1 year ago
What would you rather run NXN vs FL?
The debate is unavoidable, and over the past few years both meets have been trying to up the ante as far overall experience goes.
Lets look at the big factors of both meets.
NXN - Portland Meadows, an almost certainly muddy, technically challenging course held in unpredictable, Northwest weather. Surrounds athletes in the world of Nike by giving the chance to hang with some of the best in the world of track and field. NXN gives the opportunity to crown both an Individual and a National Team Champion.
Footlocker - Who dosen't want to make a trip to beautiful San Diego in the middle of December? Athletes stay in a hotel on then beach, and run on a fast, almost fairway of a course. The tradition, and prestige behind being able to say "Footlocker National Champ" comes with some pretty impressive company.
The debate may be settled by a few underlying principles.
Which meet hooks athletes up with cooler schwag? (you know you are wondering)
Which meet correlates to successful college careers?
Head to head which is a more competitive race?
One thing is for sure, cross country is one of the only high school sports that can truly crown a National Champion and for now, its great that we have this problem.
At least for the girls - the NXN field seems deeper/stronger. US#1 Macedo (16:53, and recent 17:01 at Southeast Regionals) is running NXN, as are Jillian Fanning and the rest of the #1 Manlius NY squad, and Haley Pierce and the US#2 Tatnall squad.
Location in Oregon is not really an issue because XC runners are gritty and tough!
Ultimately, I fear FL is in trouble as NXN will have deeper pockets, and the team award makes it very attractive. I think you can start to see it turning in NXN's favor this year - especially among the girls.
It's impossible to compete at both if you have a good team and you're from the pacific northwest. Seeing as the FLwest qualifier is the same day as NXN. Somebody like Amy-Eloise Neale will not get a chance to run at Footlocker unless she abandons her team and NXN. Is it too much to ask for Nike and FL to play nice and have automatic qualifiers to FL out of NXN?
the course at footlocker is NOT fairway-esque. it's the worst/hardest course I ran on in my high school career
Agree with Runtowin1 -- Macedo had the same situation; could either run NXN with her team, or abandon them for Foot Locker, as qualifiers were both this past Saturday. Ditto for Haley Pierce. The lack of coordination in this case really hurt Foot Locker, as some of the top 10 girls in the USA will not be in San Diego (not that they would necessarily choose to run in both if they could).
Or you could just be like Lukas and win both lol
Mary Cain and her Bronxville team chose NXN, even with the deep field of NY competition. I assume this was a calculated risk, hoping for an at-large bid. But that went to North Shore and now Cain is team-less in Portland. I would much rather see her run FL following in the footsteps of recent NY greats Cuffe and Lipari.
As an oldster, FL means much more to me so I hate to see diluted fields at Balboa because of the lure of Nike. I too wish Nike and FL would play nice.
Commenter "Lukas" says "just win both." Not many have that potential but arguably, Cheserek is the next would be double-champ. But going back to my original point, being a North-Easter, he can't qual for both. A flawed system at best.
I really wish Nike wouldn't have made their own meet. Footlocker is so traditional and really does treat athletes like none other. Also, no one has mentioned the prestige of being one in forty finalists. NXN has way too many in one race. There is no way to truly feel special at NXN when you are one in like 300 athletes. I remember trying to make the decision of which to compete in, and Footlocker was such a no-brainer.
Footlocker for me. I watch both each year, but NXN just doesn't have the same excitement for me! Maybe it's best to keep it simple....trying to figure out all data at NXN is no fun. I just want to know the best HSer's in the country are (individuals). Unless you are from that team or state not many really care, in my opinion.
Nike traditionally funded approx 70% of the bill to host Kinney and FL through the years, but went their own way (adding individuals) when FL wasn't willing to absorb more of the costs. The real losers are runners from NY, Northeast, and Northwest regions who do not have to opportunity to qualify for both. Here in CA, they select NXN finalists from state meet results- not ideal when kids are split between 5 separate races, so merged results are not very accurate.
@oldie. if FL was the hardest course you ran on, you must have been on some pretty easy and flat courses.
Don't kid yourself- I've run some of the toughest courses in the country (Van Cortlandt Park, Sunken Meadow, Bowdoin) and Morely Field is no joke. Two times up Upas hill not to mention the dog park loop are b@ll-busters when you are trying to run a serious time. In comparison, NXN sucks just as much due to the euro-style whoop-dees and hay bales.
I ran Footlocker, I really enjoyed the atmosphere and knowing that I was competing against some of the best individuals in my age range. I don't really like the team aspect of NXN though.
Footlocker right now has more "prestige" and I believe that is a major reason that it is still alive. Additionally California runners don't have a qualifying meet when it comes to NXN so many runners still end up going to FL Regionals because they were not chosen for NXN. Until California gets a qualifying meet FLN will, for the most part, stay alive.
Why the heck do California runners not run in an NXN regional? And what is the criteria for California teams and individuals to get autos to the NXN championship?
XC is a team sport! This is why NXN is the better meet in my opinion. Plus it allows fastest kids (Macedo) to run even thouh their team may not qualify. It's OK to have FL as well, but within 10 years it will not have the same prestige as it had 10 years ago.
NXN is a better team choice for sure. The at-large system is a joke, however. Personally, I would like to see each region go to top 3 teams moving on to Portland and get rid of the at-large selection. Top 7 individuals instead of 5 might be kind of nice as well. It would make for a fun competition to get a full regional squad instead of just 5.
Really the individual part for nxn is just for the kids who's team just wasn't quite good enough to make it and had to miss footlocker regionals to run for their team..It gives them a chance to still compete in a national event..That being said I think Nike puts on a better show for kids ( from what I can tell)..and one thing thats for sure is nxn is way more interesting to watch. Foot locker has one aspect to look at (Whos going to win)..if that turns out to be a blow out, interest is lost..nxn at least has the team aspect of the race to fall back on if the individuaL part starts to bore me.
NXN is better, period, and this is from an old Kinney guy... FL has basically become a 5000m track race. NXN retains the feel of XC much better, and is increasingly getting better fields. Gee whiz, writer above is correct in that US#1 Macedo is at
NXN!! 'nuff said! FL winner cannot call themselves a national champ without racing against the best...
NXN tried very hard to combine forces with FL early on. FL refused to add a team component- so Nike had to move forward. FL is a format unlike any other aspect of XC, it'd be like having a 3 on 3 NCAA b-ball tournament. Keeping the format consistent from HS to College is good for the sport. Nike wins
The system for California for NXN is actually pretty accurate, and in my opinion, better than Footlocker. Being the most competitive state by A LOT, they are essentially their own region. So it works for NXN by just using the state meet as criteria for qualification. Which is where Footlocker goes wrong for kids over here, it is ANOTHER WEEK of racing for us and potentially two. If I could choose, I'd do NXN in a heartbeat. Also, I haven't noticed the schwag topic. I figure Nike has this one seeing as they are the kings of schwag. But still, I'd like to hear from people who know for sure what these kids get at these national meets.
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