NXN Southeast: St. X & Manual Ready to Finish Top Two


Nike Cross Nationals Southeast

Saturday, November 28:
8:00 AM - Community Race
9:00 AM - Girls Open Race
9:40 AM - Boys Open Race
10:20 AM - Girls Championship Race
11:00 AM - Boys Championship Race

Last year the Daviess County boys made the trip to Nike Cross Nationals Southeast in North Carolina and returned with a third place finish.  This year the Class AAA Boys Champion St. Xavier will make a run at a top two finish which would earn them a trip to Nike Cross Nationals.  The ladies of duPont Manual, fourth place finishers at the Class AAA State Meet, will try for first or second in the Girls Championship Race at 10:20 am. 


The St. Xavier Tigers, running under the Club Name Louisville XC, came into the season as an early favorite to win this race with the super trio of Jackson Carnes, Thomas Mann, and Matt Hillenbrand.  But injuries and sickness made this past season a roller coaster ride.  The team had many ups and downs as Carnes was lost to illness three weeks into the season and Mann was returning from a back injury during track.  In the mean time a freshman and junior stepped up to fill the void this season.  Former Middle School stud Austin Carter, who has faced his own share of injury concerns in the last two years, decided he would lead the team finishing #1 overall at races including Great American XC Festival and the Region 3 AAA Championship.  St. X a team that is not lacking depth had freshman Conner Sheryak who spent the first half of the season running strictly Freshman and JV races.  By the Lexington Catholic Invitational it was obvious Sheryak was going to be part of the top seven if this team was going to still win the Kentucky State Cross Country Meet.


In the end this team fought through the adversity they were given and still took home the Class AAA Kentucky State title.  Thomas recovered and started to resemble the Mann of old leading his team with a 10th place finish.  The Tiger Pack followed right behind him with Hillenbrand 12th, Sheryak 14th, Ian McCaslin 20th, Carter 21st, Zack Beavin 25th, and Will Ford 34th.

The question is, can this team realize the original goal and still qualify for the trip to Oregon?



The ladies of duPont Manual are led by a tough trio of Elizabeth Anderson and twins Kristen and Cassidy Hale.  This team has the make-up of a Nike Cross Nationals qualifier, they just need a little lady luck to go their direction.  Anderson, a senior, (2009 All-KYtrackXC.com Team) ran the greatest three miles of her young life at the Kentucky State Cross Country Meet.   But with a couple hundred feet of the race to go she collapsed to the ground, eventually getting up and walked to the finish line still holding on 34th place.  The fact that she finished 34th is impressive because she was down for what seemed like forever.  In the end it was not their day to win the Kentucky State Cross Country Meet but could it be this Saturday. 


The Hale girls were solid as usual finishing 5th and 8th overall at state.  Cassidy won the Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic leading the Lady Crimson to a second place finish overall.  Kristen has been the teams hottest runner the second half of the season.  The key for Manual will be the 4-7 finishers.  They need Sarah Barker to be solid at #4 as she has been the entire season finishing Top 20 in several big time races including the Brooks Memphis Twlight Classic, Trinity Invitational, Greater Louisville Classic, and the Lexington Catholic Invitational.  Jasmine Athanasakes, Cristin Palmer, and the older Hale, Marissa must help unlock the door that leads to Oregon.


Can Kentucky go 2 for 2 on team qualifiers this Saturday?