NXR South BOLD Predictions

Where: Bear Branch Sports Park, The Woodlands, TX

When: 11:45 p.m. CT
States: AR - LA - OK - TX - MS

2016 Team Qualifiers: Keller (TX), Southlake Carroll (TX)

Top Individual Returners: 1. London Culbreath 3. Abbey Santoro 4. Elizabeth Reneau 6. Halena Rahmaan 7.Ashlyn Hillyard 8. Allison Wilson 9. Cate Tracht, 10. Quinn Owen

Team Challengers: 
Flower Mound (TX), Keller (TX), Southlake Carroll (TX), Hebron (TX), Marcus

Team Prediction: 1. Marcus 2. Hebron

Analysis:  So, you might ask, how could they qualify for NXN when they didn't even qualify for state? Heck, they didn't make it out of district. Well, they're Marcus, they're led by Quinn Owen, and they're coached by Coach Telaneus. But, they've also had a couple of weeks off from stressing and if they don't make it then that's fine because nobody expects them to do it anyways. Plus, it's not like it is unheard of for a Texas team to not make it to state and then come back to qualify for NXN. Check the results, the 2013 Hebron boys didn't qualify for state and they came back to get an automatic bid for NXN. Yes, I know this contradicts what I predicted on the MileSplit LIVE show when I emphatically said Keller and SLC, but a guy can change his mind, right?

Individual Prediction: 1. London Culbreath, Elizabeth Reneau, Halena Rahmaan, Ashlyn Hillyard, Gracie Morris

Analysis: This will be the London Culbreath show. She stated she is working on staying in the pack for most of the race, but then focuses on the second and third mile splits. Game plans out the window, it doesn't matter knowing what she will do, the execution is what seems to be her strong point right now. There are some very good girls who can ensure she is running a great pace and they aren't scared of her. That will make it that much more exciting. Because of that, I think Culbreath could go sub 17 on this course which is not easy to do. Reneau and Rahmaan will be in the mix and should get their second straight bid for their NXN South team. Hillyard is just as strong and fast as the others and are best in the second half of their races. Morris, well good luck in dropping her in a race.

Honorable Mention: Allison Wilson, Carrie Fish, Julia Black, Abbey Santoro, Isabel Van Camp, Heidi Nielson - All of these girls can easily replace someone on the above list. This will be an outstanding race and could come down to a crazy all out last 400m or so.

Where: Bear Branch Sports Park, The Woodlands, TX

When: 12:15 p.m. CT
States: AR - LA - OK - TX - MS

2016 Team Qualifiers: The Woodlands College Park (TX), Southlake Carroll (TX), The Woodlands

Top Individual Returners: 4. Alex Maier 12. Ace Castillo 13. Matthew Kearney 14. Buster Roberts 18. Gavin Hoffpauir 21. Carmen Fischer

Team Challengers: Flower Mound (TX), El Paso Eastwood (TX), Lovejoy (TX), The Woodlands (TX), Luling (TX), Southlake Carroll

Team Prediction: 1.  El Paso Eastwood 2. Southlake Carroll

Analysis: YOLO so, I'm going to put it out there. El Paso Eastwood has been running well all season long out west. I saw them with my own eyes at Region 1 and at state and they look like what the stats say they are. They are contenders and not pretenders. They had a bad day at state and still placed third. Normally, a bad day from a team out west would mean they're doomed. Being able to still make the awards stand is very tell of their capabilities. I know I know this prediction doesn't have the defending 6A champions prevailing on their home course. Well, stranger things have happened. Like last year, when TWHS won state and didn't get an automatic bid. Yes, I know this also contradicts what I predicted on the MileSplit LIVE show when I emphatically said TWHS and SLC, but again, a guy can change his mind, right?

Individual Prediction: 1. Alex Maier, Carter Cheeseman, Jarret Kirk, Graydon Morris, Ace Castillo

Analysis: This will be a race of the big dawgs and what a race it will be. The big question will be if Alex Maier is healthy or not. I think he gains enough health and strength to be able to qualify much like Sam Worley did when he went through the exact same thing. Maier has good physical strength from his baseball playing days and should rebound well. Carter Cheeseman will be one of the elite talents side by side with Maier. This could be a repeat of last year's race when it came down to a kick in the final meters with a slim separation margin between the top five to ten guys. I believe Jarret Kirk is a lock. No UIL individual state champion in the largest division has ever not qualified. That streak will not end this year. Stars from the 5A ranks will get in on the mix. Graydon Morris and Ace Castillo survived a blitzing pace at the state meet to run fast times and are in good shape for this race.

Honorable Mention: Haftu Knight, Buster Roberts, Carmen Fischer, and Gavin Hoffpauir should be in the mix for individual spots as well. This is not a slight at all as I can see them easily replace one of the other runners in the top five.