2016 in Review: A record-setting day!
After a foggy start, the 2016 GAXC Festival was a huge success. As the sun burned the fog off, WakeMed 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' ROC 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 a 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.