For the ninth year in a row, Christian Brothers Academy Cross Country is preparing to run in the Nike Cross National Championship on Saturday in Portland, Oregon.
The Colts qualified by way of the Nike Northeast Regional, finishing a tight second place last weekend at Bowdoin Park in New York.
CBA was paced by their senior leader Brian Hill, who finished eighth overall. Luke Reid, Tim McInerney, Ryan Miele, Troy Hill, John Sheridan and Tanner Crochet rounded out the Regional team.
Now, the Colts find themselves back at the Nike Headquarters in Oregon, where they have finished in the top-five in four of the past seven years, including winning the national title in 2011.
In 2016, CBA finished seventh overall at the Nike Nationals, but head coach Sean McCafferty believes this team could top that finish.
“We have to run the first minute of the race well,” McCafferty said. “Last year, our team struggled with the second mile on the course. If we can focus a bit better and maintain our pace well, this team could certainly finish better.”
The 2017 team is a bit different from past CBA teams, as many of the key runners are sophomores and juniors rather than seniors, making this their first Nike Nationals appearance. While a younger team traveled out to Oregon, that does not worry McCafferty.
“This team is very enthusiastic about the race,” he said. “In a rock-star type moment, they are handling the excitement like pros.”
The Colts have already captured a handful of big titles this fall, including the Eastern States, Shore Conference, Non-Public A State, and Meet of Champions. They are currently ranked as the top team in New Jersey and the fifth best team in the country by in the Flo50 Rankings on Milesplit.com.
Saturday’s Nationals race will begin at 1:00 p.m. eastern time. The Academy will be holding a viewing party for students, alumni and fans alike, beginning at 12:30 in the McKay Gym. Colts supporters are encouraged to come out to CBA to cheer on the boys.
If you are watching the race from the comfort of your own home, head to the Nike Cross Nationals site (www.nxn.runnerspace.com) to stream the race. Be sure to look for the team sporting the white LINCROFT singlets!
- INSIDE ATHLETICS