In the first year of the individual at-large bid, the decision making process was definitely going to be very anticipated.
Only five girls and boys who did not run or failed to qualify from the regionals throughout the entire nation would get a chance to be moved onto the national championship race.
Now that the boys selection has been made, we see that three of the Texas deserving candidates received their bids.
The 2018 UIL 6A state champion Alex Maier was a top candidate. The Flower Mound senior had found his groove and returned to his dominating self. He won his district meet, was second at regionals, and then captured the elusive state title he has chased for three years.
Maier did not have the NXR South race he would have liked, but things happen. The At-Large bid was implemented for a reason and there were few if any who was more deserving than Maier. Clearly the committee agreed.
He will join his teammate Jarrett Kirk and the Flower Mound girls who were both the 2018 NXR South champions, earning automatic bids.
This will be Maier's third consecutive NXN appearance, he was fifth overall in 2016 and was 14th in 2017.
The 2018 season has been an eventful one for Gomez. He added himself to the illustrious Rio Grande Valley list of elite runners by the amount of accomplishments he was able to rack up this year. He not only became one of the best runners from his region, but he ran to the top of national lists.
Gomez was on fire all season long and didn't slow down until the state meet where he suffered his first loss of the year. He finished fourth in the UIL 5A race ahead of his NXR South race.
Just days ago, he got back on track by winning the Foot Locker South regional race, which qualified him for the nationals in two weeks. The At-Large makes this the second year in a row to race at NXN for Gomez, when last year he finished 66th overall.