Saturday, February 4, 2023

Dragon Runners Grab Top 20 Finishes at Nike Cross Nationals

PORTLAND –The Southlake Cross Country & Track Club’s top 7 boys and top 7 girls teams competed against the best runners in the nation at Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon on Saturday.

The girls came away with 15th in the nation and the boys took 16th in the nation. This is the 12th year that Nike has hosted this prestigious meet for the top two boys and top two girls teams in each of the eight regions around the country. Rain and temperatures in the mid-40’s were familiar conditions for these runners as they navigated the race at the Glendover Golf Course filled with hills and plenty of mud.

The girls’ team entered the race as the South Region champions and placed 15th. Kayli Jones came across the finish line first for the girls team, coming in 92nd place overall. Next was Cate Tracht coming in 110th place, Alison Esparza came in 116th, Gillian Mortimer placed 118th, Olivia Arriaza 123rd, Tig Archer 141st and Sarah Odneal 176th.

The boys’ team placed 16th and was led by Reed Brown who came in 14th place overall, earning him All-American honors. Charlie Gardner crossed the line next for the Southlake boys in 73rd place, Michael Waugh came in 130th place, Nicolas Fernandes was next in 134th, Timou Toure 166th, Michael Simcho 170th and Shea Whatley 186th.

“Nike Nationals is a great experience and one that our runners will never forget,” said coach Justin Leonard. “We are so proud of what this group has accomplished this year. Placing 15th and 16th in the United States is a great accomplishment along with Reed Brown earning All-American honors with is 14th place finish. This group of boys and girls has left a mark on our program and I couldn’t be happier for them.”

Results and video: