, we thank The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, the Town of Cary and the Bone and Joint Surgery Clinic for their support. We hope you enjoyed your visit to the Raleigh/Cary area and that you will join us again in 2020!






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