Fayetteville-Manlius High School takes Boys & Girls titles at 2014 Nike Cross Nationals: Mud, Glorious Mud, by Larry Eder

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Allie Ostrander winning NXN Girls title!
photo courtesy of Nike communications
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Tanner Anderson winning NXN Boys title!
photo courtesy of Nike communications
Updated December 2, 2016
This was the 2014 race, and it was a fun race to observe!
On a near perfect Northwest day for cross country running: a bit of mist, cool and cloudy skies, the 2014 NXN was an amazing testament to putting on a fine event and watching fans, coaches and athletes alike enjoying the Nike Cross Nationals.
That Faytetteville Manlius won both the boys and girls team titles was exciting. That the announcers, Toni Reavis and Rich Gonzales kept the fans updated with each move and kilometer by kilometer team scores is part of the patois of this event. That Chris Derrick added some experiential comments in the audio coverage added to a near perfect day.
And then, there was the course. Mud, glorious mud! Kilometer by kilometer, each of the five kilometers had one challenge or another. The mud was not thick, but enough to challenge, and the final hills, in the final kilometer were enough to get girls winner Allie Ostrander to consider giving up.
An honest course, with excited fans and athletes who wanted to run and see who was the best team in the US! Once again, Nike has shown that, with the right focus, and team, and a serious financial support, they can put on the best cross country event in the country. The NXN also shows that, with the proper support, our sport can have wonderful evens and venues. (Remember in 2012, when Nike held the hammer throw on campus? )
The Glendeavor Golf course is a perfect new home for the event. The course was easier to navigate for the fans, but not for the athletes. The course was a challenge, and the weather, high forties, with some clouds and wind, added to the mud and allure of cross country in the Northwest.
As many know, I use this event as a litmus test of Nike's support of real running. The kind that makes you gulp for air, fall over on the ground at the finish after having passed that final person in the stretch. Nike's Mark Parker, CEO, was there as he almost always is for this event. Mark and Jayme Martin, VP and Global GM were watching the races near the finish line. For Parker, this is one of those days where he can enjoy the sport and the hard work his team does in running. For Patrick Seehafer, new global running Nike leader, this is a chance to see how Nike is faring a year into his tenure.
For Galen Rupp, Evan Jager, Mary Cain and Shalane Flanagan, Nike superstars, it was a day to encourage the athletes. From Galen Rupp and Evan Jager high fiving the boys competing to Mary Cain greeting the second placer and congratulating her about her race.
One this wonderfully brisk Northwest day, in early December, the best teams in all the land battled for the title of NXN champion. One school, one town, Fayetteville-Manlius took the bragging rights today, and did it the old fashioned way. Manilus earned it, one muddy footplant after another.
Allie Ostrander, who had won her Alaska state meet on October 4. She spent the next two months training for this event. Her comments after her win, " I wanted this race so much. I had a dream about it last night." Dreams do come true.
Tanner Anderson ran his perfect race to win today. " I tried to push the pace." Tanner noted of his hard fought win.
I am reminded of the scene, just after the women's finish, about nineteen minutes into the race. As the girls kept finishing, they would make it through the chute and have to stop. No more energy, each step had taken its toll.
And then I was reminded of the short story, The Long Blue Line, by Kenny Moore. In the story, Kenny talked about running the perfect three mile and as one hit the tape, turning into water vapor.
Today, it was not water, it was mud.
Mud, glorious mud!

Under clear skies and in front of a cheering crowd, Fayetteville-Manlius High School's girls and boys squads, Allie Ostrander and Tanner Anderson delivered finishes to win the national team and individual titles today at the 11th annual Nike Cross Nationals cross-country competition:

Girls Team Winner:

Fayetteville-Manlius--New York region,

Manlius, NY, Time: 18:40

Boys Team Winner:

Fayetteville-Manlius--New York region, Manlius, NY, Time: 16:03

Individual Girls Winner:

Allie Ostrander--Northwest region, Kenai, AK, Time: 17:19

Individual Boys Winner: Tanner Anderson--Northwest region, Spokane, WA, Time 15:11

For complete results, please go to: http://nxn.runnerspace.com/

For Replay of NXN Girls race: http://nxn.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=13&do=videos&video_id=128505-Girls-Full-Race-Webcast-Replay-Nike-Cross-Nationals-2014

For Replay of the NXN Boys race: http://nxn.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=13&do=videos&video_id=128454-Boys-Full-Race-Webcast-Replay-Nike-Cross-Nationals-2014

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