By Michael O'Brien

Recently in Cross country Category

York boys, Palatine girls qualify for Nike Nationals

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Two local teams qualified for the Nike Cross Country Nationals by winning Midwest Regional titles Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind.

Kroy Track Club, made up of runners from reigning Class 3A state champ York, edged Columbus North (Ind.) 140-146 for the boys title. Palatine Cross Country Club, featuring runners from 3A runner-up Palatine, edged Carmel (Ind.) 72-74 for the girls championship.

Several other area teams could get at-large bids to the national meet after finishing in the top four. Palatine (169) and Naperville South/Neuqua Valley (185) finished 3-4 in the boys race, while Tiger Cross Country Club/Wheaton Warrenville South (98) and Geneva (116) took third and fourth in the girls race.

Sandburg's Lukas Verzbicas, the two-time defending 3A boys champ, won the boys title with a course-record time of 14:53.1. Woodstock's Kayla Beattie, who has won the last two Class 2A girls titles, was the girls champ in 17:45.7. Prospect's Brooke Wolfe also qualified for nationals as an individual by finishing fifth in 17:55.8.

The Nike Cross Country Nationals will be Dec. 4 in Portland, Ore.

York boys, Palatine girls qualify for Nike Nationals

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Two local teams qualified for the Nike Cross Country Nationals by winning Midwest Regional titles Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind.

Kroy Track Club, made up of runners from reigning Class 3A state champ York, edged Columbus North (Ind.) 140-146 for the boys title. Palatine Cross Country Club, featuring runners from 3A runner-up Palatine, edged Carmel (Ind.) 72-74 for the girls championship.

Several other area teams could get at-large bids to the national meet after finishing in the top four. Palatine (169) and Naperville South/Neuqua Valley (185) finished 3-4 in the boys race, while Tiger Cross Country Club/Wheaton Warrenville South (98) and Geneva (116) took third and fourth in the girls race.

Sandburg's Lukas Verzbicas, the two-time defending 3A boys champ, won the boys title with a course-record time of 14:53.1. Woodstock's Kayla Beattie, who has won the last two Class 2A girls titles, was the girls champ in 17:45.7. Prospect's Brooke Wolfe also qualified for nationals as an individual by finishing fifth in 17:55.8.

The Nike Cross Country Nationals will be Dec. 4 in Portland, Ore.

Nike's cross-country challenge Sunday

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The second Annual "Northside/Southside Challenge?" The "Challenge" is a high school cross country meet that takes place on the last 2.62 miles of the actual marathon course on race day, Oct 10th. The race is open to the public. Boys start at 7:30 a.m. and girls start at 7:45 a.m. at 31st St. and Michigan Avenue.

There are 208+ high school athletes from across the city and suburbs competing. Nike elite athletes will be coaching the kids this year. There will be a boys and girls winner. And either the north or south side will be granted the overall 'victory' depending on all the finishers.

Pow-Wow's run is over

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Once the largest prep cross country meet in the nation, the Crete-Monee Pow-Wow is no more.

Crete-Monee athletic director Gene Cahan confirmed that the invitational won't be back for a 42nd year in 2010, citing the declining number of teams participating. The Pow-Wow field peaked at 71 teams in 1978, but has dropped into the 20s in recent years.

The meet's flighted format, which pits schools' No. 1 through 7 runners against their counterparts, was the brainchild of its founders, Art Manwaring and the late Jim Becker. Their goal was to offer a chance for more runners to be recognized than in standard invitationals.

Four eventual state champs - Sandburg's Tom Graves (1976), Belvidere's Don Volkey (1978), St. Ignatius' Mike Patton (1980) and Lockport's Jim Knudsen (1981) - ran in the Pow-Wow and Lockport's Tom Bellos set the meet record of 13:46.8 in 1984.

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