Alex Maier is the 6A state champion and Jarrett Kirk is the NXR South champion and they are both on the same Flower Mound team. It is very rare to have two elite level guys like this on the same team. We've seen this for the better part of two years with these guys, but tomorrow will be the last cross country race they will have as high school teammates.
They discuss this years experience and their expectations for tomorrow's race. Kirk is familiar with what is going on and what to do. Mair is also familiar with NXN and he is recovering from pneumonia that hampered him at NXR South. Neither guys will be easy to beat this weekend.
Vandegrift junior Anthony Monte talks about how long it took him to comprehend that he qualified for NXN individually. He survived a midseason lull as well as injury and sickness to recover and drop a gem of a race to qualify.
Getting a little overwhelmed with Nike offerings today, Monte promises to get composed and be mentally prepared for the big race.
Fort Worth Christian senior Carter Cheeseman admits to feeling bad at NXR South race, but also acknowledged the race was tougher than last year. Like last year, this is another shot at NXN and a national championship.
Being grateful for the opportunity to make it back, capitalizing from last year's experience and showing what he has got for this meet is priority. South pride and showing what they've really got will be an added motivation for the championship race.
Plano senior Ashlyn Hillyard is super excited to make her return trip to NXN. Continuing her outstanding senior season finishing strong is key. She will trust the race her coach has her run and go out and do it.
The Texas season conditions should have been adequate preparation for this meet. Hillyard's goal is to at least finish in the top 15.
Two South individual qualifiers that were surprises were Cruz Gomez and Edwin Gomez. Both Gomez' will have motivation to have the best race possible.
Cruz did not qualify from the regional meet, but he was awarded one of the five national At-Large bids. Edwin had a tough personal race. He found himself in the lead at one point then a mid race fall made him scramble and make a frantic dash for the finish line.
Representing their respective areas is important for both runners. Cruz, who is making his second NXN appearance is on a continuing respect earning tour for the Rio Grande Valley area and Edwin is putting it down for the El Paso area. Both areas are always deep and talented, and for the most part overlooked in terms of being good and having a rich distance tradition.